Tag Archives: Nazi Germany

Gay History - May 6, 1933: The Attack on Magnus Hirschfeld's Berlin Institute for Sexual Research and the Nazi “Säuberung” Book Burnings [VIDEO]

Gay History – May 6, 1933: Nazi Youth Attack Magnus Hirschfeld’s Berlin Institute for Sexual Research – The “Säuberung” Book Burnings [RARE VIDEO]

May 6,1933: The Berlin Institute for Sexual Research and the Nazi “Säuberung” Book Burnings

On May 6, 1933, less than six months after Adolf Hitler and the Nazis had come to power, Nazi Youth of the Deutsche Studentenschaft made an organized attack on the Magnus Hirschfeld’s Institute of Sex Research

The works of Magnus Hirschfeld, the Jewish doctor and sexual reformer were hardly in line with Aryan ideas about the nation’s sex life: his model of intermediate sexual stages allowed room for homosexuality as well as for hermaphrodites or transvestites. He welcomed racial mixing as an enrichment of the diversity of human life.  The Nazi reaction was unequivocal: “We will not have our people demoralized, so burn, Magnus Hirschfeld!”

On the night of May 10th.  Hitler Youth and right-wing students in 34 university towns across Germany marched in torchlight parades “against the un-German spirit” and called for Nazi officials, university faculty and chaplains, and student leaders to address the participants and spectators. Then, singing songs and taking “fire oaths” as band music played, in large open-air bonfires, the students burned thousands of “un-German books,” taken in raids on public and university libraries, private collections, and bookstores. The events also received widespread media attention – not only newspaper coverage, but also “live” radio broadcasts of the songs and speeches.

The seemingly “spontaneous” demonstrations in Berlin were actually carefully orchestrated by Nazi leader Josef Goebbels, the Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, as part of the Nazi policy of Gleichschaltung (“synchronization”), which sought to align all elements of German society, polity, and culture with Nazi ideology by purging them of Jews and those considered “politically suspect” and by defining their work as “degenerate.”  40,000 people gathered in the square at the State Opera to hear Joseph Goebbels deliver a fiery address: “No to decadence and moral corruption!” Goebbels enjoined the crowd. “Yes to decency and morality in family and state! I consign to the flames the writings of Heinrich Mann, Ernst Gläser, Erich Kästner.”

The era of extreme Jewish intellectualism is now at an end. The breakthrough of the German revolution has again cleared the way on the German path…The future German man will not just be a man of books, but a man of character. It is to this end that we want to educate you. As a young person, to already have the courage to face the pitiless glare, to overcome the fear of death, and to regain respect for death – this is the task of this young generation. And thus you do well in this midnight hour to commit to the flames the evil spirit of the past. This is a strong, great and symbolic deed – a deed which should document the following for the world to know – Here the intellectual foundation of the November Republic is sinking to the ground, but from this wreckage the phoenix of a new spirit will triumphantly rise.— Joseph Goebbels, Speech to the students in Berlin

Three days later on May 13, 1933 famed gay writer Christopher Isherwood wrote:  

“It is a quarter past midnight and I have just finished packing. In eight hours I am going to leave Berlin, perhaps for ever……. I have already made the journey several times in my head, composed funny postcards to all my friends. And now the day which seemed too good, too bad to be true, the day when I should leave Germany, has arrived, and I only know about the future that, however often and however variously I have imagined it to myself, the reality will be quite different.” 

By the time of the book burning, Hirschfeld had left Germany for a speaking tour that took him around the world; he never returned to Germany.

On his 67th birthday, 14 May 1935, Hirschfeld died of a heart attack in his apartment at the Gloria Mansions I building at 63 Promenade des Anglais in Nice.

76 years after the destruction of Hirschfeld’s Institute of Sex Research in 2011, the Federal Cabinet of Germany granted 10 million euros to establish the Magnus Hirschfeld National Foundation (Bundesstiftung Magnus Hirschfeld), a foundation to support research and education about the life and work of Magnus Hirschfeld, the Nazi persecution of homosexuals, German LGBT culture and community, and ways to counteract prejudice against LGBT people.

