Gay Holocaust

Compiled by Lucia Cedeira

§ 175

  1. A male who indulges in criminally indecent activities with another male or who allows himself to participate in such activities will be punished with jail.
  2. If one of the participants is under the age of twenty-one, and if the crime has not been grave, the court may dispense with the jail sentence.

    175(a): A jail sentence of up to ten years or, if mitigating circumstances can be established, a jail sentence of no less then three years will be imposed on:

    1. any male who by force or by threat of violence and danger to life and limb compels another man to indulge in criminally indecent activities, or allows himself to participate in such activities;
    2. any male who forces another male to indulge with him in criminally indecent activities by using the subordinate position of the ther man, whether it be at work or elsewhere, or who allows himself to participate in such activities;
    3. any male who indulges professionally and for profit in criminally indecent activities with other males, or allows himself to be used for such activities or who offers himself for same.

    175(b): Criminally indecent activities by males with animals are to be punished by jail; in addition, the court may deprive the subject of his civil rights.

    The text of Paragraph 175, with amendments as issued on January 28, 1935. Richard Plant, The Pink Triangle, New York: Holt, 1986, p. 206.

    You have just read the text of the Paragraph 175, the sodomy provision of the German penal code that condemned homosexual practices between men during the Nazi Government in Germany and some occupied countries. The purpose of this guide is present resources not only about the Gay Holocaust itself, but also about the situation of Germany and the homosexuals before the Nazis. Because of this, we have divided the guide in 9 sections:


    Europe and Germany Before and During the Nazis

    General works about the situation of Germany and Europe at a social level, especially to issues related to sexuality.

    Becker, Howard. German Youth: Bond or Free. New York: Oxford University Press, 1964.

    Bleuel, Hans Peter. Sex and Society in Nazi Germany. New York: Lippincott, 1973.

    Gellately, Robert, and Nathan Stoltzfus. Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2001.

    Hartshorne, E.Y. German Youth and the Nazi Dream of Victory. New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1941.

    Hodann, Max. Sex Life in Europe. New York: Julian Press, 1932.

    Mosse, George L. Nationalism and Sexuality: Respectability and Abnormal Sexuality in Modern Europe. New York: Howard Fertig, 1985.

    Oosterhuis, Harry, and Hubert Kennedy, eds. Homosexuality and Male Bonding in Pre-Nazi Germany: The Youth Movement, the Gay Movement, and Male Bonding before Hitler's Rise. New York: The Haworth Press, 1991.

    Oosterhuis, Harry. "Medicine, male bonding and homosexuality in Nazi Germany." Journal of Contemporary History 32:2 (1997): 187-205.

    Ulrichs, Karl Heinrich. The Riddle of "man-manly" love: The Pioneering work on male homosexuality. Buffalo, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 1994.

    Waite, Robert G. "Teenage sexuality in Nazi Germany." Journal of the History of Sexuality 8:3 (1998): 434-476.

    Magnus Hirschfeld

    An important figure on the study of sexuality until the rise of the Nazis. Here we include resources about him and his main works.

    Encyclopedia Judaica, Decennial Yearbook, 1973-1983. Jerusalem, 1982. s.v. "Magnus Hirschfeld" by Jack Nusan Porter.

    Hirschfeld, Magnus. Racism. Port Washington, New York: Kennikat Press, 1973 (1938).

    _____. Men and Women: The World Journey of a Sexologist. New York: G.P. Putman's Sons, 1935.

    _____. Sex in Human Relationships. New York. AMS Press, 1975 (1935).

    Porter, Jack Nusan. "The Jewish Homosexual." In The Jew as Outsider: Historical and Contemporary Essays. Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1981, pp. 139-152.

    Robinson Victor, ed. Encyclopedia Sexualis. New York: Dingwell-Rock, 1936. s.v. "Autobiographical Sketch," by Magnus Hirschfeld.

