Cover Osteuropa 6/2006

In Osteuropa 6/2006

“Then Go Stand on Nevsky Prospect!”
Prostitution at the End of the Tsarist Empire

Beate Fieseler

Deutsche Fassung


In the Russian Empire, prostitution was officially prohibited. With the emancipation of the peasants and increasing urbanisation, demand for sexual services began to grow in towns. The number of prostitutes increased accordingly. While luxury bordellos for the upper class run by foreign women were tolerated for a time, the state rigorously prosecuted prostitution among the lower classes. The reason given was that the public health had to be protected. Empirical statistics from around 1900 reveal information on the age groups, social origins and working conditions of women working in prostitution. Most prostitutes offered their services voluntarily so as to escape adverse social conditions and precarious state of employment.

(Osteuropa 6/2006, pp. 285–301)