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Homosexual Victims of the Holocaust (Essay Sample)


Homosexual Victims of the Holocaust. The sample was an order I did with freelancewritingservice company.

Homosexual Victims of the Holocaust
The Holocaust is a term that refers to the orchestrated murder of in excess of six million Jews in Europe led by Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist Party (Nazi) during World War II. More than eleven million men, women and children succumbed between 1933 and 1945. Of these marginal groups which included homosexuals were highly targeted. Over fifteen thousand homosexuals were put into concentration camps and later persecuted because they were seen as ‘undesirables’ who did not meet the ideals to create Aryan offspring. Up to 100,000 homosexuals were imprisoned under Paragraph 175 of the German Penal code and most were strategically got rid of while those who survived became subject to post – war persecution and struggled to identify as holocaust victims. Research into murders of homosexuals is hard enough since data that exists is mostly scant and unreliable while many records were destroyed. To understand this commonly undisclosed aspect of the holocaust we will need to understand the events leading up to the Nazi persecution and atrocities at the concentration camps.
Legalization of Homosexuality
Homosexuality had been legalized in some states of early 19th century Germany when it was still a loose confederation of separate individual states. Prussia however upheld laws illegalizing homosexuality punishing it with flogging or imprisonment. King Wilhelm upon emerging victorious in the Franco – Prussian war reversed this legalization towards the harsh Prussian laws as seen in Paragraph 175 which outlawed "lewd and unnatural behavior" punishing it with jail sentences varying from one day to five years. Despite the laws, between two hundred and three hundred men were thrown in Jail every year for violation of Paragraph 175. In 1895, Berlin had a population of 2.5 million, advertised drag balls openly in straight media, had forty gay bars and from police reports, close to 2000 hustlers. In the year 1905, publications on homosexuality numbered 320. Certain groups publicly were in support of gay rights among them the Social Democratic Workingmen’s Party which was founded on Marx and Engel’s principles.
A blow was dealt on the gay movement when Prince Philip zu Eulenburg together with prominent government men were embroiled in a gay scandal in 1907 which was sensationalized into a witch hunt by newspapers. There were libel suits, trials and suicides which all led to a downfall in gay organizations memberships. This was also due to a testimony that Hirschfeld gave describing one of the men on trial as displaying "typical identifiable homosexual characteristics.”
In 1919 the Institute for Sexual Science was set up by Hirschfeld in Berlin Germany which soon held twenty thousand volumes and a sizeable staff to offer counsel to gays and provide education to society regarding homosexuality. Soon other gay organizations were set up which included a community center for gays and a committee dedicated to coordination of their efforts on law reforms. Hirschfeld who was gay as well as Jewish was later assaulted by anti – Semites who claimed to have disfigured his moth to the extent that he could not be kissed by any of his disciples. He was attacked again in the same year by Nazis who leaving him with a fractured skull. Fascism continued to thrive when showings of pro – film "Different from Others" inspired by Hirschfeld were actively interrupted by the fascists. Such an incident occurred in Vienna in the year 1923 when fascists shot and injured several audience members. An anti – gay message was officially released by the National Socialist Party which condemned homosexuality on May 14, 1993. The tide almost swung in favor of homosexuals when the Reichstag Committee abolished all homosexual crimes by a vote of fifteen to fourteen in 1928, however before the law was effected the stock market crashed in 1929 and the Nazis were swept into power after tabling of the bill.
Persecution of Guy
The persecution of gay men and started in Germany in around the 1930s and like that of Jews was the worst in their respective histories (Zierler 46-57). Lesbians were not targeted because they could bear children. Homosexual persecution by the Nazi begun earlier than those of Jews with the murders of Ernest Rohm and some other "brown shirts" who were in SA, a paramilitary group although the main reason was to root out a group that would rival the SS (Melita 237). The "brown shirts" were Rohm’s militia consisting of undisciplined soldiers coming from the city slums. Even though some of the Nazis identified as gay it was still dangerous to assume that they tolerated homosexuality which is a case well illustrated to what happened to Rohm. Rohm was a well known Nazi leader second only to Hitler and him and the "brown shirts" were not a problem to Hitler at first but were later viewed as an embarrassment. Hitler knew of Rohm’s orientation at least by 1927 as he did that of other Nazis among them Edmund Heines, La Paz and Karl Ernst who attributed their services and promotions to Rohm. Since Hitler did not command an army bigger than Rohm’s, his rival neither could he maintain power without his help, he wisely chose to defend Rohm by stating that his private life was of no concern unless it violated basic principles and ideologies of the National Socialist. Led by Himmler and other officers of the SA, Rohm and his counterparts were murdered without warning at the instigation of Hitler. This persecution begun on June 30, 1934 and the night it started was dubbed "The Night of Long Knives.”
Soon after, a law was passed that mandated all homosexuals, epileptics, schizophrenics, hysterics, those born blind and malformed as well as drug addicts to be sterilized. In actual practice however, gay men were castrated. In preparation for the Olympics, grounds on which gay meetings were held were raided as part of a clean – up process and captured homosexuals were rounded up in a concentration camp. Activities purported by the League of Human Rights which was started by Hirschfeld were all abolished together with the gay emancipation movement.
Nazi’s View Point and Policies against Homosexuality
Of importance in this context are the Nazi viewpoints and policies which represent the heterosexual ideology. Proffesor Max Von Gruber of Munich University strongly condemns homosexuality and masturbation citing that sexual intercourse should take place within marriage between a woman and a man and that the intent of marriage is for procreation on which National growth depended (Gruber 123). To promote heterosexuality in Nazi Germany, Goring offered quick promotions to those civil servants who got married early. Women were offered "Matrimonial Credits" as an incentive to procreation. Interest free loans were issued under this new system with a twenty five percen...
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