Homosexuality In The Holocaust

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“We lived as if being gay was a state religion” (ProQuest). These were the words of a homosexual Holocaust survivor, Albrecht Brecker. The Holocaust was a treacherous time for many groups, discriminated and targeted because of their differing ideology from Hitler’s plan to create the “Aryan race”. One of those groups that struggled were the homosexuals in Nazi Germany. Homosexuals were persecuted by Nazis because they were unable to reproduce, therefore, in the Nazis’ eyes, they were rendered incapable of contributing to the German population. Many were sent to concentration camps and thousands were killed. The individuals in this group were incredibly strong, both emotionally and physically, even when they had experienced such horrid crimes…show more content…
Called Paragraph 175, this law stated that “An unnatural sex act committed between persons of male sex or by humans with animals is punishable by imprisonment; the loss of civil rights might also be imposed” (“Homosexuals & the Holocaust”). The law very loosely described what acts were defined as “illegal”. As Hitler rose to power in early 1930’s, this was one of the laws broadened by the Nazi Party. In 1935, the law became far more specific. The law states that a male who, “...commits lewd and lascivious acts with another male or permits himself to be so abused for lewd and lascivious acts, shall be punished by imprisonment” (“Paragraph 175”). This meant that men who were victims of sexual assault/abuse were sent to prison as well as their aggressor. Additionally, Paragraph 175 also bans any relation of sorts for any male to commit any indecent acts with another…show more content…
This was homosexual Holocaust survivor, Albrecht Becker’s recount of his life during the Third Reich. Becker had been staying in the United States while Paragraph 175 had been amplified. Despite living freely as a gay man, Becker had desired to go back to his home in Nazi Germany, and it was a sign of how safe gay men felt during that time. “This feeling of relative security despite Paragraph 175 was largely due to the well-known fact that the commander of the SA, Ernst Röhm, was gay” (Langham, “Under the shadow of Paragraph 175: Part 1: Albrecht Becker). It was a message to homosexuals in Germany at the time, that if a Nazi commander could be openly gay, then gays in Germany could live openly without fear of imprisonment as well. But, in June of 1934, a horrifying event known as the Night of Long Knives, would change all of that. The SA Army, a paramilitary group founded by Hitler, had murdered hundreds of Hitler’s political enemies, including Röhm, with Hitler’s power as “supreme leader” threatening the lives of many gay men in Germany. After the Night of Long Knives, “... the situation for gays continued to remain quiet throughout the rest of the year until the beginning of 1935…” (Langham, “Under the shadow of Paragraph 175: Part 1: Albrecht Becker). In early 1935, Becker had received a summons to

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