The Gonzo Insanity of 1960s Israeli Holocaust Porn

stalag israel

 

Stalag fiction was perhaps the ultimate taboo-busting literature: Holocaust pornography. In the early 1960s Stalag titles were first published in Israel. Sold is bus station kiosks as secret diaries and first-person memoirs written by Allied prisoners in Nazi concentration camps, the first Stalag, Issue 13, was created by twenty-three-year-old Eli Keidar under the nom-de-plume Mike Baden. Many more were penned by Mike Longshott, who never existed and was a pen-name broke young writers hid behind for cash. “He was a collective, burrowing into the sexual and social taboos of his era.”

 

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The writers detail their ordeals at the hands of sexualized and sadistic female SS guards, just one more platoon in Hitler’s army of perverted minions. Once the war ended, these prisoners exact terrible revenge though torture, rape and murder. It turned out that the protagonists was kind of attracted to their female tormentors. So much for the gonzo insanity of sexual violence in comic books.

“A true and brutally honest story of the lives of male captives bound by sadistic girls,” boasted the description on Stalag titles. “Their entire essence is based on the brimming lust for the blood of others, for deriving sadistic pleasure from their pain, and for exploiting the manhood of the captive at their mercy.”

Disgusting stuff, eh. Which is why the cool kids loved ’em. According to a Hebrew University survey, Stalags were the top reading material for 18-year old Israeli boys in 1963.

 

stalag israel 1960s porn holocaust

 

The State was appalled. When SS officer Adolf Eichmann, a man responsible for mass Jewish deportations to extermination camps, was put on trial in Israel, the Israeli government banned the books’ publication. The Yediot Ahronot newspaper accused these Nazi-inspired Stalag books of creating “immorality” among the young generation. Stalag’s were “literary filth”.

And, boy, did people want them all the more. According to Israeli filmmakers The Heymann Brothers, Stalag pocket books were never more popular:

During the 1960s, parallel to the trial held against Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, sales of this pornographic literature broke all records in Israel and hundreds of thousands of copies were sold at kiosks.

“People were dealing with trauma, and Stalags were something young people used to deal with it,” says Ari Libsker, director of the 2008 documentary, Stalags. “Young men were identifying with American soldiers imprisoned in the camps who took revenge.”

 

stalag israel 1960s porn holocaust I was Colonel Schultz’s Private Bitch

I was Colonel Schultz’s Private Bitch

 

One highlight was the book I was Colonel Schultz’s Private Bitch. This one did feature a Jew, a Jewish woman captured by a Nazi officer who makes her his dog. Her revenge is to turn him into her dog. “This was the first and only time the hero was a Jew and a woman,” says Libsker, who recalls how Jewish children’s view of the Shoah was often formed by grainy footage of women being commanded to strip for their Nazi abusers and piles of naked bodies.

 

stalag israel 1960s porn holocaust

 

“The true story under all the Stalags was revealed for the first time,” said Libsker. Well, not quite the first time. In 1953, Israel author Ka-Tzetnik 135633 (born Yehiel Feiner), saw his book House of Dolls published in Israel. Ka-Tzetnik 135633, so named after KZ (pronounced “Ka-Tzet”), the German acronym for Konzentrationslager (concentration camp) and the number branded on his arm in the death camps, told a story of depravity the likes of which survivors were unlikely to bring up over Friday night dinner. In it, Daniella is forced to join a labor camp’s Freudenabteilung (Joy Division).  The Nazis tattoo Feld-Hure (military whore) between her breasts. She is controlled by a demonic lesbian Nazi named Elsa, who forces her to strip naked, bends her over a chair and whips her.

Revolting. And titillating. And so when in 1963 Ka-Tzetnick 135633 stood before Eichmann to bear witness, the world watched. “How could I communicate to them [at the Eichmann trial] the way I myself burn, searching for the word to name the look in the eyes of those who would walk through me to the crematorium, with eyes that fused with mine?” the former prisoner asked.

 

stalag israel 1960s porn holocaust

 

stalag israel 1960s porn holocaust

stalag porn israel

 

So how do you view the Holocaust and get close to it?

Well, if you want to see it though the Stalag books, you’ll can visit the National Library of Israel where if you call ahead and prove your visit is for research purposes, you can read them. They really are that dangerous.