Salon Kitty was a high-class Berlin brothel used by the Nazi intelligence service, the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), for espionage purposes during World War II.
Created in the early 1930s, the salon was taken over by SS General Reinhard Heydrich and his subordinate SS Brigadeführer Walter Schellenberg in 1939. The brothel was managed by Kitty Schmidt throughout its entire existence who was the original owner. The plan was to seduce top German dignitaries, foreign visitors as well as diplomats with alcohol and women so they would disclose secrets or express their honest opinions on Nazi-related topics and individuals. Notable guests included Heydrich himself, Joseph Dietrich, Galeazzo Ciano, and Joseph Goebbels. The building housing the salon was destroyed in an air raid in 1942 and the project quickly lost its importance. Salon Kitty has been the inspiration or subject to many brothels featured in films involving Nazi espionage. In the 1930s, “Salon Kitty” was a high-class brothel located at 11 Giesebrechtstrasse in Charlotteburg, a wealthy district of Berlin. Its usual clientele included German dignitaries, foreign diplomats, top industrialist, high-ranking civil servants and senior Nazi Party members.
It’s Madame was Kitty Schmidt who had been running the brothel since its creation. As the war progressed, the clientele of Salon Kitty decreased. In July 1942, the building was demolished during an air attack and the brothel had to be relocated. Within the year the SD decided to abandon the project and handed the salon back to Schmidt, with the threat that she would keep silent or face retaliation.
Madame Schmidt did not talk about the matter even after the war. She died in 1954 at the age of 71 without revealing the identity of any of her former employees. Total number of Gestapo recordings from the brothel is estimated by Stasi (East German Security Service) to be about 25,000. Virtually all of the recordings have since been lost or destroyed due to their post-war unimportance.