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The Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945
a traveling exhibit from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum
February 12 - April 7, 2017 - UNCA Ramsey Library
Your Resource For Asheville & WNC LGBTQ Community
Dates: February 12- April 7, 2017
Place: Ramsey Library, UNCA Campus
Hours: Regular library hours 7:45 - 1:00 AM
Docent-ed Tour Hours: Contact 828-232-5024
No Charge to the Public
The Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945," will have it's North Carolina Debut hosted by UNCA through the Center for Diversity Education.
The exhibit will feature docent-ed tours for students and community members and will include speakers and films as part of the programming. It explores the rationale, means, and impact of the Nazi regime’s persecution of homosexuals, which left thousands dead and shattered the lives of many more. There is no charge thanks to the many sponsors helping to bring this to Asheville.
Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals
(a brief background to understand the exhibit more)
In the 1920's through1932, Weimar Germany was a liberal bastion and Berlin was the most gay friendly capital in the western world.There was an anti sodomy law against homosexuals enacted in Germany in 1871; however, until the Nazi rule, this provision was seldom used.
In 1934, a special Gestapo (Secret State Police) division on homosexuals was set up. One of its first acts was to order the police "pink lists" from all over Germany.
On September 1, 1935, a harsher, amended version of Paragraph 175 of the Criminal Code, originally framed in 1871, went into effect, punishing homosexual behavior between men. In 1936,
Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler created a Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality: Special Office (II S), a sub-department of Executive Department II of the Gestapo. Heinrich Himmler became obsessed with the idea that homosexuality was an infectious disease, endangering Hitler’s program to increase the master race.
Under the revised Paragraph 175 and the creation of Special Office IIS, the number of prosecutions increased sharply, peaking in the years 1937-1939. Half of all convictions for homosexual activity under the Nazi regime occurred during these years. The police stepped up raids on homosexual meeting places, seized address books of arrested men to find additional suspects, and created networks of informers to compile lists of names and make arrests.
An estimated 1.2 million men were homosexuals in Germany in 1928. Between 1933-45, an estimated 100,000 men were arrested as homosexuals in Germany, and of these, some 50,000 officially defined homosexuals were sentenced. As the Nazis rounded up all those who didn’t fit their master race, gay men too were ferried into the harbors of death: concentration camps – some 15,000 labelled with pink triangles and sent to their likely end.
Though they were small in number compared to other persecuted groups, a special barbarity was reserved for the pink triangles. Beatings, “extermination through labor” in the work quarries and cases of forced castration.
They also suffered the homophobia of fellow inmates.
How many of these 15,000 "175ers" perished in the concentration camps will probably never be known. It is believed that over 60% of those died. These are
only figures from Germany, it is not known how many more thousands were sent
to their deaths from other countries occupied by Germany during the war years.
After the war, homosexual concentration camp prisoners were not acknowledged as victims of Nazi persecution, and reparations were refused. And under the Allied Military Government of Germany, many homosexuals were forced to serve out their terms of imprisonment, regardless of the time spent in concentration camps. The 1935 version of Paragraph 175 remained in effect in the Federal Republic (West Germany) until 1969.
Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-45 Exhibit Programming:
Exhibit Open to Public - February 12 to April 7, 2017
February 16, Thursday – Special Reception and Keynote Address
Reception: Ramsey Library Time: 5:30 PM
Keynote Address – Humanities Lecture Hall Time 7:00 PM
Dr. Erik Jensen, Associate Professor of History at Miami Univ.
“The Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals and its Postwar Legacy”
Asheville's Gay Men's Chorus-Cantaria will also preform selections.
February 23, Thursday – Movie Paragraph 175
Screening: Fine Arts Theatre on Biltmore Avenue
Time: 7:00 Pm. Donation accepted benefit The center for Diversity Education To find out more about the film go to Theater
The exhibit will feature docent-ed tours for students and community members and will include speakers and films as part of the programming. It explores the rationale, means, and impact of the Nazi regime’s persecution of homosexuals, which left thousands dead and shattered the lives of many more.