This prologue sets the scene for the book's focus on experience. It chronicles the life story of Cornelie Bauer, who worked as a prostitute in Leipzig from 1907 to 1940. Beginning with a discussion of her early life, the prologue describes Cornelie's entrance into the sex trade and her reasons for choosing prostitution. It then narrates her experiences working from the First World War, through the Weimar Republic and into the Third Reich, noting her distinct experiences under the regulation system, and under abolition and decriminalization, and detailing medical approaches to managing prostitution and venereal disease. Particular attention is paid to Cornelie's difficult, and perhaps unexpected, relationship with those bureaucrats charged with controlling her, and with her fellow citizens. The chapter also explores her experiences of incarceration.
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