The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party
By Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams
Documents the homosexual and occultic roots of the Nazi movement in Germany. Much has been written about Nazi persecution of homosexuals. Yet, many Nazis were homosexuals themselves, and the so-called persecution was merely one faction using the state to suppress the other faction or was unrelated to their being homosexual.
Homosexuality and the Nazi Party
by Scott Lively
Scott Lively is co-author of The Pink Swastika: Homosexuals and the Nazi Party (Keizer, Oregon: Founders Publishing Company, 1995).
The pink triangle, symbol of the "gay rights" movement, is familiar to many Americans. As the badge used by the Nazis to designate homosexuals in the concentration camps, the pink triangle perfectly expresses the message of "gay rights." That message is that homosexuals are currently and historically victims of irrational prejudice and that those who oppose homosexuality are hateful bigots. This all-important victim status engenders sympathy for the homosexual "cause" among well-meaning heterosexuals. Thus, millions of otherwise rational Americans support a movement whose sole unifying characteristic is a sexual lifestyle they personally find repugnant.
When homosexuals display the pink triangle, they are equating all opposition to homosexuality with Nazism and themselves with the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. As pro-homosexual Rabbi Bernard Mehlman puts it, "Homophobia and Anti-Semitism are part of the same disease." This quote appeared in an advertisement in a homosexual newspaper. It announced the dedication ceremony of the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston last year. An accompanying article reported that New England homosexuals had pledged $1 million to help build the memorial, including $50,000 for an initial monument consisting of six steel and glass towers. Alongside the monument is an inscription honoring homosexual victims of the Nazis. Another Holocaust memorial being prepared in New York City is expected to similarly honor homosexuals. Washington, D.C. is home to the official U.S. Holocaust Museum which not only maintains a pro-homosexual display, but also employs noted homosexual activist Klaus Mueller as a staff researcher. Other Holocaust related projects, such as the Anne Frank Exhibit now touring the United States, incorporate a similar message in their programs.
While some homosexuals were interned in Nazi work camps, the role of homosexuals in Nazi history cannot be accurately represented solely by a pink triangle. Our review of more than 200 history texts written since the 1930s suggests that a pink swastika is equally representative, if not more so. For, ironically, while many homosexuals were persecuted by the Nazi party, there is no doubt that the Nazi party itself had many homosexuals within its own ranks, even among its highest leadership.
The Homosexual Roots of the Nazi Party
The "gay rights" movement often portrays itself as an American phenomenon which arose from the civil rights movement of the 1950s. It is not uncommon to hear homosexualists (those both "gay" and "straight" who promote the legitimization of homosexuality) characterize "gay rights" as the natural third wave of civil rights activism (following blacks and women). In reality, however, Germany was the birthplace of "gay rights," and its legacy in that nation is truly alarming.
The "grandfather of gay rights" was a homosexual German lawyer named Karl Heinrich Ulrichs. Ulrichs had been molested at age 14 by his male riding instructor. Instead of attributing his adult homosexuality to the molestation, however, Ulrich devised in the 1860s what became known as the "third sex" theory of homosexuality. Ulrichs' model holds that male homosexuals are actually female souls trapped within male bodies. The reverse phenomenon supposedly explains lesbianism. Since homosexuality was an innate condition, reasoned Ulrichs, homosexual behavior should be decriminalized. An early follower of Ulrichs coined the term "homosexual" in an open letter to the Prussian Minister of Justice in 1869.
By the time Ulrichs died in 1895, the "gay rights" movement in Germany had gained considerable strength. Frederich Engels noted this in a letter to Karl Marx regarding Ulrich's efforts: "The pederasts start counting their numbers and discover they are a powerful group in our state. The only thing missing is an organization, but it seems to exist already, but it is hidden." After Ulrichs' death, the movement split into two separate and opposed factions. One faction followed Ulrichs' successor, Magnus Hirschfeld, who formed the Scientific Humanitarian Committee in 1897 and later opened the Institute for Sex Research in Berlin. The other faction was organized by Adolf Brand, publisher of the first homosexual magazine, Der Eigene (The Special). Brand, Benedict Friedlander and Wilhelm Janzen formed the Gemeinschaft der Eigenen (The Community of the Special) in 1902. What divided these groups was their concepts of masculinity. Ulrichs' theory embraced a feminine identity. His, and later Hirschfeld's, followers literally believed they were women trapped in men's bodies.
