9. Child prostitutes could easily be found in 1920s Berlin – so long as you knew where to look and what codewords to use
As we’ve seen, Weimar Germany was a hotbed of sex, much of it of the paid-for variety. Both adult men and women sold their bodies in the streets and clubs of Berlin. But child prostitutes were also bought and sold here. In fact, there was a booming and well-regulated industry, with pimps happy to cater to almost any taste. Quite simply, if you knew where to go – and, just as importantly, what to ask for – the chances are, you could get it, no questions asked.
In downtown Berlin, some pharmacists peddled a side trade in child prostitutes. These boys and girls were prescribed as ‘medicine’. If you knew where to go, you simply told the chemist you wanted some ‘medicine’. You would also tell him how long you had been ill for. This was all part of a not-so-elaborate ruse; if you said you had been ill for 13 years, then the pimp knew you wanted a 13-year-old girl. Similarly, if you requested red pills, he would try and procure a redhead for you. In most cases, the pharmacist would know exactly where to take a prospective client and would deliver him to the appropriate club or apartment.
At the same time, young prostitutes could also be ordered like a takeaway pizza. Pimps would place advertisements in newspapers and magazines. If you knew what you were looking for, the code was simple enough to crack. Then all you needed to do was phone the number given and a ‘telephone girl’, that is a child between the ages of 12-to-17 would be delivered right to your home or hotel room. Such ‘telephone girls’ (almost always advertised as virgins, with their physical attributes hinted at through references to female movie stars) were often the most expensive prostitutes in all of Weimar Germany, with only rich businessmen or film stars able to afford their niche services.