Reply from the German Ambassador

I've received a reply from the ambassador...

... actually, from his assistant.

Thank you very much for your letter of 30th January 2005 addressed to the German Ambassador, Thomas Matussek, who has asked me to reply to you on his behalf

The allegation that in Germany unemployed women can now be forced into prostitution is, of course, absurd. The article you refer to has clearly distorted or confused the fact that prostitution has been legalised and is therefore now part of the official labour market.

However, the job agencies do not advertise or publicise job offers in this sector. Only persons out of work who specifically inquire about such job offers would be informed accordingly.

In any event, no one can be forced to accept such job offers, as any unemployed person still has the right to decline any job for moral reasons.

The new situation merely means that prostitutes are given more rights and are more protected socially than they used to be.

We hope that we have been able to resolve any misunderstandings deriving from this article.

Yours sincerely

Albert Luig

This all derived from this post and this article.

I have sent the following reply:

Sehr geehrter Herr Luig

I am writing to thank you for your response to my letter of 30th January. I had my suspicions about the article; however the consequences of it being correct were unthinkable, hence the letter. I am sure that you appreciate the natural concern expressed.

I am pleased to hear that the concerns were unfounded. Especially as it is possible to see many benefits to the German policy, not least of which being an improvement in healthcare.

I trust that you have clarified the situation with the newspaper concerned.


The story was updated to 'False' from 'Undetermined' on the Urban Legends page yesterday.

Letter to the German Ambassador

Following this post, I've drafted the following to the German Ambassador in London. I will send an email copy to the Today Programme (BBC Radio 4). I'm not the only one who has spotted this.

I've modified the letter slightly since first putting this on the site. This is the final version.

Herr T. Matussek
c/o Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
Side Entrance
23 Belgrave Square

Sehr geehrter Herr Matussek

I was surprised to read in The Telegraph, that a woman in Berlin faces loss of benefit as she refuses to work as a prostitute in a brothel.

URL referenced

I understand the rationale behind the legalisation of brothels, for example improved healthcare and working conditions, yet I cannot believe that the German legislature believed that it would be "too difficult to distinguish them from bars".

Given that the businesses are legal in Germany, there is nothing at all wrong with the business advertising for employees. Nevertheless there is absolutely everything wrong with the state pushing people into this profession against their own moral code. Such action reduces the state to the position of "pimp" or worse.

I look forward to hearing your opinion on this matter, and I hope that you will pass this message on to the relevant authority in Berlin.


Update: The reply has been received.