Rejected gravestone for Germany’s most famous prostitute deemed “too slutty”

J.S. Mael
Santa Monica City Buzz Examiner
July 3, 1:58 AM

HAMBURG — Domenica Niehoff, a former prostitute known across Germany for her campaigning to have the profession legalized and regulated, died at age 63, back on February 13, 2009 . The story was reported by almost every mainstream news source and the story made its way around the internet at the time.

But there was a new development in her passing yesterday when it was reported that the Garden of Women cemetery, where Niehoff’s body rests, rejected the gravestone designed by 77-year-old artist Tomi Ungerer, a longtime friend of the former dominatrix.

“Domenica would have liked my design. She was not ashamed of herself,” he said.

After her death, German media reported that Niehoff, a severe diabetic, had died of complications from a lung condition.

After surviving through a childhood living in an orphanage, drug abuse, child prostitution, Niehoff became a familiar figure on TV talk shows in the 1970s and ’80s. Perhaps it was her recognizable 48-inch bust and revealing outfits Germans remember most, though she made a name for herself after leaving prostitution as a career to focus on social causes.

“What I have accomplished is that more about prostitution is discussed,” Niehoff said in an interview last summer with Die Welt newspaper. “That it won’t be whispered about as much. That girls can honestly say, ‘I was in the milieu, but now I want out.’ Those who landed here earlier didn’t come out again.”

The gravestone in question did raise concerns due to its suggestive, possibly exploitive nature.

Photographer Günther Zint, another friend of the fallen activist told Hamburger Morgenpost , “There was a bit of a debate among her friends whether Tomi needed to emphasise her breasts like that. They were after all a bane of her life.”

Prostitution, long tolerated in Germany, was legalized in 2002 and there are an estimated to be over 400,000 registered prostitutes in the country.

Original at Examiner

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