Homosexuals and the Holocaust
Many founders of the Nazi party were homosexual, and homosexuality remained common and rampant in the Nazi party throughout its existence.
A homosexual more obsessed with sex and finding a sex partner rather than fulfilling their national duty in wartime could be targeted for arrest, as communists or any other person could be. Homosexuals who acted discreetly and professionally while fulfilling their appointed tasks remained active in the Nazi party and German military throughout the life of the regime.
Homosexuals were not targeted and exterminated as Jews were, although approximately 100,000 men were arrested for homosexuality, out of an estimated homosexual population of one million. These people generally were more concerned about their own personal sex lives than fulfilling a collective responsibility to the nation while at war. Only about 5,000 to 15,000 of these were interned in concentration camps. Paragraph 175 banned homosexuality long before Hitler was even born.
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".
In his book, "The Pink Swastika," Scott 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. As he pointed out, 85% of Nazi homosexuals were of the Butches faction while the other 15% were of the Femmes faction, and as the Butches persecuted the Femmes, today's LGBT movement is not monolithic either as they claim that drag queens offend the transgender.
Homosexuals in camps
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.
Generally, the classification of Homosexual was added after the arrival in camp, and was not the cause of arrest. Most were arrested as shirkers of their national duty in wartime.
- Holocaust Teacher Resource Centre: Homosexuals
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945
- http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/fischer/080515 The truth about homosexuality and the Nazi Party
- Researcher says Nazi persecution not systematic - The Washington Blade, May 22, 1998
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