The followers of Brand, however, were deeply insulted by Ulrichs' theory. They perceived themselves not merely as masculine, but as a breed of men superior in masculine qualities even to heterosexuals. The Community of the Special (CS) asserted that male homosexuality was the foundation of all nation-states and that male homosexuals represented an elite strata of human society. The CS fashioned itself as a modern incarnation of the warrior cults of ancient Greece. Modeling themselves after the military heroes of Sparta, Thebes and Crete, the members of the CS were ultra-masculine, male-supremacist and pederastic (devoted to man/boy sex). Brand said in Der Eigene that he wanted men who "thirst for a revival of Greek times and Hellenic standards of beauty after centuries of Christian barbarism."
One of the keys to understanding both the rise of Nazism and the later persecution of some homosexuals by the Nazis is found in this early history of the German "gay rights" movement. For it was the CS which created and shaped what would become the Nazi persona, and it was the loathing which these "Butches" held for effeminate homosexuals ("Femmes") which led to the internment of some of the latter in slave labor camps in the Third Reich.
From Boy Scouts to Brownshirts
The "Butch" homosexuals of the CS transformed Germany. Their primary vehicle was the German youth movement, known as the Wandervogel (Rovers or Wandering Youth). "In Central Europe," writes homosexual historian Parker Rossman, "there was another effort to revive the Greek ideal of pedagogic pederasty in the movement of 'Wandering Youth'... Ultimately, Hitler used and transformed the movement...expanding and building upon its romanticism as a basis for the Nazi Party" (Rossman:103).
Rising spontaneously in the 1890s as an informal hiking and camping society, the Wandervogel became an official organization at the turn of the century, similar to the Boy Scouts. From early on, however, the Wandervogel was dominated and controlled by the pederasts of the CS. CS co-founder Wilhelm Janzen was its chief benefactor, and its leadership was rife with homosexuality. In 1912, CS theorist Hans Blueher wrote The German Wandervogel Movement as an Erotic Phenomenon which told how the organization was used to recruit young boys into homosexuality.
Wandervogel youths were indoctrinated with Greek paganism and taught to reject the Christian values of their parents (mostly Catholics and Lutherans). The CS belief in a homosexual elite took shape within the Wandervogel in the concept of "der Fuehrer" (The Leader). E.Y. Hartshorne, in German Youth and the Nazi Dream of Victory, records the recollections of a former Wandervogel member in this regard: "We little suspected then what power we had in our hands. We played with the fire that had set a world in flames, and it made our hearts hot...It was in our ranks that the word Fuehrer originated, with its meaning of blind obedience and devotion...And I shall never forget how in those early days we pronounced the word Gemeinschaft ["community"] with a trembling throaty note of excitement, as though it hid a deep secret" (Hartshorne:12). Louis Snyder notes in the Encyclopedia of the Third Reich that, "The Fuehrer Principle became identical with the elite principle. The Fuehrer elite were regarded as independent of the will of the masses" (Snyder:104). Snyder was not writing about the Gemeinschaft der Eigenen or of the Wandervogel, but of the upper ranks of the Nazi party some thirty years later. Another Nazi custom from the Wandervogel was the "Seig Heil" salute, which was an early form of greeting popular among the wandering youth. During World War I, the greatest hero of the German youth movement was Gerhard Rossbach. Described by historian Robert G. L. Waite as a "sadist, murderer and homosexual," Rossbach was "the most important single contributor of the pre-Hitler youth movement" (Waite,1969:210). More importantly, Rossbach was the bridge between the Wandervogel and the Nazi Party.
In the turbulent days following Germany's defeat in World War I, Gerhard Rossbach was one of many former army officers placed in command of Freikorps (Free Corps) units. These unofficial auxilary military units were designed to circumvent limitations imposed on German troop strength by the Allies. Rossbach organized a Freikorps called Rossbach's Sturmabteilung (Rossbach's Storm Troopers). Rossbach also built the largest post-war youth organization in Germany, named the Schilljugend (Schill Youth) in honor of a famous Prussian soldier. In The Black Corps, historian Robert Lewis Koehl notes that both Rossbach's Storm Troopers and the Schilljugend "were notorious for wearing brown shirts which had been prepared for German colonial troops, acquired from the old Imperial army stores" (Koehl:19). These Storm Troopers would soon become known as Nazi Brownshirts. Konrad Heiden, a contemporary of Hitler and a leading authority on Nazi history, wrote that the Freikorps "were breeding places of perversion" and that "Rossbach's troop...was especially proud" of being homosexual (Heiden:295). Rossbach's adjutant was Edmund Heines, noted for his ability to procure boys for sexual orgies. Ernst Roehm, recruited by Rossbach into homosexuality, later commanded the Storm Troopers for the Nazis, where they were more commonly known as the SA (an acronym for Sturmabteilung).