    Wolff, Charlotte. Magnus Hirschfeld. A Portrait of a Pioneer in Sexology. London: Quartet Books, 1986.

    Homosexuality in Germany

    These resources are an introduction to the condition of the gay community in Germany before the Nazis, with especial attention to their organization and visibility.

    Adam, Barry D. The Rise of a Gay and Lesbian Movement. Rev. ed, Social Movements Past and Present. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1995.

    Katz, Jonathan, ed. Documents of the Homosexual Rights Movements in Germany. 1836-1927. New York: Arno Press, 1975.

    Lauritsen, John and David Thorstad. The Early Homosexual Rights Movement (1864-1935). New York: Time Change Press, 1974.

    Lesbianism and Feminism in Germany 1895-1910. New York: Arno Press, 1975.

    Peterson, Brett W. From Eden to Inferno: Gay Life and Culture in Germany, 1919-1945. M.A. Thesis, University of San Diego, 2002.

    Steakley, James D. The Homosexual Emancipation Movement in Germany. New York: Arno Press, 1975.

    Herrn, Rainer and Christian N. Page. 100 Years of the Gay Rights Movement in Germany. New York: Goethe-Institut New York , 1997.

    The Nazis and their Ideology

    Here we present introductory resources about the main figures on the Nazi party, the reasons for their interest on homosexuals and their extermination.

    Elman, R.A. "Triangles and Tribulations: The Politics of Nazi Symbols." Journal of Homosexuality 30:3 (1996), 1-11.

    Fest, Joachim C. The Face of the Third Reich: Portraits of the Nazi Leadership. New York: Pantheon Books, 1970.

    Gallo, Max. The Night of the Long Knives. New York: Harper and Row, 1972.

    Giles, Geoffrey J. "The most unkindest cut of all: castration, homosexuality, and Nazi justice." Journal of Contemporary History 27:1 (1992): 41-61.

    _____. Why Bother About Homosexuals? : Homophobia and Sexual Politics in Nazi Germany. Washington, D.C.: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2001.

    _____. "The denial of homosexuality: same-sex incidents in Himmler’s SS and police." Journal of the History of Sexuality, 11:1-2 (2002): 256-290.

    Haeberle, Erwin J. "'Stigmata of Degeneration' Prison Markings in Nazi Concentration Camps". Journal of Homosexuality 6:1-2 (1980-81): 135-39.

    _____. "Swastika, Pink Triangle and Yellow Star: The Destruction of Sexology and the Persecution of Homosexuals in Nazi Germany." Journal of Sex Research 17:3 (1981): 270-87.

    Grau, Günter. "Final Solution of the Homosexual Question? The Antihomosexual Policies of the Nazis and the Social Consequences for Homosexual Men." In The Holocaust and History: The Known, the Unknown, the Disputed, and the Reexamined, edited by Michael Berenbaum and Abraham J. Peck, 338-344. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998.

    Hancock, Eleanor. "Only the real, the true, the masculine held its value: Ernst Röhm, masculinity, and male homosexuality." Journal of the History of Sexuality 1998 8(4):616-641.

    Heineman, Elizabeth D. "Sexuality and Nazism: The Doubly Unspeakable?." Journal of the History of Sexuality 11:1-2 (2002): 22-68.

    Herzog, Dagmar. "Hubris and Hypocrisy, Incitement and Disavowal: Sexuality and German Fascism." Journal of the History of Sexuality 11:1-2 (2002): 3-21.

    Kersten, Felix. "Homosexuals." In The Kersten Memoirs, 1940-1945. New York: MacMillan Company, 1957.

    Koch, H.W. The Hitler Youth: Origins and Development, 1922-1945. New York: Stein and Day, 1976.

    Micheler, Stefan. "Homophobic Propaganda and the Denunciation of Same-Sex-Desiring Men under National Socialism." Journal of the History of Sexuality 11:1-2(2002): 95-130.