Gay History - November 16, 1979: "BENT" Written by Martin Sherman Opens In London

Gay History – November 16, 1979: “BENT” Written by Martin Sherman Opens In London

Bent is a 1979 play written by Martin Sherman. that revolves around the persecution of gays in Nazi Germany, and takes place during and after the Night of the Long Knives  a purge that took place from June 30 to July 2, 1934. Chancellor Adolf Hitler, urged on by Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler, ordered a series of political extrajudicial executions intended to consolidate his power and alleviate the concerns of the German military about the role of Ernst Röhm who Hitler allowed himself to be convinced was the homosexual and intended to stage a coup.

Röhm and some of his commanders spent the weekend of June 30 at a hotel in rural Bavaria. They spent the Saturday drinking heavily, and according to Wackerfuss, “at least two SA men paired off to enjoy each other’s company in private.” Early Sunday morning Hitler himself and an entourage of SS men arrived and arrested Röhm. They also found two other stormtroopers in bed together in another room, the high-ranking Edmund Heines and his 18-year-old driver. Heines was eventually shot, but the fate of the other is unknown.

The Plot:

Max, a promiscuous gay man in 1930s Berlin, is at odds with his wealthy family because of his homosexuality. One evening, much to the resentment of his boyfriend Rudy, he brings home a handsome Sturmabteilung man. Unfortunately, it is the night that Hitler orders the assassination of the upper echelon of the Sturmabteilung corps, to consolidate his power. The Sturmabteilung man is discovered and killed by SS men in Max and Rudy’s apartment, and the two have to flee Berlin.

Max’s Uncle Freddie, who is also gay, but lives a more discreet life with rent boys to satisfy his desires, has organized new papers for Max to flee to France where homosexuality is legal, but Max refuses to leave his naïve boyfriend behind. As a result, Max and Rudy are found and arrested by the Gestapo and put on a train headed for Dachau concentration camp.

We will STOP here in case anyone out there is not familiar with the story.

In the original London 1979 Royal Court production, which later transferred to the West End, Ian McKellen played the role of  Max.

When BENT made it to America a year later the play featured Richard Gere as Max, David Marshall Grant as Rudy, James Remar as Wolf, Michael Gross as Greta, George Hall as Uncle Freddie, and the late actor David Dukes as Horst.

In 1997, Martin Sherman adapted Bent into a film of the same name, which was directed by Sean Mathias and starred: Clive Owen, Mick Jagger, and Ian McKellan from the original London production this time in the role of Uncle Freddy.

“Bent” tells a heartrending love story, set against the backdrop of the Holocaust. If you have not seen I urge you to do so.

You can watch the trailer below.

Forgotten Gay History – July 1943: Gay Resistance Fighters Executed By The Nazis “Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards!”

Dutch painter and writer Willem Arondeus during World War II hatched a plan to burn the Bevolkingsregister which housed the citizen registration office in Amsterdam where the Nazis kept copies of all of the identity cards held by Dutch citizens.

In the spring of 1941, Arondeus started an underground periodical in which he tried to incite his fellow artists to resist the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Earlier than others, Arondeus realized that the demand by the Nazi occupiers that all Jews register with the local authorities was not, as the Nazis claimed, for their own safety, but rather so they could be deported to the Westerbork concentration camp and from there to the death camps in occupied Poland. In the spring of 1942, Arondeus founded Brandarisbrief, an illegal periodical in which he expressed the artist’s opposition to the edicts imposed by the Reichskulturkammer (Reich Chamber of Culture), the Nazis’ cultural committee.

A concerted operation was underway to hide Jews among the local population, with various underground organizations preparing forged documents for Jews. Arondeus was a member of one such group .Within a short while, the Nazis began to expose the false documents by comparing the names with those in the local population registry. To hinder the Nazis, late on March 27, 1943   Arondeus led a group in bombing the Amsterdam Public Records Office. 

Arondeus and fourteen others, including two young doctors, donned German uniforms, asked the building’s guards to open the building for a special inspection. As soon as they gained entry, the two doctors injected the guards to put them asleep and placed them in the courtyard away from harm while the rest of the crew set fire to the building. Thousands of files were destroyed, and the attempt to compare forged documents with the registry was hindered. 

Five days later, an unknown spy informed on the group to the Nazis, which in turn arrested them. During the trial, Arondeus took full responsibility for the fire. The two doctors were sentenced to life in prison, but the rest were ordered to go before a firing squad.