The Power Behind the Throne
While Adolf Hitler is today recognized as the central figure of Nazism, he was a less important player when the Nazi machine was first assembled. Its first leader was Ernst Roehm. Homosexual historian Frank Rector writes that "Hitler was, to a substantial extent, Roehm's protegé" (Rector:80). Roehm had been a captain in the German army. Hitler had been a mere corporal. After World War I, Roehm was highly placed in the underground nationalist movement that plotted to overthrow the Weimar government and worked to subvert it through assassinations and terrorism. In The Order of the Death's Head, author Heinz Hohne writes that Roehm met Hitler at a meeting of a socialist terrorist group called the Iron Fist and "saw in Hitler the demagogue he required to mobilize mass support for his secret army" (Hohne:20). Roehm, who had joined the German Worker's Party before Hitler, worked with him to take over the fledgling organization. With Roehm's backing, Hitler became the first president of the party in 1921 (ibid.:21) and changed its name to the National Socialist German Worker's Party. Soon after, Rossbach's Storm Troopers, the SA, became its military arm. In his classic Nazi history, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, author William Shirer describes Roehm as "a stocky, bull-necked, piggish-eyed, scar- faced professional soldier...[and] like so many of the early Nazis, a homosexual" (Shirer:64). Rector writes:
Was not the most outstanding, most notorious, of all homosexuals the celebrated Nazi leader Ernst Ro[e]hm, the virile and manly chief of the SA, the du buddy of Adolf Hitler from the beginning of his political career? Hitler's rise had in fact depended upon Ro[e]hm and everyone knew it. Ro[e]hm's gay fun and games were certainly no secret; his amorous forays to gay bars and gay Turkish baths were riotous. Whatever anti-homosexual sentiments may have been expressed by straight Nazis were more than offset by the reality of highly visible, spectacular, gay-loving Ro[e]hm. If there were occasional ominous rumblings and grumblings about "all those queers" in the SA and Movement, and some anti-gay flare-ups, homosexual Nazis felt more-or-less secure in the lap of the Party. After all, the National Socialist Party member who wielded the greatest power aside from Hitler was Ro[e]hm (Rector:50f).
Betraying his roots in the "Butch" faction of the German "gay rights" movement, Roehm viewed homosexuality as the basis for a new society. Louis Snyder writes that Roehm "projected a social order in which homosexuality would be regarded as a human behavior pattern of high repute...he flaunted his homosexuality in public and insisted that his cronies do the same. What was needed, Roehm believed, was a proud and arrogant lot who could brawl, carouse, smash windows, kill and slaughter for the hell of it. Straights, in his eyes, were not as adept in such behavior as practicing homosexuals" (Snyder:55). "The principle function of this army-like organization," writes historian Thomas Fuchs, "was beating up anyone who opposed the Nazis, and Hitler believed this was a job best undertaken by homosexuals" (Fuchs:48f).
The favorite meeting place of the SA was a "gay" bar in Munich called the Bratwurstglockl where Roehm kept a reserved table (Hohne:82). This was the same tavern where some of the earliest formative meetings of the Nazi Party had been held (Rector:69). At the Bratwurstglockl, Roehm and associates-Edmund Heines, Karl Ernst, Ernst's partner Captain Rohrbein, Captain Petersdorf, Count Ernst Helldorf and the rest-would meet to plan and strategize. These were the men who orchestrated the Nazi campaign of intimidation and terror. All of them were homosexual (Heiden:371).
Indeed, homosexuality was all that qualified many of these men for their positions in the SA. Heinrich Himmler would later complain of this: "Does it not constitute a danger to the Nazi movement if it can be said that Nazi leaders are chosen for sexual reasons?" (Gallo:57). Himmler was not so much opposed to homosexuality itself as to the fact that non- qualified people were given high rank based on their homosexual relations with Roehm and others. For example, SA Obergruppenfuhrer (Lieutenant General) Karl Ernst, a militant homosexual, had been a hotel doorman and a waiter before joining the SA. "Karl Ernst is not yet 35," writes Gallo, "he commands 250,000 men...he is simply a sadist, a common thug, transformed into a responsible official" (ibid.:50f).
This strange brand of nepotism was a hallmark of the SA. By 1933 the SA had grown far larger than the German army, yet the Vikingkorps (Officers' Corps) remained almost exclusively homosexual. "Roehm, as the head of 2,500,000 Storm Troops," writes historian H.R. Knickerbocker, "had surrounded himself with a staff of perverts. His chiefs, men of rank of Gruppenfuhrer or Obergruppenfuhrer, commanding units of several hundred thousand Storm Troopers, were almost without exception homosexuals. Indeed, unless a Storm Troop officer were homosexual he had no chance of advancement" (Knickerbocker:55).
