The Treatment of Homosexuals During the Holocaust

Topics: Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, Homosexuality Pages: 7 (2470 words) Published: February 25, 2005
A. Plan of Investigation

To what extent did the Nazi Regime's ideologies and policies influence the treatment of homosexuals after 1933?

In Nazi Germany, the Nazis goal to purify the Aryan race and eliminate deviants had an incredible effect on Germans from all walks of life, including prostitutes, alcoholics, the mentally ill, and especially homosexuals. This investigation will aim to determine the Nazis role in the rage against homosexuals during the holocaust, and how the treatment of homosexuals evolved, culminating in the eventual murders of thousands. Within the summary of evidence, I plan to study the existence of homosexuality prior to the holocaust, Nazis ideologies and policies regarding homosexuals and the treatment of homosexuals during the Nazis rule. Throughout this investigation a bibliography of secondary resources will be compiled related to this subject and will be evaluated. The information gathered from the research will then be analyzed, and ultimately a conclusion to this investigation will be made. B. Summary Of evidence

1. The Existence of homosexuality Prior to the Holocaust
The gay population soared after the first world war and with that a ton of support. In the early twenties, a number of homosexual associations were established. Homosexuality became so widespread in Germany that it was called, "the German disease" (Grou,110). Homosexuals consequently used their unbridled freedom and advantage at the time to form clubs, bars and committees. The Hirschfeld Magnus scientific- Humanitarian Committee was the largest and most influential group within the homosexual rights movement. Through propaganda they sought to transform the image of the homosexual man, and gain more support ( Plant 42). Hirchfeld also repeatedly tried to reform Germanys laws, particularly the notorious paragraph 175. This national law, enacted in 1871, stipulated that a "A man who indulges in criminally indecent activities with another male…will be punished with jail time" (plant 30). As a result of Hirschfeld active participation in the homosexual rights movement, attacks on his person and on his life's works were made, which set the stage for the horror that was to be unleashed once Hitler had consolidated his rule (plant 28). .

2. Nazis ideologies and policies regarding homosexuals
The declared aim of the Nazi Regime policies was to eradicate homosexuality. To this end homosexuals were watched, arrested, registered, prosecuted, and segregated; they were to be reeducated, castrated and if unsuccessful-exterminated (Grou 40). Nazi policies revolved around their hate for homosexual men, for they assumingly posed great dangers to society. In Nazi propaganda additionally, homosexuals were generally portrayed as soft, cowardly, cringing, and untrustworthy creatures (Oosterhuis 194). The Nazis believed that homosexuality threatened procreation, and could result in a epidemic spread- corrupting young people like a contagious social disease (Oosterhuis 194). The Nazis assumed that racial impurity was the cause of homosexuality. In fact one of the pillars of Nazi ideology was that nature was more important than nurture in the shaping of human character and that heredity was the main cause of homosexuality ( Oosterhuis 192). The Hitler Youth, a office in Hamburg, was then established to register and combat homosexuals during the holocaust (Grou 41). The Nazi war against Germany's homosexuals, to be properly understood, must be seen against the backdrop of the terrible tensions and social traumas that ultimately were to cause the collapse of the Weimer republic. The economic depression, widespread unemployment, galloping inflation, and the shock of military defeat after WWI, all consumed society, and was eventually blamed on Germany's deviants. Among those deviants were the homosexuals- "the traitors from home", who were believed to be the cause of Germanys great catastrophe and humiliation- the major threat...
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