|Construction cost||€5 million|
Artemis is one of the largest brothels in Germany, where prostitution and brothels are legal and widespread. The "wellness" brothel opened in Berlin in September 2005, a four-story building complete with a pool, three saunas, two cinemas, and with room for up to 70 prostitutes and 600 customers.
Name and location
Artemis is located near the west end of the Kurfürstendamm in an industrial area of Charlottenburg, close to the metro and railway station Westkreuz and about 0.5 km south of the ICC congress center. It is a little more than two kilometres from Berlin's Olympic stadium, famous for hosting the 1936 Olympics and the venue for several games of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Organization and ownership
Artemis was created by the Turkish businessman Haki Simsek for about €5 million. Early investment came from German financier Florian Homm. One review in a German online publication wrote "Although the outside of the building is about as erotic as a corporate office park, the interior is a bizarre cross between mid-1990s Las Vegas and a cheesy British 'Carry-On' film."
Artemis is organized as a sauna club, similar to several other German brothels: both customers and prostitutes pay an entry fee and can then use the facilities for 24 hours. The entrance fee is 80 Euros; half an hour sex costs 60 Euros. Food and non-alcoholic beverages are included in the entry fee. Alcoholic beverages can be purchased at the bar and start at EUR 10 for a beer. Fifty women work on a typical night; they are mostly nude or near nude, except on certain days such as Wednesday, which is "lingerie day". Women work in two shifts, starting at 11 am and 7 pm. Sexual services typically include oral sex without a condom, and sexual intercourse with condoms. The payment is given directly to the women after the act; the house does not receive a cut but regulates the prices and services.
The brothel has 49 employees, in addition to the prostitutes who officially are not employees, but have to follow the house rules regarding services and dresses. Each prostitute pays a pre-tax of 30 Euros per day to the government, which is collected by the brothel. The women are regularly interviewed by officials from the state criminal police office. Prostitutes can stay at the brothel, renting rooms on the fourth floor which is off-limits to customers.
Customers leave about 25 million Euros per year in Artemis, with about half of that money going to the prostitutes. Annual profit of Artemis is estimated at 3 million Euros.
The German prostitute support group Hydra has endorsed the transparent concept but has reserved judgment until the working conditions of the women could be evaluated.
Events and Incidents
Various news sources reported on Artemis in relation to an expected increase in prostitution in Germany during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Norman Jacob, the lawyer of the owner, was quoted in one article as saying "Football and sex belong together". On 30 June 2006, The New York Times reported that these expectations had apparently been too optimistic.
In the early morning hours of 17 August 2012, four guests refused to pay their bill at Artemis. One of them drew a gun and shot at the doormen, injuring three of them. The group then fled by car. The gun was a modified alarm gun that shot plastic bullets. A few weeks later, a Russian resident of Berlin was arrested as a suspect in the case.
On 14 April 2016 Artemis was raided by 900 police and customs officers investigating human trafficking and tax evasion. The police had obtained information that members of the Hells Angels forced some women to work in Artemis. One of these women had talked to the police about her abusive pimp, a former professional soccer goalie who would be convicted of trafficking, coercion and extortion and sentenced to 7 years in prison in October 2017. The tax evasion charges against Artemis were based on the allegation that the prostitutes working there were fraudulently classified as independent contractors rather than as employees. The brothel reopened the next day but the two managers Hakim and Kenan Simsek and four madams remained in custody. In late July 2016 the Kammergericht ordered their release because of insufficient evidence. Defense lawyers announced plans to sue the state of Berlin for damages, arguing that authorities had approved of the Artemis business practices for years.
- "Im Gewerbegebiet" Archived 1 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine, Berliner Zeitung, 10 November 2005. Extensive report on Haki Simsek and Artemis. (in German)
- Soccer Fans Will Get a Kick out of Berlin's Latest Brothel, Spiegel Online International, 23 September 2005
- "Die Akte Artemis - oder der Sex und sein Preis". stern.de (in German). 29 September 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
- "So lief die Puff-Ballerei im "Artemis"". B.Z. (in German). 17 August 2012.
- "Artemis, " McDonald's " du sexe, accueille 250 clients par jour". Le Monde (in French). 26 February 2006.
- "Wie wird ein Lehrer zum Huren-Chef?". B.Z. (in German). 7 December 2009.
- "World Cup Brings Little Pleasure to German Brothels", The New York Times, 30 June 2006.
- "Artemis-Schießerei: Verdächtiger verhaftet". B.Z. (in German). 12 September 2012.
- "Diese Frauen liegen in Ketten!". Emma (in German). 28 November 2013.
- "Germany trafficking: Mass police raid on Berlin mega-brothel". BBC. 14 April 2016.
- "Die Rocker und die Frauen aus dem Artemis". Berliner Morgenpost (in German). 25 May 2016.
- "Er prügelte seine Freundin auf den Strich: Sieben Jahre Haft für Ex-Fußball-Profi". BZ Berlin (in German). 6 October 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
- "Saunaclub Artemis - der nur scheinbar bessere Puff". Stern (in German). 7 May 2016.
- "LKA hielt "Artemis"-Geschäftspraxis offenbar für unbedenklich". rbb|24 (in German). 27 August 2016.
- Germany backs bigger brothels to fight World Cup sex explosion, The Independent, 9 December 2005
- World Cup amenity: a 4-story brothel, MSNBC, 30 September 2005
- Brothel to Open Near Berlin Soccer Stadium, Deutsche Welle, 24 September 2005
- Soccer Fans Will Get a Kick out of Berlin's Latest Brothel, Der Spiegel, 23 September 2005
- It's going to be an invasion, The Guardian, 18 November 2005
- Eros alla berlinese, L'Espresso, 24 July 2007 (in Italian)
- Mega-brothel for soccer world cup, The New Zealand Herald, 09.12.05