Sex Work Regulations in Germany

Black is the new Red*

Subject of dispute: Brothel in Dachau (Photo: dpa)

Subject of dispute: Brothel in Dachau (Photo: dpa)

The below is a summary of an article by Benjamin Emonts that appeared in German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, provided here as an update to the previous post Cities lose legal battles against prostitution businesses. (*Black is the customary colour of Germany’s two main conservative parties, the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union.)

Conservatives involved in construction of brothel in Dachau

For several months, questions were raised over the construction of a nudist club (FKK-Club) in East Dachau, Bavaria, which will include rooms where sex workers can offer sexual services. It has now come to light that local Conservative politicians and elected representatives from the Christian Social Union (CSU) are in fact involved in its construction: developer and acting city councillor Wolfgang Moll; electrician and previous city councillor Helmut Erhorn; and architect and CSU candidate for the city council Heidi Lewald. Their involvement became known after repeated requests by deputy mayor Kai Kühnel over missing project signs at the site. Although they have now been mounted, they remain out of sight at a hidden entrance door of the brothel at Ohmstraße 5.

Architect Heidi Lewald confirmed to Süddeutsche Zeitung that she knew all along that the building was going to be used as a brothel. “It was just another job”, she said, before she abruptly ended the telephone conversation.

Previous CSU city councillor Helmut Erhorn said, “What’s wrong with it? In my view, the building will be terrific: a beautiful sauna area, a whirlpool to relax – it’s gonna be the most beautiful establishment in Dachau, if they let us build it.”

In light of the ongoing public debate about the brothel, it remains unclear why the local politicians didn’t make their stakes in the project known earlier. According to Helmut Erhorn, the city knew about the brothel even before he and his partners did. “The city knew from the very beginning what was going to be built there.”

According to deputy mayor Kai Kühnel, he had requested information about the alleged construction of the brothel several times during meetings of the planning and building committee, in the presence of city councillor Wolfgang Moll.

Moll told the Süddeutsche Zeitung: “The speculations circled around the construction of a [new] brothel spanning several thousand square metres. That is why I didn’t make the connection to the site at Ohmstraße 5.” The construction was “just another job”, he said, which was approved by the city. “I am not obliged to shout it from the rooftops. The red light milieu is a sensitive subject. I am aware that one needs to be careful with the subject in our commune.”

The reconstruction of the existing brothel at Ohmstraße 5 was approved by the city of Dachau, confirms the city’s head of urban development Michael Simon, who, like Moll, didn’t believe the discussions were connected to the construction at Ohmstraße 5 but with a project of a much larger magnitude. He felt, that no further discussions were necessary.

Dachau fights against brothels

The city of Dachau, however, just fought a legal battle against the constructors of the building, as it feared that the operators could use more than the five approved rooms for prostitution. The city is concerned that this could lead to a “trading down effect” for the entire business area, where six brothels exist already.

Subsequently, the city tried to demand that the operators were only permitted to use the five approved rooms for prostitution. The administrative court rejected the demand, as it found that the city was not permitted to use planning laws to dictate how many rooms the operators may or may not use for prostitution.

Deputy mayor Kai Kühnel commented: “Everybody has to make a decision how to earn their money.” He described the fact that as many as three politicians from the Christian Social Union were involved in the project as “a little amusing”. Christa Keimel, faction leader of the local chapter of the Social Democrats, felt the story left an aftertaste. “The involvement of the CSU amazes me somewhat.”

So far, the local chapter of the CSU hasn’t discussed the fact that three of its members are involved in the construction of a brothel. That could still change, however. Local chairman Tobias Stephan commented, if members felt the need for it, the matter could be discussed.

One response

  1. Reblogged this on Research Project Korea.

    September 1, 2014 at 9:11 pm

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