    Mosse, George L. Toward the Final Solution. New York: Howard Fertig, 1978.

    Reitlinger, Gerald. The SS: Alibi of a Nation 1922-45. New York: Viking, 1968.

    Rowse, A.L. "From Ludwig II to Rohm". In Homosexuals in History. New York: MacMillan, 1977.

    The Gay Holocaust

    These resources cover several aspects of the Gay Holocaust: situation at the concentration camps, relations with other persecuted groups, the resistance, theoretical works about the Holocaust itself and the persecution of homosexuals.

    Adams, Barry D. The Survival of Domination. New York: Elsevier, 1978.

    Altman, Linda Jacobs. The Forgotten Victims of the Holocaust. The Holocaust in History. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow, 2003.

    Berembaum, Michael, ed. A mosaic of victims: non-Jews persecuted and murdered by the Nazis. New York: New York University Press, 1990.

    Blumenfeld, Warren J. "History/Hysteria: Parallel Representations of Jews and Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals." In Queer Studies: A Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trasgender Anthology,

    edited by Brett Beemyn and Mickey Eliason, 146-162. New York: New York University Press, 1996.

    Clark, J. Michael. Pink Triangles and Gay Images. Arlington, Texas: Liberal Arts Press, 1987.

    Crompton, Louis. "Gay Genocide from Leviticus to Hitler." In The Gay Academic edited by Louie Crewe. Palm Springs, CA: ETC Publications, 1978.

    Drane, David Scott. The "Other Holocaust": The Persecution of Homosexuals in Nazi Germany. Honor’s diss., Bowdoin College, 1989.

    Dynes, Wayne R. Encyclopedia of Homosexuality. New York: Garland Publishing, 1990 s.v. "Pink Triangle," by.

    _____. Encyclopedia of Homosexuality. New York: Garland Publishing, 1990 s.v. "Holocaust, Gay," by Warren Johansson and William A.Percy.

    Feig, Konnilyn. Hitler's Death Camps. New York: Holmes & Meier, 1981.

    _____. "Non-Jewish Victims in the Concentration Camps." In Confronting the Nazi Past: New Debates on the Modern Germany History, edited by Michael Burleigh. London: Collins and Brown, 1996.

    Friedlander, Saul. Nazi Germany and the Jews. Vol.1, The years of Persecution, 1933-1939. New York: HarperCollins, 1997.

    Friedman, Ina R. The Other Victims : First-Person Stories of Non-Jews Persecuted by the Nazis. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1990.

    Gottfried, Ted. Martyrs to Madness : The Victims of the Holocaust. Brookfield, Conn.: Twenty-First Century Books, 2000.

    Grau, Günter, Claudia Schoppmann, and Patrick Camiller. Hidden Holocaust? : Gay and Lesbian Persecution in Germany, 1933-45. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1995.

    Gutman, Israel, ed. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. New York: MacMillan, 1990 s.v. "Homosexuality in the Third Reich," by Shaul, Elisheva.

    Hackett, David A., ed. The Buchenwald Report. Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1995.

    Jensen, Erik N. "The pink triangle and political consciousness: gays, lesbians, and the memory of Nazi persecution." Journal of the History of Sexuality 11:1-2(2002): 319-349.

    Laska, Vera, ed. Women in Resistance and the Holocaust. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1977.

    Lautmann, Rudiger. "The Pink Triangle: Homosexuals as 'Enemies of the State.'" In The Holocaust and History: The Known, the Unknown, the Disputed, and the Reexamined, edited by Michael Berenbaum and Abraham J. Peck, 345-357. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998.

    _____. "Gay Prisoners in Concentration Camps Compared with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Political Criminals." In A Mosaic of Victims: Non- Jews Persecuted and Murdered by the Nazis,

    edited by Michael Berembaum. New York: University Press, 1990.

