May 152016

One way to view the Internet is as a vast sorting system, in which individuals can curate collections of material that might never be allowed to come together otherwise. I found the Fraulein Swastika Tumblr [removed as of 16 June 2021] recently, a collection of erotic images of women with fascist elements. What’s interesting is that the images seem to come from at least three different discourses.

The first loose category comes from the Nazisploitation genre, Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS and its ilk. The header image of the tumblr comes from the Ilsa poster. That may be the most common type in this collection: the female Nazi as dominatrix.

The second category is what you might call the “Nazi nymphet”. A lot of them are visual echoes of the iconic scene in The Night Porter of Charlotte Rampling wearing an officer’s cap and suspenders.

Presumably the images in the first two categories are produced and consumed for the fetish/shock value, not as actual fascist/racist media. Some don’t go so far as to include an actual swastika armband, but they do feature an officer’s cap with the skull and crossbones, or an SS badge.

The third largest category appears to be amateur porn of women involved in fascist or racist culture. (Presumably they have impeccable Aryan backgrounds.)

Some of the images are overt, with the women posing before swastika flags or sporting swastika tattoos or wearing t-shirts with Adolf Hitler on them. Others are more subtle and show the women with the coded numbers “14” and “88”.

In many cases you’d have to look twice to notice the coded symbols in otherwise ordinary-looking snapshots.

Another subtype is Asian porn, with Asian women in the uniforms (which makes even less sense). This is even further removed from the real world referent of WWII, just another costume to fetishize.

Apart from a few historical shots of actual women in Nazi-era uniforms or female dancers entertaining men in German uniforms, there are some disturbing images that branch away from the taboo value of fascist symbols and towards outright racist imagery.

Where, how and for whom this type of image was produced, I can’t say.

Some are probably intended to be humorous, not erotic.

What’s interesting is what’s conspicuously absent in this collection, the Freudian primal scene that underlies racist thought: the image of the white woman being sexually menaced by non-white men. That is the perceived anxiety that drives and justifies everything else. Perhaps depictions of that kind of sexual scene are too uncomfortable to be erotic for whoever manages this collection. They don’t have the mental configuration to eroticise the idea of non-white men and white women.

I can’t speak to the politics of whoever is running this Tumblr. Maybe they are a white power-type, maybe they just have a slightly morbid fascination with this particular type of image. But there are multiple values attached to this particular type of image, and while I have categorized them, I can’t say that my taxonomy is definitive. One person’s propaganda is another’s erotica.

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