Homocaust: The gay victims of the Holocaust
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Homocaust: Timeline

Date

Detail


1871:


The Penal code is applied to the entire Second Reich under Kaiser Wilhelm. The law section, known as Paragraph 175 (§ 175), makes sexual acts between males punishable in a court of law.
1877:


The German Supreme Court of Justice narrowly defines "unnatural indecency" as an "intercourse-like act." This makes convictions hard to prove and convictions are minimal.
1932:


City leaders in Berlin, Germany, begin to enforce public morality laws closing homosexual bars and clubs.

Jan 30th, 1933:



With Germany in the grip of depression, many far right political groups offering radical solutions to mass-inflation receive support. Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany. After just a few months he declares the Nazi party the only legal party giving them control of the country.
May 6th, 1933:





Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld's Institute for Sexual Science is ransacked and destroyed by Nazi student groups and sympathizers in Berlin. The institute was seen as the main symbol of sexual reform and Hirschfeld, a Jewish homosexual, had long been a target of Nazi propaganda and attack. Hirschfeld himself was away from Berlin on a world speaking tour and never returned to Berlin. He died in Nice, May 14th 1935.

May 10th, 1933:

Many of the books and documents from the institute are destroyed in a public book burning.
June 8th, 1933:


The Human Rights League and the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, both homosexual rights organizations, are outlawed.

June 29th- 30th, 1934:







'Nacht der langen Messer' or "Night of the Long Knives" (from a phrase from a popular Nazi song): SA chief Ernst Roehm, the leader of the Nazi Storm Troopers since 1930, is arrested and his associates murdered. False charges of trying to overthrow Hitler are brought against him and other Nazis and political opponents. Roehm's known homosexuality is publicly linked to his alleged treasonous politics.

Hitler orders that all Homosexuals be expelled from military service.
June 30th, 1934:



Roehm is executed. His position as such a high-ranking officer in Hitler's cabinet had left many homosexuals with a false sense of security. On his murder fear spread through the gay community as many realised that they were not safe from prosecution.
July 13th, 1934:





The public officially hear about the events of the night of the long knives when Hitler gives a speech to the Reichstag at the Berlin Kroll Opera House. He declares that for the duration of the arrests and murders he and he alone was the judge in Germany and that the SS carried out his orders without question. The speech marks a turning point in Germany and from that point on the SS becomes a feared force.
Oct, 1934:





Head of the Gestapo, Heinrich Himmler, orders that all police departments gather information about homosexual men and forward lists to the Gestapo headquarters.

Large numbers of homosexual men are arrested thoughout Germany and held under Paragraph 175.

After 1935:




Himmler declares that men convicted under Paragraph 175 can "voluntarily" undergo castration to "free themselves" from their "degenerate sex drive." Many homosexuals agree to the operation believing that they will be set free. After the operation they are then re-arrested as they are still thought to be a degenerate risk to the purity of the Reich.

June 28th, 1935:


The Nazi judicial system publishes a revised Paragraph 175, which expands the range of punishable acts or 'indecencies between men'.


Oct 10th, 1936:


Himmler establishes the Reich Central Office for Combating Homosexuality and Abortion in Berlin under SS Captain Joseph Meisinger, which will deal with all arrests under Paragraph 175.

Sep 1st, 1939:

World War II begins when Hitler's Germany invades Poland.

July 1940:


Himmler declares that all men convicted under Paragraph 175, known to have had more than one partner should be sent directly to a concentration camps.

Nov 1942:


A secret SS decree gives all concentration camp commandants the right to order the castration of homosexual prisoners.
1943




From the start of the SS set out a new program of "extermination through work" in the concentration camps. The program is specifically designed to destroy Germany's criminals and homosexuals. Inmates are forced to complete gruelling physical work to the point of collapse. Many die as a result from exhaustion.

July 24th, 1944:


Soviet troops reach and liberate the Maidanek concentration camp in German- occupied Poland about 2 miles from Lubin.

Jan 18th, 1945:




The last roll call is taken at Auschwitz, undoubtedly the largest of the extermination camps: The camp contains 66,000 prisoners. The camp is quickly evacuated shortly after this with the approach of the Red Army. 58,000 prisoners are taken on death marches to other camps. With no time to shoot those too week to march, the SS leave them to fend for themselves.

Jan 27th, 1945:




Auschwitz is liberated by Soviet Red Army troops. At the point of liberation 600 bodies are found and just 7,650 survivors, among them 100 children.

The date is later chosen as the Official World Holocaust Memorial day.

May 7th, 1945:













Nazi Germany finally surrenders to Allied forces.

While other groups receive global sympathy as victims of the Holocaust, homosexuals continue to be regarded as criminals.

After the 'liberation' many homosexuals freed from the horrors of the concentration camps are then transferred to German prisons to serve the remainder of their sentences. The German government refuses to acknowledge them as victims of the Nazi regime.

After the war, many more homosexuals continue to be persecuted under Paragraph 175. These persecutions are thought to be one of the main reasons why so few homosexual men ever came forward to testify to their treatment by the Nazis and in the camps.


June, 1956:



The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) Reparation Law for Victims of National Socialism declares that men held at concentration camps under Paragraph 175 should be disqualified from receiving compensation.
1969


Paragraph 175 is revised, in West Germany, to decriminalize homosexual relations between men over the age of 21.
May 8, 1985:



Forty years after the end of World War II, the West German Government finally acknowledges homosexuals as victims of the Nazis, in a speech by West German President Richard von Weizsäker.
Nov 9th, 1989:

The fall of the Berlin Wall uniting East and West Germany.
1994:

Germany finally abolishes Paragraph175 completely.
1995:


Eight homosexual survivors issue a collective declaration demanding judicial and moral recognition of their persecution.
Jan, 1999:


Germany holds it's first ever official memorial service for the homosexual victims of the Nazis at the former Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

Dec, 2000:





The German government issues an apology for the prosecution of homosexuals in Germany after 1949 and agrees to recognise gays as victims of the Third Reich.

Survivors are encouraged to come forward (before end of 2001) and claim compensation for their treatment during the Holocaust.

May 17th, 2002:

The official pardon is announced by the German justice minister Hertha Daeubler-Gmelin.

This site is dedicated to the memory of the many who didn't make it. Never forget ... Never again.©2004 lewis Oswald

 

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