In the SA, the Community of the Special's Hellenic ideal of masculine homosexual supremacy and militarism was fully realized. "Theirs was a very masculine brand of homosexuality," writes homosexualist historian Alfred Rowse, "they lived in a male world, without women, a world of camps and marching, rallies and sports. They had their own relaxations, and the Munich SA became notorious on account of them" (Rowse:214). The similarity of the SA to Freidlander and Brand's dream of Hellenic revival is not coincidental. In Gay American History, Jonathan Katz writes that Roehm was a prominent member of the Society for Human Rights (SHR), an offshoot of the CS (J.Katz:632).
The "relaxations" to which Rowse refers were, of course, the homosexual activities (many of them pederastic) for which the SA and the CS were both famous. Hohne writes that Roehm "used the SA for ends other than the purely political...Peter Granninger, who had been one of Roehm's partners...and was now given cover in the SA Intelligence Section. For a monthly salary of 200 marks he kept Roehm supplied with new friends, his main hunting ground being Geisela High School Munich; from this school he recruited no fewer than eleven boys, whom he first tried out and then took to Roehm" (Hohne:82).
Hitler's "Gay" Roots
In 1945 a Jewish historian by the name of Samuel Igra published Germany's National Vice, which called homosexuality the "poisoned stream" that ran through the heart of Nazism. (In the 1920s and 30s, homosexuality was known as "the German vice" across Europe because of the debaucheries of the Weimar period.) Igra, who escaped Germany in 1939, claims that Hitler "had been a male prostitute in Vienna at the time of his sojourn there, from 1907 to 1912, and that he practiced the same calling in Munich from 1912 to 1914" (Igra:67). Desmond Seward, in Napoleon and Hitler, says Hitler is listed as a homosexual in Viennese police records (Seward:299). Lending credence to this is the fact, noted by Walter Langer, that during several of those years Hitler "chose to live in a Vienna flophouse known to be inhabited by many homosexuals" (Langer:192). Rector writes that, as a young man, Hitler was often called "der Schoen Adolf" (the handsome Adolf) and that later his looks "were also to some extent helpful in gaining big-money support from Ernst Ro[e]hm's circle of wealthy gay friends" (Rector:52).
Langer, a psychiatrist, was commissioned by the Allies in 1943 to prepare a thorough psychological study of Hitler. His report, kept under wraps for 29 years, was published in book form in 1972 as The Mind of Adolf Hitler. Langer writes that Hitler was certainly a coprophile (a person who is sexually aroused by human excrement) and may have practiced homosexuality as an adult. He cites the testimony of Hermann Rauschning, a former Hitler confidante who "reports that he has met two boys who claimed that they were Hitler's homosexual partners, but their testimony can hardly be taken at face value. More condemning," adds Langer, "would be the remarks dropped by [Albert] Foerster, the Danzig gauleiter, in conversation with Rauschning. Even here, however, the remarks deal only with Hitler's impotence as far as heterosexual relationships go, without actually implying that he indulges in homosexuality. It is probably true that Hitler calls Foerster 'Bubi,' which is a common nickname employed by homosexuals in addressing their partners. This alone is not adequate proof that he has actually indulged in homosexual practices with Foerster, who is known to be a homosexual" (Langer:178). However, writes Langer, "Even today, Hitler derives sexual pleasure from looking at men's bodies and associating with homosexuals" (Langer:179). Too, Hitler's greatest hero was Frederick the Great, a well-known homosexual (Garde:44).
Like Langer, Waite also hesitates to label Hitler a homosexual but cites substantial circumstantial evidence that he was.
It is true that Hitler was closely associated with Ernst Ro[e]hm and Rudolf Hess, two homosexuals who were among the very few people with whom he used the familiar du. But one cannot conclude that he therefore shared his friend's sexual tastes. Still, during the months he was with Hess in Landsberg, their relationship must have become very close. When Hitler left the prison he fretted about his friend who languished there, and spoke of him tenderly, using Austrian diminutives: 'Ach mein Rudy, mein Hesserl, isn't it appalling to think that he's still there.' One of Hitler's valets, Schneider, made no explicit statement about the relationship, but he did find it strange that whenever Hitler got a present he liked or drew an architectural sketch that particularly pleased him, he would run to Hess- who was known in homosexual circles as "Fraulein Anna"-as a little boy would run to his mother to show his prize to her...Finally there is the nonconclusive but interesting fact that one of Hitler's prized possessions was a handwritten love letter which King Ludwig II had written to a manservant" (Waite, 1977:283f).
Hitler, if homosexual, was certainly not exclusively so. There are at least four women, including his own niece, with whom Hitler had sexual relationships, although these relationships were not normal. Both Waite and Langer suggest that his sexual encounters with women included expressions of his coprophilic perversion as well as other extremely degrading forms of masochism. It is interesting to note that all four women attempted suicide after becoming sexually involved with Hitler. Two succeeded (Langer:175f).
