Sex and espionage in a Nazi brothel
Salon Kitty is legendary. Renowned as the most exclusive bordello in the Third Reich, no other brothel has caused so much sensation. The Salon hosted the great and good, from diplomats, business men, politicians and military officers. Its madam, Kitty Schmidt was a shrewd and sophisticated hostess and socialite and Kitty’s girls were known for their beauty, glamour and intelligence.
But the Salon had its own secrets. It became the site of a secret Nazi spy centre, where the Nazi regime reportedly trained and planted its own girls to seduce the secrets out of Salon’s clientele of movers and shakers. The brothel allegedly became a listening post.
Sex and espionage at the Nazi brothel
How it really was - meticulously researched
In our book Kitty’s Salon: Legends, Facts, Fiction – Kitty Schmidt and her infamous Nazi spy brothel, published in Germany in October 2020 by Berlin Story Verlag, we dive into archives, interviews, memoirs, unearth unseen documents and photos and track down key witnesses from the time to try to separate the facts, fiction and legends of the Salon’s murky past.
This website complements the book and contains a large number of additional photos, documents, the full-length interviews and other materials.
A work like this is always an ongoing process, permanently in progress and never finished. We continue to pursue the traces of Kitty Schmidt’s life and of the Salon Kitty.
We’re still searching for Kitty Schmidt's large oil painting, which hung in pride of place in the Salon as well as other paintings and sketches from the time. We’d love to hear from interested readers who may be able to shed some light on their whereabouts.
Correspondence sent to this address will be read by both authors and we welcome any suggestions, criticism, comments, corrections, additional documents, photos for future editions of the story of Kitty and the Salon, however great or small.
Julia Schrammel and Urs Brunner
“We wanted to create this book many years ago, but found no authors and no proper access to the historical facts. When Julia Schrammel and Urs Brunner then contacted us, it took just minutes to make a decision - just as long as one skims over a manuscript and feels immediately full of joy about the in-depth work on this sensitive Nazi topic.”
Wieland GiebelBerlin Story Verlag
“Until now, one had to search one's way through a maze of half-truths and fictional additions in order to get a few meager facts about the Salon Kitty. Now, for the first time, this exciting chapter of Berlin's espionage story has been extensively reviewed in terms of both historical facts and the numerous legends. The two authors succeed in combining scientific systematics and readability, so that ‘Kitty's Salon’ is both instructive and entertaining at the same time.”
Florian SchimikowskiDeutsches Spionagemuseum
“The authors of the just published book try to get to the true core of the legends and clear up some stubborn myths in a well-researched way. Most of the stories about the "Salon Kitty" could be attributed to the overflowing imagination and profiteering of the narrators. Nevertheless, according to the book authors, there could be something true about the bugging, even if no more evidence was found”
Ernst ReußAutor von "Mord und Totschlag in Berlin"
“Besides its pleasingly critical attitude towards its sources, the book is characterised by the fact that not only the Salon is described, but also the relevant levels of the society surrounding it, be it "prostitution and sex in the Third Reich" or "espionage and mistrust in the service of the Führer”. Despite all the question marks, doubts, uncertainties an exciting, well-researched piece of contemporary and Berlin history. ”
Andreas ConradDer Tagesspiegel
“Even though the confirmation for the colportage around the spy brothel is missing, Brunner and Schrammel deserve the credit for having for the first time shed light on the life of Kitty Schmidt and her activity in the horizontal trade in a serious manner.”
Sven Felix KellerhoffDie WELT
“Brunner and Schrammel's merit, however, is to examine legends for their truthfulness, to weigh them up or to compare the different versions and to look at the genesis of the legend Salon Kitty. They have indeed written a pleasantly serious book. ”
Order the book
Bonnier Books UK
4th Floor, Victoria House
London WC1B 4DA
Legends, facts, fiction -
Kitty Schmidt and her notorious Nazi spy brothel
about 300 pages, numerous illustrations
17 x 24 cm, flap brochure