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Gay in the third empire from 1933 to 1945

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Hitler's dictatorship marks one of the darkest chapters in the German history. It is distinguished the systematic repeal of democratic and personal rights, the pursuit of minorities (most prominently the Nazi genocide of the Jews) and anyone who stood to oppose the Nazi regime.

Homosexuals also fell victim to the Nazi persecution, most of which was being carried out under the protection of the law.  Laws under the umbrella of " Prevention of Hereditary-diseased Offspring”, were quickly followed by The addition of more restrictions to code §175 was quickly followed by laws under the umbrella of " Prevention of Hereditary-diseased Offspring” which, for example, eventually ed to the legal castration of anyone that was deemed conspicuously homosexual. In 1940, many homosexuals saw castration as the only possibility of remaining “free”; otherwise, many gay men and women were threatened by being taken into “protective custody.”

Ironically, some of the Nazi leaders closest to Hitler were homosexual: Ernst Röhm, head of the SA, is one of the most well-known examples. Hitler used the fact that Röhm was homosexual to his advantage by blackmailing the SA so that they would help him politically.  In turn the NSDAP was free of any allegations concerning homosexuality.


Decree of the Prussian Ministry " Inns that render homage to unnatural fornication are to be closed down.”


Adolf Brand's publishing company is searched and material is confiscated. On 29.11.1933 Brand announces that his publishing company is to be shut down.


The sexual-scientific institute is destroyed by NS student and SA members; as well as it’s books being burned


The WhK (the committee established by Magnus Hirschfeld) is dissolved.


KPD (Communist Party of Germany) accuses Röhm of relations with Marinus van der Lubbe


Reporter Maxim Gorki suggests in the newspaper The Prawda that Fascism could be exterminated by the extermination of homosexuals.


Röhm is arrested and executed due to an alleged coup d´etat attempt and on allegations of homosexuality; Hitler had known Röhm´s sexual preference since 1931.


The Gestapo (Berlin Sector II, Special Force 1) compile lists of openly-gay people, the main focus being politically important personalities.  Many homosexual men and women within the NSDAP are registered by the police.


Homosexual religious leaders and members are arrested by the Nazis, the real reason being the lack of support by the Church for the Nazi cause. The Church, however, does not supported the accused parties. In 1934, the magistrate recommends the dismissal of "suspicious" friars.


Heinrich Himmler allows gay and lesbian pubs to be opened during the summer Olympics in Berlin; furthermore, he forbids anyone supposed to be homosexual to be interrogated or summoned to court.


Foundation of the "Reichszentrale zur Bekämpfung der Homosexualität und der Abtreibung"  (Imperial Headquarter to fight Homosexuality and Abortion)


Himmler expresses to the public that the epidemic of homosexuality has a detrimental effect on the German people.


Another decree from Himmler orders that all homosexual who "have enticed" more than one partner, to be detained after their dismissal as a preventive action, the only exception being  "emasculated homosexuals.”


Hitler orders the capital punishment as punishment for homosexual men and women who are a member of the HJ, SS or the police.

Page translated into English by Latané

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