Tag Archives: Holocaust Remembrance Day

German Parliament Officially Recognizes Gay Victims of the Nazis for the First Time

German Parliament Officially Recognizes Gay Victims of the Nazis for the First Time

The German parliament for the first time on Friday focused its annual Holocaust memorial commemorations on people persecuted and killed over their sexual or gender identity during World War II.

“”Now you’re a gay pig and you’ve lost your balls.” That was how Otto Giering was taunted by a guard in August 1939 after his forced castration in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Even before his deportation to the concentration camp, the 22-year-old had been convicted twice for homosexual contact and sent to a labor camp

Campaigners in Germany have worked for decades to establish an official ceremony for gay victims of the Nazi regime (LGBTQ is not appropraite phrasing)

“Today’s hour of remembrances focuses on a group of victims which had to fight for a long time to achieve recognition: people who were persecuted by the National Socialists because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity,” Baerbel Bas, president of the Bundestag lower house, said while opening a ceremony marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation. More than half of these men were convicted, usually to serve long prison sentences or forced labor. In some cases, men were forced to undergo sterilization. Many were driven to suicide, Those who did not conform to National Socialist norms, lived in fear and mistrust. The hardest hit were the many thousands of men and women who were deported to concentration camps because of their sexuality – usually under a pretext. Many were abused for medical experiments, most perished after only a short time or they were murdered,” she added.

It has taken over 65 years for the gay and lesbians brutalized and murdered by the Nazis to be officialy recognized.

The commemoration was attended by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and two visiting members from Ukraine’s Jewish community.

January 27 – Holocaust Remembrance Day: Nazi Germany, The Pink Triangle and Paragraph 175

The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the victims of the Nazi era and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of over six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. Holocaust is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.” The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were “racially superior” and that the Jews, deemed “inferior,” were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community.

But also as a part of the Nazis’ attempt to purify German society and propagate an “Aryan master race,” they condemned homosexuals as “socially aberrant.” Soon after taking office on January 30, 1933, Hitler banned all gay and lesbian organizations. Brownshirted storm troopers raided the institutions and gathering places of homosexuals. While this subculture had flourished in the relative freedom of the 1920s, Nazi tactics greatly weakened it and drove it underground.

Later, a harsher revision of Paragraph 175 of the Criminal Code went into effect, making a broad range of “lewd and lascivious” behavior between men illegal and punishable by imprisonment. The revision of Paragraph 175.

The Nazis believed that male homosexuals were weak, effeminate men who could not fight for the German nation. They saw homosexuals as unlikely to produce children and increase the German birthrate. The Nazis held that inferior races produced more children than “Aryans,” so anything that diminished Germany’s reproductive potential was considered a racial danger.

The police had powers to hold in protective custody or preventive arrest those deemed dangerous to Germany’s moral fiber, jailing indefinitely—without trial—anyone they chose. In addition, homosexual prisoners just released from jail were immediately re-arrested and sent to concentration camps if the police thought it likely that they would continue to engage in homosexual acts.

Continue reading January 27 – Holocaust Remembrance Day: Nazi Germany, The Pink Triangle and Paragraph 175