Six Months in Jail for Russian Love

Illegal Encounters Between German Women and Prisoners of War
  • Lisa M. Todd
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)


This chapter investigates scandals around romantic relationships between German women and foreign prisoners of war (POWs). From the arrival of the first POW trains to court cases of adulterous war wives, unfaithful German women were accused of betraying not only their husbands, but the entire wartime nation. Indeed, even flirting and letter-writing were evidence of ‘sexual treason’. Germans sought to explain female immorality in several ways: they equated sexual desire with ‘degeneracy’, vividly described the ‘exoticism’ of foreign men, decried the secularization of society, and asked hard questions of political authority. Female adultery became an enduring memory in post-war national consciousness. Some commentators placed promiscuous women in the category of ‘inner enemies’ who had stabbed the German nation in the back.


Sexual Life Army Corps German Woman Sexual Infidelity Local Woman 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa M. Todd
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New BrunswickNew BrunswickCanada

Personalised recommendations