The Homoerotic Brotherhood
Whether or not Hitler was personally involved in homosexual relationships, the evidence is clear that he knowingly and intentionally surrounded himself with practicing homosexuals from his youth. Like Roehm, Hitler seemed to prefer homosexual companions and co-workers. In addition to Roehm and Hess, two of his closest friends, Hitler filled key positions with known or suspected homosexuals. Rector, himself a "gay Holocaust" revisionist, attempts to dismiss sources that attribute homosexuality to leading Nazis, but nevertheless writes that...
Reportedly, Hitler Youth leader, Baldur von Schirach was bisexual; Hitler's private attorney, Reich Legal Director, Minister of Justice, butcher Governor- General of Poland, and public gay-hater Hans Frank was said to be a homosexual; Hitler's adjutant Wilhelm Bruckner was said to be bisexual;...Walter Funk, Reich Minister of Economics [and Hitler's personal financial advisor] has frequently been called a "notorious" homosexual ...or as a jealous predecessor in Funk's post, Hjalmar Schacht, contemptuously claimed, Funk was a "harmless homosexual and alcoholic;" ...[Hitler's second in command] Hermann Goering liked to dress up in drag and wear campy make-up; and so on and so forth (Rector:57).
Igra, who confidently asserts that the above men were homosexuals, cites still other Hitler aides and close friends who were known homosexuals as well. He states that Hitler's chauffeur and one-time personal secretary, Emile Maurice, for example, was homosexual, as well as the pornographer Julius Streicher, who "was originally a school teacher, but was dismissed by the Nuremberg School Authorities, following numerous charges of pederasty brought against him" (Igra:72f). SS Chief Heinrich Himmler's "pederastic proclivities [were] captured on film" by Nazi filmmaker Walter Frenz (Washington City Paper, April 4, 1995). Reinhard Heydrich, mastermind of the first pogrom, Kristallnacht, and of the death camps, was homosexual (Calic:64). In The Twelve Year Reich, Richard Grunberger tells of a party given by Nazi propagandist, Joseph Goebbels, which degenerated into a homosexual orgy (Grunberger:70). A recent biography of Albert Speer by Gitta Sereny speaks of a "homo-erotic (not sexual) relationship" between Speer and Hitler (Newsweek, Oct. 30, 1995). Langer notes that Hitler's personal bodyguards were "almost always 100 percent homosexuals" (Langer:179). Hitler's later public pronouncements against homosexuality never quite fit with the lifelong intimacy-sexual or otherwise-which he maintained with men he knew and accepted as homosexuals.
In light of the above it is not surprising that many of those whose ideas influenced Hitler were also homo-sexual. Chief among those were occultists Jorg Lanz Von Liebenfels and Guido von List. In 1958, Austrian psychologist Wilhelm Daim published Der Mann der Hitler die Ideen gab ("The Man Who Gave Hitler His Ideas") in which he called Lanz the true "father" of National Socialism. Lanz was a former Cistercian monk who had been excommunicated for homosexuality (Sklar:19). After being expelled from the monastery, Lanz formed an occultic order called the Ordo Novi Templi or The Order of the New Temple (ONT). The ONT was an offshoot of the Ordo Templi Orientis which practiced tantric sex rituals (Howard:91).
On Christmas day, 1907, many years before it would become the symbol of the Third Reich, Lanz and other members of the ONT raised the swastika flag over the castle which Lanz had purchased to house the order (Goodrick-Clarke:109). Lanz chose the swastika, he said, because it was the ancient pagan symbol of Wotan, the god of storms (Cavendish:1983). (Wotan, the inspiration for "Storm Troopers," was the Teutonic equivalent of Baal in the Old Testament and Zeus in Greek culture). Waite notes that it was through Lanz that Hitler would learn that most of his heroes of history were also "practicing homosexuals" (Waite, 1977:94f).
Refuting "Gay Holocaust" Revisionism
"Gay Holocaust" revisionists assert that Hitler's ascension to the Chancellorship marked the beginning of a homosexual Holocaust in Germany. For example, in The Pink Triangle, Richard Plant writes, "After years of frustration...Hitler's storm troopers now had the opportunity to smash their enemies: the lame, the mute, the feebleminded, the epileptic, the homosexual, the Jew, the Gypsy, the communist. These were the scapegoats singled out for persecution. These were the 'contragenics' who were to be ruthlessly eliminated to ensure the purity of the 'Aryan race.'" (Plant:51). Rector, another revisionist, makes a similar statement: "Hitler's homophobia did not surface until 1933-1934, when gays had come to affect adversely his New Order designs-out of which grew the simple solution of murdering them en masse" (Rector:24). The fact is that homosexuals were never murdered "en masse" or "ruthlessly eliminated" by the Nazis. Yet many homosexuals were persecuted and some did die in Nazi work camps. What is the truth about Nazi persecution of homosexuals? There are several incidents in Nazi history which are most often cited as evidence of a "gay Holocaust." This list includes a series of increasingly harsh public pronouncements and policies against homosexuality by Hitler and Himmler, the sacking of the Sex Research Institute of Berlin, "the Roehm Purge" (also known as "the Night of the Long Knives"), and the internment of homosexuals in work camps.
