Nazi Persecution Homosexuals.
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Nazi Persecution Homosexuals.

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    Nazi Persecution Homosexuals. Nazi Persecution Homosexuals. Presentation Transcript

    • Nazi propaganda labeled homosexuals as “antisocial parasites” and “enemies of the state”
    • Germany Prior to the Rise of the Nazis
      • Prior to the rise of Nazism, Berlin was considered to be a liberal city
      • Berlin had many gay bars, cabarets and nightclubs
      • Berlin also had the most active lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender social movements in the world at the time
      • a special division of the Gestapo was instituted to compile lists of gay individuals.
      • In 1936, Heinrich Himmler, Chief of the SS, created the "Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion.“
      • Nazi Germany thought of German gay men as part of the "Master Race" and sought to force gay men into sexual and social conformity
      • Gay men who would or could not conform and feign a switch in sexual orientation were sent to concentration camps under the "Extermination Through Work" campaign .
      • The Nazi campaign against homosexuality targeted the more than one million German men who, the state asserted, carried a "degeneracy" that threatened the "disciplined masculinity" of Germany.
      •   Denounced as "antisocial parasites" and as "enemies of the state," more than 100,000 men were arrested under law against homosexuality.
      • Approximately 50,000 men served prison terms as convicted homosexuals, while an unknown number were institutionalized in mental hospitals.
      • Others were castrated under court order or coercion.
      • 5,000 and 15,000 homosexual men were imprisoned in concentration camps, where many died from starvation, disease, exhaustion, beatings, and murder.
      • An estimated 1.2 million men were homosexuals in Germany in 1928.
      • Between 1933-45, an estimated 100,000 men were arrested as homosexuals, and of these, some 50,000 officially defined homosexuals were sentenced.
      • Most of these men spent time in regular prisons, and an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 of the total sentenced were incarcerated in concentration camps.
    • The NEW ORDER 1933-1939
      • Among its first steps to create the "New Order," the regime shut down homosexual gathering places, organizations, and publications in a broad attack on "public indecency." The Nazi assault on homosexuality had begun.
      • During the 30 months from early 1937 to mid–1939, German police arrested almost 78,000 men under Paragraph 175, one–third of whom were convicted and sentenced to prison.
    • NAZI IDEOLOGY
      •   It was accused of being a factor in the declining birthrate that threatened to leave the nation unable to uphold itself.
      • It was also feared as an "infection" that could become an "epidemic," among the nation's youth.
      •   It was thought that it could give rise to a dangerous state–within–the–state since homosexuals were believed to form self–serving groups.
      •   It endangered public morality and contributed to the decline of the community. (Nazis asserted, homosexuality had to be eradicated.)
    • NAZI IDEOLOGY (CON’T)
      • Nazi leaders such as Himmler also viewed homosexuals as a separate people and ensured that Nazi doctors experimented on them in an effort to locate the hereditary weakness many party members believed caused homosexuality.
      • Some leaders clearly wanted gay people exterminated, while others wanted enforcement of laws banning sex between gay men or lesbians.
      • Anyone who promoted controversial sexual ideas was thought of as a deviant by German society and especially by the Nazis.
    • Paragraph 175
      • Paragraph 175 had been part of German criminal code from time of the German Empire under Kaiser Wilhelm I.
      •   As part of a massive rewriting of the criminal code, Nazi jurists revised Paragraph 175.
      • Issued on June 28, 1935, and put into effect on September 1, 1935, the revision emphasized the criminality of both men involved in "indecency."
      • 1.       During the Nazi era, some 100,000 men were arrested on violations of Paragraph 175.
      • 2.       Of these, nearly 78,000 were arrested during the three years between Heinrich Himmler's appointment as chief of German police in 1936 and the outbreak of World War II in 1939.
      • 3.       The police work of tracking down suspected homosexuals depended largely on denunciations from ordinary citizens.
      • 4.       Most victims were from the working class. Less able to afford private apartments or homes, they found partners in semi–public places that put them at greater risk of discovery, including by police entrapment.
      • 5.       Prison sentences, the most common punishment in the Nazi persecution of homosexual.  Imprisonment meant hard labor, part of the Nazi "re–education" pro gram
    • Enemies of the state
      • Nazi propaganda labeled homosexuals as “antisocial parasites” and “enemies of the state”
      • Citizens turned in men on flimsy evidence
      • 100,000 men were arrested on violations of paragraph 175
      • Most victims were from the working class
      • Those imprisoned under paragraph 175 faced both brutality of the guards and the hatred of their fellow inmates
      • 5,000 to 15,000 homosexual men were imprisoned in concentration camps during the Nazi era
      • Homosexuals were identified by pink triangle badges
      • Thousands of homosexual men were drafted to serve a regime that persecuted them as civilians and thousands of homosexuals were forced to go to labor camps
      • Nazi regime was only concerned with homosexuality among German males
      • All homosexuals who have seduced more than one partner are to be placed in preventive detention
      • Homosexual men in the camps had short life expectancies and high death rates from overwork, starvation, physical brutality, or outright murder -
      • Homosexuals in quarries and brickyard camps were almost always assigned to the worst and often most dangerous work
      • Many were killed in the quarries because of SS guards who deliberately caused accidents
      • The harsh treatment can be attributed to the view of the SS guards toward gay men, as well as to the homophobic attitudes present in German society at large
      • Some gay men who resisted the SS had their fingernails pulled out. Others were raped with broken rulers and had their bowels punctured, causing them to bleed profusely.
      • 60% of gay men in concentration camps died, as compared to 41% for political prisoners and 35% for Jehovah's Witnesses
    • Survival In the Camps
      • Some homosexual inmates secured administrative and clerical jobs.
      • In exchange for sexual favors, some Kapos protected a chosen prisoner, usually of young age, giving him extra food and shielding him from the abuses of other prisoners.
      • One avenue of survival available to some homosexuals was castration, which some criminal justice officials advocated as a way of "curing" sexual deviance
      • Homosexual defendants in criminal cases or concentration camps could agree to castration in exchange for lower sentences.
    • Post War
      • homosexual concentration camp prisoners were not acknowledged as victims of Nazi persecution
      • Gay Holocaust survivors could be re-imprisoned for "repeat offences," and were kept on the modern lists of "sex offenders."
      • The Nazis' anti-gay policies and their destruction of the early gay-rights movement were generally not considered suitable subject matter for Holocaust historians and educators.
      • Under the Allied Military Government of Germany, some homosexuals were forced to serve out their terms of imprisonment, regardless of the time spent in concentration camps.
      • The Allied Military Government of German did not get rid of Paragraph 175 after the war. It was not removed until 1994.