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June 1947

The Girls They Left Behind

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1947;55(6):866. doi:10.1001/archderm.1947.01520060128018

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This monograph presents the results of a study of the effects of the war and the German occupation on the incidence of prostitution and venereal disease in Denmark. It is based on data gathered principally in the police courts. A large number of case histories is included in which the family background, religion, education, occupation, personal interests, sex history and medical facts of individual girls are detailed.

In 1936, Tage Kemp wrote as follows: "We have made such progress in the campaign against syphilis in Denmark, and especially in Copenhagen, that we may regard the disease as an exotic malady, like cholera and smallpox, usually brought into the country by seafarers and travelers from foreign lands." Unfortunately, this roseate situation did not last long. After the German occupation in April 1940 the prevalence of syphilis increased rapidly, so that in 1944 it was 8.3 times that in 1938.

In 1939,

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