The law against homosexual conduct had existed in Germany for many years prior to the Nazi regime as Paragraph 175 of the Reich Criminal Code, to wit: "A male who indulges in criminally indecent activity with another male, or who allows himself to participate in such activity, will be punished with imprisonment" (Burleigh and Wipperman:188). When Hitler came to power he used this law as a means of tracking down and punishing those homosexuals who, in the words of one victim, "had defended the Weimar Republic, and who had tried to forestall the Nazi threat" (ibid.:183). Later he expanded the law and used it as a convenient tool to detain other enemies of the regime.
In February of 1933, Hitler banned pornography, ho-mosexual bars and bath-houses, and groups which promoted "gay rights" (Plant:50). Ostensibly, this decree was a blanket condemnation of all homosexual activity in Germany, but in practice it served as just another means to find and destroy anti-Nazi groups and individuals. "Hitler," admit Oosterhuis and Kennedy, "employed the charge of homosexuality primarily as a means to eliminate political opponents, both inside his party and out" (Oosterhuis and Kennedy: 248).
The masculine homosexuals in the Nazi leadership selectively enforced this policy only against their enemies and not against all homosexuals. Even Rector lends credence to this perspective, citing the fact that the decree "was not enforced in all cases" (Rector:66). Another indication is that the pro-Nazi Society for Human Rights (SHR) continued to participate in German society for several years after the decree. In The Racial State, Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wippermann remind us that Roehm was a leading member of the SHR; and we know from Anthony Read and David Fisher that the SHR was still active in Germany as late as 1940 (Read and Fisher:245). Furthermore, Oosterhuis and Kennedy write that "although he was well known as a gay-activist, [Adolf] Brand was not arrested by the Nazis" (Oosterhuis and Kennedy:7). Some of Brand's files were confiscated by the Nazis in their attempt to gather all potentially self-incriminating evidence.
In 1935, Paragraph 175 was amended with Paragraph 175a which criminalized any type of behavior that could be construed as indicating a homosexual inclination or desire (Burleigh and Wipperman: 190). (Interestingly, the new criminal code addressing homosexuality deleted the word "unnatural" from the definition-Reisman, 1994:3.) This new law provided the Nazis with an especially potent legal weapon against their enemies. It will never be known how many non-homosexuals were charged under this law, but it is indisputable that the Nazis used false accusations of homosexuality to justify the detainment and imprisonment of many of their opponents. "The law was so loosely formulated," writes Steakley, "that it could be, and was, applied against heterosexuals that the Nazis wanted to eliminate...the law was also used repeatedly against Catholic clergymen" (Steakley:111). Kogon writes that "The Gestapo readily had recourse to the charge of homosexuality if it was unable to find any pretext for proceeding against Catholic priests or irksome critics" (Kogon:44).
The charge of homosexuality was convenient for the Nazis to use against their political enemies because it was so difficult to defend against and so easy to justify to the populace. Since long before the Nazis, homosexuals had generally lived clandestine lives, so it was not unusual for revelations of their conduct to come as a surprise to their communities when it became a police matter. This is not to say that actual homosexuals were not prosecuted under the law. Many were. But the law was used selectively against the "Femmes." And even when they were threatened, many effeminate homosexuals, especially those in the arts community, were given protection by certain Nazi leaders (Oosterhuis and Kennedy:248). Plant writes:
The most famous example is that of the actor Gustaf Grundgens...Despite the fact that his homosexual affairs were as notorious as those of Roehm's, Goering appointed him director of the State Theater...[And] On October 29, 1937 ...Himmler advised that actors and other artists could be arrested for offenses against paragraph 175 only with his personal consent, unless the police caught them in flagrante (Plant:116).
There is one additional reason why the Nazis arrested homosexuals and raided even the homes of their supporters. They were looking for incriminating evidence against themselves (the Nazi leaders). Blackmail of homosexuals by estranged partners and prostitutes was a simple fact of life in Germany. "[H]omosexuals were particularly vulnerable to blackmailers, known as Chanteure on the homosexual scene," write Burleigh and Wippermann. "Blackmail, and the threat of public exposure, resulted in frequent suicides or suicide attempts" (Burleigh and Wipperman:184). The Nazi leaders were quite familiar with this phenomenon. Igra reports that Heinrich Hoffman, the official Nazi photographer, gained his position by using information about Hitler's perverse abuse of his (Hoffman's) daughter to blackmail the future Fuehrer (Igra:74). Heiden relates another story in which Hitler bought an entire collection of rare political writings to regain possession of a letter to his niece in which he openly revealed his "masochistic- coprophil inclinations" (Heiden:385). Once he was in power he had other ways to solve these kinds of problems.
