Homosexuals and the Holocaust
However, homosexuals were not exterminated as Jews were, although approximately 100,000 men were arrested for homosexuality, out of an estimated homosexual population of one million. Only about 5,000 to 15,000 of these were interned in concentration camps.
According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, "Nazi Germany did not seek to kill all homosexuals. . . [but] the Nazi state, through active persecution, attempted to terrorize German homosexuals into sexual and social conformity".
Nazi treatment of homosexuals
Due to the scarcity of records, it is unknown how many of these died in the camps' harsh conditions, though one historian has estimated the death rate to have been as high as 60%. Other homosexuals were castrated by court order, or forcibly implanted with testosterone capsules in a medical attempt to "cure" them. A special division of the Gestapo (Secret State Police) had been set up in 1934, specifically to identify and arrest homosexuals.
The Washington Blade, the newspaper of the homosexual community in Washington D.C., reported on the research of John Fout, a “gay history" professor at Bard College in New York:
- The Nazis shut down the two or three active Gay political organizations that had been operating in German (sic) as soon as Hitler took power in 1933. However, according to Fout, Gay bars and bathhouses remained open until the late 1930s.... ‘The Gay urban subculture survived the Nazi period,’ said Fout.
In his book, "The Pink Swastika," Lively claims that although the Nazis did persecute homosexuals, the homosexuals the Nazis persecuted were almost exclusively the effeminate members of the gay community in Germany, and that much of the mistreatment was administered by masculine homosexuals who despised effeminacy in all its forms.
- Holocaust Teacher Resource Centre: Homosexuals
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945
- Researcher says Nazi persecution not systematic - The Washington Blade, May 22, 1998
- http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/fischer/080515 The truth about homosexuality and the Nazi Party
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