    _____. "The Pink Triangle: The Persecution of Homosexual Males in Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany." Journal of Homosexuality 6:1-2 (1980):141-160.

    Lenz, Reimar. The Wholesale Murder of Homosexuals in the Third Reich. Los Angeles: Urania Manuscripts, 1979.

    Nash, Paul J., and Michael A. Lombardi. The Gay Holocaust: The Dutch and German Experience: The Writings of Reimar Lenz, Ron Tielman, and Adriaan Venema. Jacksonville, Fla.: Urania Manuscripts, 1979.

    Percy, William. "Anti-Semitism and Homophobia Linked in Discussion of Holocaust Victims Memorial". Gay Community News, 8-14 March, 8-9.

    Plant, Richard. The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals. New York: New Republic/Holt, 1986. One of the best books on the subject, it also has an extremely useful bibliography.

    Porter, Jack Nusan, and Erwin J. Haeberle. Sexual Politics in the Third Reich : The Persecution of the Homosexuals During the Holocaust : Essays, Biographies, Bibliographies, Photos, and Charts on Sexology, Homosexuality, Nazism, and Magnus Hirschfeld Plus Essays by Dr. Erwin J. Haeberle on the History of Sexology. 3rd , rev. and enl. ed. Newton, MA: Spencer Press, 2003.

    Raphael, Lev. Journeys & Arrivals : On Being Gay and Jewish. Boston: Faber and Faber, 1996.

    Rector, Frank. The Nazi Extermination of Homosexuals. New York: Stein and Day, 1981.

    Steakley, James D. "Anniversary of a Book Burning". The Advocate, 9 June 1983, 18-19,57.

    _____. "Homosexuals and the Third Reich." In Flaunting It: A Decade of Gay Journalism from the Body Politic, edited by Ed Jackson and Stan Persky, 84-90. Vancouver : New Star Books; Toronto : Pink Triangle Press, 1982.

    Stumke, Hans-Georg. "The Persecution of Homosexuals in Nazi Germany." In Confronting the Nazi Past: New Debates on the Modern Germany History, edited by Michael Burleigh. London: Collins and Brown, 1996.

    Teilman, Rob. The Persecution of Homosexuals in the Netherlands During the Second World War. Los Angeles, CA: Urania Manuscripts, 1979.

    Venema, Adriaan. The Persecution of Homosexuals by the Nazis. Los Angeles, CA: Urania Manuscripts, 1979.

    Wood, Robin. "Gays and the Holocaust : two documentaries." In Image and Remembrance : Representation and the Holocaust, edited by Shelley Hornstein and Florence Jacobowitz.. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003.

    Woods, Gregory. "The Pink Triangle." In A History of Gay Literature: The Male Tradition. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998.

    Wytwycky, Bohdan. The Other Holocaust: Many Circles of Hell: A Brief Account of 9-10 Million Persons Who Died with the 6 Million Jews Under Nazi Fascism. Washington, D.C.: Novak Report on the New Ethnicity, 1980.

    Young, Ian. Gay Resistance: Homosexuals in the Anti-Nazi Underground. Toronto: Stubblejumper Press, 1985.

    Zoe, Lucinda. "The Black Triangle." Lesbian Herstory Archives Newsletter, June 1991.


    This section is dedicated to published memoirs of gay citizens or prisoners under the Nazi Government. Please, remember that for more information on survivors you can always consult the web pages of The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and The Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation.

    Beck, Gad. An Underground Life: Memoirs of a Gay Jew in Nazi Berlin. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1999.

    Fischer, Erica. Aimee & Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.

    Heger, Heinz. The Men with the Pink Triangle. Boston: Alyson Publications, 1980.

    Isherwood, Christopher. Christopher and his Kind. New York: North Point Press, 1996.

    Ka-Tzetnik 135633. Atrocity. New York: Lyle Stuart, 1963.

    Lemke, Jürgen. "Erich and Karl." In Gay Voices from East Germany, edited by John Borneman, 11-36. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991.