The Nazis' hunt for incriminating evidence, as well as the selectivity of the Nazi violence, was obvious in the attack on Magnus Hirschfeld's Sex Research Institute, May 6th, 1933. As noted previously, the Sex Research Institute of Berlin had been founded by Hirschfeld (in 1919) as a center for "study" of homosexuality and other sexual dysfunctions. For all intents and purposes, it served as the headquarters for the effeminate branch of the German "gay-rights" movement. For this reason alone, the "Butch" homosexuals of the Nazi Party might have destroyed the Institute. Indeed, throughout the preceding years the Nazis had increasingly harassed Hirschfeld personally. Victor Robinson, Hirschfeld's biographer, wrote in 1936:
Although the Nazis themselves derived great profit from Hirschfeld's theories (and called on him personally for help), they continued his persecution relentlessly; they terrorized his meetings and closed his lecture halls, so that for the safety of his audiences and himself, Hirschfeld was no longer able to make public appearances (Haeberle:368).
Homosexualist James Steakley acknowledges the "Butch/Femme" aspect of the incident, saying that some German homosexuals "could conceivably have approved of the measure, particularly if they were Nazi sympathizers or male supremacists" (Steakley:105).
However, the attack against the Institute was not motivated solely by the Nazi enmity against effeminate homosexuals. It was an attempt to cover up the truth about rampant homosexuality and other perversions in the Nazi Party. Sklar writes that, "Hitler attempted to bury all his earlier influences and his origins, and he spent a great deal of energy hiding them...[In this campaign to erase his past] Hitler ordered the murder of Reinhold Hanish, a friend who had shared his down-and-out days in Vienna" (where Hitler is suspected of having been a homosexual prostitute) (Sklar:21). Hitler also knew that Hirschfeld's facility had extensive records that could be damaging to himself and his inner circle. This was the reason for the raid, according to Ludwig L. Lenz, the assistant director of the Sex Research Institute, who was in charge on the day of the raid. A part of the following quote was cited earlier:
...our Institute was used by all classes of the population and members of every political party...We thus had a great many Nazis under treatment at the Institute. Why was it then, since we were completely non-party, that our purely scientific Institute was the first victim which fell to the new regime? The answer to this is simple...We knew too much. It would be against medical principles to provide a list of the Nazi leaders and their perversions [but]...not ten percent of the men who, in 1933, took the fate of Germany into their hands, were sexually normal...Many of these personages were known to us directly through consultations; we heard about others from their comrades in the party...and of others we saw the tragic results....Our knowledge of such intimate secrets regarding members of the Nazi Party and other documentary material-we possessed about forty thousand confessions and biographical letters-was the cause of the complete and utter destruction of the Institute of Sexology (Haberle:369).
Burleigh and Wipperman report that the ransackers had "lists" of materials they were looking for (Burleigh and Wipperman:189) and that they carted away two truckloads of books and files. The materials taken from the Institute were burned in a public ceremony, captured on film, on May 10th. The spectacular and oft replayed newsreel footage of this event has caused the burning of books to become synonymous with Nazism. What information went up in smoke on that day will never be known, but we can infer that the pile of burning paper contained many Nazi secrets. According to homosexual sources at the time, the Nazis destroyed twelve thousand books and thirty-five thousand photographs. The building itself was confiscated from the SHC and turned over to the Nazi Association of Jurists and Lawyers (Steakley:105).
The Roehm Purge
The event in history most frequently cited as evidence of Nazi persecution of homosexuals is known variously as the Blood Purge, the Night of the Long Knives, and the Roehm Purge. Steakley writes that "the indisputable beginning of Nazi terror against homosexuals was marked by the murder of Ernst Ro[e]hm on June 28, 1934, 'The Night of the Long Knives'" (Steakley:108). It was on that night (actually over an entire weekend) that Adolf Hitler's closest aides orchestrated the assassinations of hundreds of his political enemies in one bloody sweep. Among the victims of this purge were Roehm and several of the top officers of the SA.
