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1941, 6-10 Mozartstraße

The maid Katharina G. is waiting in police detention for her trial for having a sexual relationship with a French prisoner of war. She is sentenced to one year in prison.

To satisfy the huge demand for labour during the war, millions of workers – lured with false promises, conscripted or abducted – were to be found in the German Reich.

Linz is a good example for this phenomenon: more than 100,000 foreigners worked in the armament industry or big building sites. For the Nazi leadership the civilian population’s dealings with foreign workers was a great problem. It was feared that prisoners of war would commit acts of sabotage and spying as well as “undermining military morale”, which is why all contact with them was prohibited. But even contact with civilian “foreign workers” was frowned on and could lead to punishment.

This prohibition or limitation on contact with foreign labour also had a gender specific dimension: women were urged not to act against “healthy popular sentiment”; not to “endanger German customs and heritage” by having sexual contact with prisoners of war and to “keep German blood pure”. As a result, sexual contact with prisoners of war or forced workers was usually punished by long terms in prison. The prisoner of war or forced labourer was usually executed.