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March 7th

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6 - The Nazi Criminals

Hitler It is extremely important to recognize that Nazism was preeminently an extreme form of the heterosexual ideal, and what Christopher Isherwood called "compulsive heterosexuality." Hitler's beliefs on this matter are quite clear:
"We must build a nation healthy to the core, robust in its menfolk and absolutely feminine in its women."
Contrary to insidious post-war propaganda to the effect that the Nazi regime was "riddled with homosexuals," the bulk of the Nazi leaders, including those whom we most often associate with the atrocities, were confirmed heterosexuals.

Admittedly it is true that an assistant commandant at Treblinka kept a harem of boys in drag, but from an objective viewpoint this one instance is less "horrifying" than the very many more harems of women terrorized by heterosexual officers. If there is any "inherent link" between a particular sexual lifestyle and a particular political philosophy, then most of the evidence - and all of the ideological evidence - indicates that fascism and heterosexism are made for one another.

The ideological rationale for the mass murder of homosexuals during the Third Reich was quite another matter. According to the doctrine of Social Darwinism, only the fittest are meant to survive, and the law of the jungle is the final arbiter of human history. If the Germans were destined to become the master race by virtue of their inherent biological superiority, the breeding stock could only be improved by the removal of "degenerates". Retarded, deformed and homosexual individuals could be eliminated with the dispassionate conscientiousness of a gardener pulling weeds. Indeed, it is the very vehemence and passion with which homosexuals were persecuted that compels us to look beyond the pseudo-scientific rationale for a deeper, psychological dynamic.

The official aims of the Nazis were to re-educate homosexuals who were deemed capable of acquiring heterosexual affiliation vs. those that were found to be "chronically incurable" homosexuals for whom castration and severe punishment, and finally death, were in order.

Nazis, interested in finding a "cure" for homosexuality conducted criminal medical experiments and research on some gay concentration camp inmates, like of testosterone being forcibly implanted in some prisoners. These experiments caused illness, mutilation, and even death, and yielded no scientific knowledge.

While the Nazis regarded male homosexuality as contagious and therefore a threat to the Third Reich, they curiously viewed lesbianism as a "temporary, curable" condition. Only five lesbians are on record as having been sent to concentration camps, although the Nazis closed down lesbian bars as swiftly as gay bars and gathering places. The Nazis were soon not only enforcing § 175, but also extending it. Gossip and innuendo were enough to have a man arrested and imprisoned without trial.


Contagion diagram Diagram of the spreading "contagion" of homosexuality from individual number 1 to 27 others.

The Nazis believed that the agent of "infection" was the "seduction" by one man of another.

K. W. Gauhl, Statistische Untersuchungen über Gruppenbildung bei Jugendlichen ... (1940), 82

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum #379

Meisinger Even with the rise of Hitler, gay men, like many Jews, considered themselves Germans first, which in many instances slowed their response to danger. Many gays were also given a false sense of security when Hitler, shortly after coming to power, stood by Ernst Röhm, his burly chief organizer of the fearsome storm troopers, when Röhm came under fire for his well-known homosexuality. However, in the following year, 1934, during the notorious Night of the Long Knives, Röhm was murdered after he refused to commit suicide.

§ 175 was a portion of the German penal code dating to 1871. It broadened the definition of illegal male homosexual behavior (the German authorities viewed lesbianism as a curable condition), and it was brutally enforced as part of the Nazi campaign to eliminate so-called "undesirables.

Gay men, mostly German Christians, were forced to wear pink triangles, imprisoned and often sent to concentration camps where they were beaten, shot to death or left to die from horrible illnesses. About 4,000 survived, according to this documentary. Six appear on camera here to tell the little-known stories of their devastating experiences, and all six look beaten down, as though they've been to hell and back.

§ 175 shows how Hitler changed his laissez-faire policy toward the homosexual culture by making scapegoats of gays, who often met the same fate as the millions of Jews who were eliminated as part of the Final Solution. Yet another grim chapter to the brutal Nazi legacy.

In the course of the 12 years of the Third Reich, about 100,000 men were arrested for homosexuality. Roughly half were sent to prisons and 10,000 to 15,000 were sent to concentration camps. Since most gay men were "Gentiles", they were not slated for execution but were made worthless slave laborers or subjected to any kind medical experimentation; their death rate, therefore, is estimated to be as high as 60% - the highest percentage for non-Jewish victims of the Nazis. By 1945, only 4,000 had survived.


Read about: (click on the Nazi symbol)
The Nazi Criminals: CLICK HERE6.1.1 - Adolf Hitler
CLICK HERE6.1.2 - Heinrich Himmler
CLICK HERE6.1.3 - Dr. Hans Frank
CLICK HERE6.1.4 - Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Höss
CLICK HERE6.1.5 - Dr. Ernst Kaltenbrunner
CLICK HERE6.1.6 - Josef Meisinger
Experiments on Gay People: CLICK HERE6.2.1 - The criminal doctors
CLICK HERE6.2.2 - Dr. Carl Peter Værnet
CLICK HERE6.2.3 - Deadly medical experiments
CLICK HERE6.2.4 - Documents & Military Tribunals

Finke The T-4 camouflage organization created for the medical killing of mental and physical defectives defines by the Nazi government as undesirable was also known as the Reichsarbeitsgemeinschaft Heil und Pflegeanstalten (Reich Work Group of Sanitoriums and Nursing Homes). It operated from the Berlin Chancellery, at Tiergartenstrasse 4, hence the "T4" code name. The program was rationalized as the elimination of "life unworthy of life."

This program paved the way for the Holocaust in several important ways. First, it had the effect of legitimizing government-sponsored killing. In keeping with the Nazi emphasis on racial purity, eugenics and national health, euthanasia was presented as a necessary program for eliminating those who carried defective genetic materials which might endanger the quality of the "Aryan" stock.

Second, it was the beginning stage in the corruption of the German medical profession. Robert J. Lifton [Nazi Doctors] asks the question: How did a profession committed to healing, the protection of human life and the relief of human suffering become part of the Nazi killing machine? The apparent answer to this question is that it was a gradual process, a "slippery slope" which began with the Euthanasia Programme of "mercy killing" and resulted in the full scale involvement of some members of the medical profession in the mass extermination of Jews and others in the Nazi death camps.

Third, the T-4 program was crucial in developing the technology which would later be applied to mass murder. Euthanasia centers, such as the ones at Hadamar and Brandenburg were equipped with gas chambers (using carbon monoxide) and crematoria.

A second crucial development in the emergence of the death camps was a series of events which occurred at the Aschaffenburg concentration camp - located at Aschaffenburg, Bavaria. In 1933 a group of SS men killed a number of Jews at the camp and were arrested by local authorities. SS officials insisted that their men were not subject to civil authority. Himmler demanded that no charges be brought against the men. This decision set a precedent for future mass murder in the concentration and extermination camps.


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