    Schoppmann, Claudia. Days of Masquerade: Life Stories of Lesbians During the Third Reich. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996.

    Seel, Pierre. I, Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual: A Memoir of Nazi Terror. New York: Basic Books, 1995.

    Von Mahlsdorf, Charlotte. I Am My Own Woman: The Outlaw Life of Charlotte Von Mahlsdorf, Berlin’s Most Distinguished Transvestite. San Francisco: Cleis Press, 1995.


    This term is used to describe the works that revise some aspects of the history as we know. In our case, it is the existence of the Gay Holocaust. Although there are not many serious research works, we think they should be mentioned. We also offer some resources that contradict the statements on the revisionist works.

    Igra, Samuel. Germany’s National Vice. London: Quality Press, Ltd., 1945.

    International Committee for the Holocaust Truth. 1996 Reports. Vol. 1-3. Salem, Ore: s.n., 1996.

    Lively, Scott. The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party. Keizer, Ore.: Founders Publishing Corp., 1995. (6th December 2003).

    Narett, Eugene. "The Hidden History of Nazism." The Wanderer, 8 August 1996.

    Criticizing: The Revisionist Position

    Johnson, Hans. "The ‘Pink Nazis’." The Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review 2:3 (1995): 49-50.

    Citizens Allied for Civic Action. The Annotated Pink Swastika. (6th December 2003).


    These resources are fiction works that are placed during the II World War, and have gays as main characters.

    Dijk, Lutz van. Damned Strong Love: The True Story of Willi G. and Stefan K.: A Novel. New York: Holt, 1995. (PT 2664 .I48 V4713 1995).

    Reed, Lannon D. Behold a Pale Horse: A Novel of Homosexuals in the Nazi Holocaust. San Francisco: Gay Sunshine Press, 1985.

    Reinhart, Robert C. Walk the Night: A Novel of Gays in the Holocaust. Boston: Alyson Publications, 1994.

    Sherman, Martin. Bent. New York: S. French, 1979.

    Silva, Linda Kay. Tory's Tuesday. San Diego: Paradigm Publishers, 1992.

    Visual Materials

    Here you will find movies and documentaries that explain or describe the situation of gays in Germany during the Nazi government.

    Clay, Catrine. Love Story: Berlin 1942. VHS. New York: Women Make Movies, 1997.

    Dobbs, Rebecca. Desire: Sexuality in Germany 1910-1945. VHS. New York: Water Bearer Films, [1992].

    Epstein, Rob, and Jeffrey Friedman. Paragraph 175. DVD. New York: New Yorker Films, 2002.

    Farberbock, Max. Aimee and Jaguar. DVD. New York, NY?: Zeitgeist Video, 2001, 1999.

    Mathias, Sean. Bent. DVD. New York: MGM Home Entertainment, 2003.

    Electronic Resources

    Dunlap, David W. Personalizing Nazis' Homosexual Victims, 2nd August 1999, (6th December 2003).

    Halsall, Paul. "Europe Since World War I". People with a History: An Online Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans* History. (6th December 2003).

    International Homosexual Web Organization. The Hunt for the Nazi Concentration Camp Doctor Carl Vaernet. (6th December 2003).

    Johansson, Warren, and William A. Percy. "Homosexuals in Nazi Germany." Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual 7 (1984): 225-263. (6th December 2003).

    Koskovich, Gerard. The Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals: an Annotated Bibliography of Nonfiction Sources in English, 3 August 2000. (6th December 2003).

    Safier, Scott. The History of the Gay Male and Lesbian Experience during World War II. (6th December 2003).

    Shoah Visual History Foundation. (6th December 2003).

    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Nazi Persecution of the Homosexuals. (6th December 2003).

    ___. Do You Remember When. Online Exhibition. (6th December 2003).

    Paragraph 175: Outreach Program. (6th December 2003).