Thursday, June 29, 2006

Father Jonathan Visits with Prostitutes

As Father Jonathan Morris continued his visit in Germany, a waitress at the hotel at which he was staying questioned him regarding his business there. He explained that he and his team were in Germany to do a story on human trafficking and legal prostitution in relation to the World Cup. She forced a smile and walked away.

Later, she returned.
“Okay, I’ll talk with you." That’s all she said.

A half an hour later she was weeping. “I made a big mistake. I will be a shame for my children.”

She went on to tell me the harrowing story of her departure from Russia. She was poor, but her parents were good and ordinary folk. In a moment of youthful rebellion and a healthy desire for self-improvement, she agreed to go with a group of her friends to work in Germany. They were told they would be dancers. In the back of her mind, Shasha knew it might not be pretty.

It wasn’t. When she arrived in Munich she was placed in an apartment with seven other girls. Her passport was taken. She danced, but she was only paid for her extra work. It was prostitution. She recalled how she cried every day for two years, and still cries. “I wanted to go home, but I couldn’t. Or maybe I could, but I didn’t know how. I was afraid, above all, for my parents.” She wouldn’t say more. Shasha was eventually released to return to Russia, after pleading with her employers to allow her to visit her sick parents.

A month later she was back in Germany, but this time on her own and determined to make an honest living. “It’s very hard…very, very hard. Here I work too much, but I don’t cry." Shasha knows her past will never leave her mind. She has not decided if she will marry or have children.

Notice she was hired to be a dancer. But her passport was taken (doesn't that keep her there against her will?), and she was not paid for the dancing. (isn't that called slavery when someone doesn't get paid for their work?) She had to prostitute herself to obtain money for basic needs. But, of course, prostitution is legal in Germany and empowers women, so it must all be in her head, I guess.

Next, Father Jonathan visited a brothel to speak with one of the girls.
“Coco” was from the former Yugoslavia. My conversation with her was much different, and it wasn’t because the camera was on. Mr. Kruneich, the manager of the brothel and her boss, stood by her side. She answered my questions with one or two words and she knew precisely what to say — and what not to say. Here’s how we began:

“You work here. Do you like it?” “Yes, I do.”

“Are you forced to be here?” I continued. “No, I want to be here.”

I tried another angle. “Do you have sisters?” “Yes, I have two."

"And are they younger than you?” She looked down. “Yes, they are."

“Do you want them to work here with you when they get older?” “No, I don’t.”

She looked at her boss. He looked at me. End of interview. There was no reason to go on.

Now, I'm assuming that the reason Mr. Kruneich was standing beside Coco the whole time was because she is a shy girl and desired moral support when talking with a stranger. What other explanation could there be?

For Father Jonathan's whole post, "World Cup Sex Industry Uncovered — Part III" click here.


At 6/29/2006 4:18 PM, Blogger mynym said...

But, of course, prostitution is legal in Germany and empowers women...

It's legal in America too, as long as it is on video.

At 6/30/2006 9:37 PM, Anonymous Nancy Willing said...

HOOT!!! mynym


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