Jews were not the only ones persecuted by Hitler. Several other groups also. One being homosexuals.
Note that no Hitler inspired destruction of any group equaled in number those of the Jewish religion. Six million a hard number to equal.
Homosexual numbers were significantly less. German record keeping was not as precise as those for Jews. For that reason the specific number of homosexuals killed or otherwise maimed is unknown.
German dislike of homosexuals was first officially recorded in 1871. Kaiser Wilhelm I, under the guiding hand of Chancellor Bismarck, established the German Empire. Paragraph 175 of the new criminal code outlawed acts of unnatural indecency between men.
From a legal perspective, unnatural indecency was vague enough to be unenforceable. Six years later, the German Supreme court defined the crime as an intercourse like act.
The language was still vague and indefinite. Arrests and convictions of homosexuals were infrequent.
Now comes Kaiser Wilhelm II. In 1900 per his direction, the German Regular Police began compiling lists of suspected homosexual men. The lists became known as pink lists. The pink lists were religiously kept. However, no one paid attention to them till 1932. The eve of Hitler’s assumption of power.
Ernst Rohm was one of Hitler’s closest supporters and a friend from the early 1920s.
Rohm was a bully. A tough guy. His followers likewise. He and his followers were also homosexuals. Openly so. Their sexual preference having drawn world wide attention.
Rohm headed up the SA under Hitler. Brownshirters. They carried out Hitler’s directions. However with greater frequency began acting as free agents.
The SA grew to three million members. Rohm the leader.
Rohm and his followers became a threat to Hitler. Directly and indirectly. For political reasons, Hitler needed the support of the Army High Command. Older military types. Generals. They feared Rohm was going to run the military.
The Treaty of Versailles limited the German Army to 100,000 troops. Rohm’s SA was not considered part of the German Army. Rohm had three million troops under his command.
Rohm had to go. One of Hitler’s closet friends and first supporters. The relationship was of no concern to Hitler.
June 30, 1934 to July 2, 1934, is known as The Night of the Long Knives. Hitler had Rohm and his high level officers assassinated. Shot or hung. Without trial. Rohm was one of the first to go.
Heinrich Himmler and Herman Goering became the new power persons supporting Hitler. The SS and Gestapo the significant parts of the power group.
In 1936, Himmler created a special department of the Gestapo to deal with homosexuals.
Paragraph 175 was revised to give its words meat. Minimal involvement between men constituted homosexual behavior. Simple looking and simple touching. Homosexuals became so frightened that they stopped acknowledging fellow homosexuals if they saw them on the street.
During the next several years, nearly 100,000 men were arrested under the revised Paragraph 175. The pink lists started in 1900 were taken out of dusty boxes and back rooms to assist in identifying homosexuals.
Understand that Hitler used homosexuality as an excuse to get rid of Rohm and his followers. Rohm’s death was not the end of his negativity re homosexuality. It was a popular cause. With the military, the people, everyone. Hitler rode its crest.
In a speech given by Hitler on August 4, 1937, Hitler said “…..homosexuality is actually as infectious and as dangerous as the plague.”
Once arrested, conviction was a certainty. The law provided a choice to the guilty party. Castration. Or a long jail sentence. It was felt castration would automatically cure sexual deviance. It guaranteed the victim a shorter sentence.
Some homosexuals never saw a court room. They were immediately hauled off to a concentration camp.
The SS ran the concentration camps. The law empowered the court and camp officials to order castration without the victim’s consent.
Homosexual concentration camp inmates were also subjected to involuntary experimentation, mutilation and death by camp doctors experimenting to find a way to cure homosexuality.
Three reasons were given as to why homosexuality had to be dealt with. In reality, merely excuses for poor treatment of homosexuals. The truth lie deeply in German souls. The eternal fear of homosexuals.
The first reason involved society’s sexual balance. Germany had lost 2 million men in World War I. Two million more were thought to be homosexuals in the 1930s. Four million men not helping to produce babies.
Result: Fewer babies would be born. Resulting further in the death of a nation. So it was thought. Himmler said: “A people of a good race which has too few children has a one way ticket to the grave…..”
The second reason was that homosexuals as a group would be a state within a state. A self serving group. The fear was a come the revolution thing.
Finally, homosexuality was a degeneracy. It threatened the masculinity of Germany. Homosexuals were effeminate and would not be able to fight for the Fatherland.
Homosexuals were poorly treated by guards and other inmates while in concentration camps. It is estimated 60 percent died from brutal treatment.
In 1940, Himmler directed that when homosexuals were released from jail, they were to go directly to a concentration camp. No passing Go.
World War II ended on May 8, 1945. You would assume the Allies would free the homosexuals as they did the Jews and other concentration camp prisoners. No. It was not to be. The Allies transferred the homosexuals to German prisons to serve the balance of their sentences under Paragraph 175.
In June 1956, Germany passed a Reparation Law for Victims of National Socialism. Those who had been in concentration camps were given a certain amount of money. The law clearly disqualified homosexuals from such compensation.
Paragraph 175 remained in force and effect till 1994 when it was abolished following the reunification of East and West Germany.
It was not until 2002 that Germany did something to fully recognize the injustice done to homosexuals. The German Parliament pardoned all homosexuals convicted by the Nazis under Paragraph 175.
The shame of it all is that it took from 1871 to 2002 to correct things. To recognize the wrong done homosexuals. Especially under Hitler. One hundred thirty one years.
I cannot understand how the Allies in 1945 sent homosexuals to prison rather than home. To finish their Paragraph 175 sentences. The good guys at the time, the Americans, English, French and Russians, were blind to the wrong being done.
I suspect intentionally blind. Homosexuality was abhorred by “normal” people. They didn’t care.
Look how far most societies have come. Same sex marriage. Same sex partners permitted to adopt. Even into transgenderism.
It took a long time.
Germany is not a stable society. Probably never has been. Enjoys ruling with an iron fist. Authoritarian. Think of its leaders. Even today’s. Merkel is a hard ass.
Same sex marriage is still not legal in Germany. They are at the civil partnership stage. Called a Registered Life Partnership.
Interestingly, the German Supreme Court for several years has been suggesting the German Parliament amend the law to permit same sex marriage. Apparently German law does not permit their Supreme Court to rule directly on the issue. The issue has come up. The Parliament has consistently refused to approve same sex marriage.
At the same time, Germany has legalized prostitution. Berlin is the whore house of the world.
I don’t understand.
It is my opinion the German people remain intolerant and non accepting of homosexuals.
One cannot research and write an article of this nature without the issue of whether Hitler was a homosexual arising.
Most historians say no.
< e of whether Hitler and Rohm engaged in homosexual play in the 1920s also comes into question.