On July 1st. 1943 in his last message before his execution, Arondeus, who had lived openly as a gay man before the war, asked his lawyer to pass a long this message:

“Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards!”

Image result for Willem Arondeus

AFTAH’s “Porno Pete” LaBarbera: I’m just as persected as the Jews in Nazi Germany – Audio

Porno Pete LaBarbera Army of One

 

Peter LaBarbera of the D-List anti-gay hate group Americans for Truth About Homosexuality had the nerve today to compared  himself and the other anti-gay advocates as being persecuted as  Jews were living in Nazi Germany.

Said LaBarbera on Janet Mefferd’s conservative radio program:

“We just have to trust in God to protect us. But I do think that they’re doing to us what the Nazis did to the Jews. They’re intentionally demonizing us…”

Obviously “Porno Pete” doesn’t understand the difference between “demonizing” and pointing out hatred, bigotry and abject stupidity.

 

 

Israel To Erect Monument In Rememberance Of LGBT’s Persecuted By The Nazis

Gay nazi prisoners

Although an exact number will never be known, between 1933 and 1945, under the notorious Paragraph 175 of the Nazi penal code, which banned homosexual relations between men, somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 gay men were murdered in Nazi concentration camps and over 100,000 were either arrested jailed, beaten and tortured.

World War II experts believe that the death rate of homosexuals in concentration camps may have been as high as 60%.- 80%.

History has proven that in the concentration camps gay and lesbian prisoners were treated to unusual and heinous punishments and and cruelties, even worse than the Nazi captors were known for.  Not only did the Nazis abuse the gay prisoners, but so did other prisoner as well.  They were considered to be the lowest of low. They were beaten, tortured, experimented on and some were used for target practice by SS soldiers, who aimed at the pink triangles that the gay men were forced to wear to designate that they were homosexual on their chest.  And of course some met their ends in the same way as the six million Jews, Poles, and Gypsies from that horrible time.

Persecution of gays and lesbians by the Nazis remained little known for decades, and what was known was spoken in whispers. It wasn’t until 2002 that the German government apologized to the gay community and until  2005, the European Parliament approved a resolution on the Holocaust that finally acknowledged the persecution of gays.

Now Israel’s plans to build it’s first monument to homosexuals persecuted by the Nazis will be erected in central Tel Aviv’s Meir Park (Gan Meir) later this year, near the headquarters of the Gay Center.

At the center of the monument will be a concrete triangle containing a pink triangle, the symbol used by the Nazis used to mark homosexuals. A bench and plaque beside the monument will give information about the persecution of homosexuals during the Holocaust which will be inscribed wiht the following statement: “To the memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual preference and gender identity.”

The monument, was the idea of attorney Eran Lev, a member of the municipal council from the Meretz party.

This will be the first and only memorial site in Israel to mention the victims of the Nazis who were persecuted for anything other than being Jewish,” Lev has stated. “As a cosmopolitan city and an international gay center, Tel Aviv will offer a memorial site that is universal in its essence.”

Memorials to the LGBT victims of Nazi persecution exist in Berlin, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Sydney and San Francisco. Most of them contain the pink triangle.

Source: Hareetz.com

North Carolina State Senator Doug Berger (D) Compares Anti-Gay Amendment To Nazi Germany

North Carolina state senator Doug Berger, one of the many Democrats who stood up against the recently passed  initiative that will put on the 2012 ballot an anti-gay amendment that will change the Constitution of North Carolina so the state will not and cannot recognize ANY same sex union weather it be marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership. Stood during the debate and bravely compared the amendment to something out of Nazi Germany. 

BERGER: In Nazi Germany, some of you may not realize that Adolf Hitler came to power through the ballot box and even though he was elected by the people, he was able to use the instruments of power to take away the rights of individuals….[I]f you were gay, you were required to wear a pink triangle to single that you were a member of that despised group. Now, I believe that if we pass this motion to concur, we are essentially putting a pink triangle into our state constitution.

Many Republicans who were the moving force behind getting the anti-gay amendment passed took offense at Bergers characterization. 

But then again the Ku Klux Klan also objected to being compared to the Nazi’s as well, and history has pretty much proved them wrong on that as well.