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March 7th

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6.1.6 - Josef Meisinger (1899 - 1947)

Josef Meisinger, SS-Standartenführer und Oberst der Polizei, was born on September 14n 1899 and was hanged in 1947 in Warsaw.

On June 28, 1935, the Ministry of Justice revised Paragraph 175. The revisions provided a legal basis for extending Nazi persecution of homosexuals.

Ministry officials expanded the category of "criminally indecent activities between men" to include any act that could be construed as homosexual. The courts later decided that even intent or thought sufficed.

On October 26, 1936, Himmler formed within the Security Police the Reich Central Office for Combating Abortion and Homosexuality. Josef Meisinger, executed in 1947 for his brutality in occupied Poland, led the new office.

Excerpts from a lecture by Josef Meisinger, Head of the Reich Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion, delivered at the assembly of medical heads of department and experts on 5/6 April 1937 in Berlin:

"Homosexuality and abortion appear at the first sight to be two quite different offenses. But in reality they have much in common, particularly in their effects. First of all, from the point of view of the criminal law, they differ from all other offenses in the Penal Code by the fact that there is no victim, at least not in the narrow sense of the term, who has any interest in prosecuting the breach of the law. With both homosexuality and abortion, everyone involved has an equal interest in maintaining secrecy.

"Whereas the incidence of non-political crimes has undoubtably shown a considerable decline since the taking of power, this cannot be said for the offenses of homosexuality and abortion. There can be no doubt that of all the crimes and offenses those under paragraphs 175 and 218 are the most widely and frequently committed, but unfortunately also the ones which most effect the living marrow of a nation. This is why, more than any other criminal behavior which has attracted a more or less high punishment, homosexuality and abortion have been a fundamental problem of politics.

First then, on homosexuality... Since, as we know, homosexuals are useless for normal sexual intercourse, homosexuality also has an effect on young blood and will inevitably lead to a drop in the birth-rate. The result is a general weakening of the nation's strength, of the kind that threatens not least a nation's military capacity...."

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