We have emphasized that the leadership of the SA was mostly, if not entirely, homosexual. The fact that SA leaders were the primary targets in the massacre could therefore be construed as a sort of "moral cleansing" of the Nazi ranks, which, in fact, Hitler claimed it was. But Hitler lied. The Roehm Purge was driven by political, not moral concerns. Hitler feigned disgust and outrage about the homosexuality of the murdered SA leaders to justify himself to the German people; it was a tactic he had used previously to allay public suspicions about the sexual deviancy of his inner circle. The importance of this fact is asserted in many leading works by both mainstream and homosexualist historians. The following are excerpts from four different historians who have examined the issue:
Hitler eliminated his closest friend Roehm and certain SA leaders as potential rivals. The strictly political motivation of this ruthless power play was initially too obvious to be entirely denied, but later it was conveniently obscured by charges of homosexual depravity (Haberle:369f).
The formal accusations against Roehm and those arrested with him centered on their homosexual activities, which Hitler had of course known about for fifteen years and shrugged off, it being alleged that these activities disgraced the party. For those victims without any homosexual background, "the Great Blood Purge" continued all over Germany, as Nazi leaders got rid of all their most hated enemies, as well as the inevitable "mistakes" (Garde:726f).
Ernst Roehm wasn't shot because the Nazi Party felt outraged by the abrupt discovery that he was "having" his storm troopers-that had been known for ages; but because his sway over the SA had become a menace to Hitler. In the Hitler Youth the "dear love of comrades" was evilly turned into a political end. And if the Nazi hierarchy was well larded with homosexuals, so was Wilhelm II's court and so was the Weimar Republic (Davidson:152).
Hitler himself, of course, had been well aware of Roehm's sexual orientation from the earliest days of their long association....So strong was Roehm that the Wehrmacht [German Army High Command] was concerned that he might seize control of the army. In 1934, Hitler became fearful that the Wehrmacht was plotting a coup against him to prevent such a takeover. To forestall this danger, Hitler had Roehm and about one thousand other men murdered one weekend in June 1934, the famous "Night of the Long Knives" (Crompton:79f).
Igra provides us with a long and detailed account of the power struggle which led to the purge, beginning with a refutation of the idea that it represented a policy of extermination of homosexuals by Hitler:
We shall find that, far from eliminating the sex perverts from his party, Hitler retained most of them, and that he moved against those whom he did eliminate only with the greatest reluctance and after he had been relentlessly pushed by outside forces and circumstances. On June 14 and 15 Hitler was in Venice to see Mussolini. It soon became common knowledge that the German Dictator and his entourage had made an unfavorable impression upon the Italians... Mussolini was never a stickler for puritan morality, to say the least, but there was one vice which the Italians particularly loathe; they call it il visio tedesco, the German vice. The conduct of some members in Hitler's entourage at Venice disgusted the Italians. Mussolini protested against the moral character and political unreliability of the leading personnel in the Nazi Storm Troops and warned Hitler that he would have to sacrifice his favorite colleagues if he wished to save his own personal prestige and that of his regime. Among those colleagues, Roehm, Heines and Karl Ernst were mentioned (Igra:77f).
The Roehm Purge, then, was not a "moral cleansing" of the Nazi ranks, but a re-alignment of power behind the German government which was primarily forced upon Hitler by powerful political elements whose support he needed to maintain control. Igra goes on to point out that not only did the majority of the SA homosexuals survive the purge, but that the massacre was largely implemented by homosexuals. He cites Strasser's statement that "the Chief Killers of Munich [were] Wagner, Esser, Maurice, Weber and Buch." These men "were all known to be sex perverts or sexual maniacs of one type or another," concludes Igra (ibid.:80). Plant records that the larger campaign of assassinations across Germany was orchestrated by Reinhard Heydrich, also a well-known homosexual (Plant:56). Igra addresses Hitler's justification for the purge:
In his defense before the Reichstag a week later Hitler talked of "traitors." That was his alibi...In his speech to the Reichstag he admitted that one of the motives for ordering the massacre was to get rid of the moral perverts in his party and that they were traitors because they practiced homosexualism. But under the dictatorship it was not possible for anyone to put Hitler at question. Nobody asked him to explain how it was that, if his purpose was to get rid of homosexuals, he really didn't rid himself of them but used them as the instruments of his own murder lust and still retained most of them as members of his personal entourage, as well as in key positions of the party organization and the government. Otto Strasser, in his book, The German St. Bartholemew's Night (which has not been published in English), mentions sixteen of these highly placed homosexualist officials who survived the massacres of June 30 and retained their posts (Igra:82).
In the Camps
Although homosexuals were never targeted for extermination, some were interned in Nazi work camps. The actual number of pink-triangle prisoners, estimated at 5,000-15,000 by Joan Ringelheim of the US Holocaust museum (Rose:40), was a tiny fraction of the total camp population. Of these, an undetermined percentage were heterosexuals falsely labeled as homosexuals. Homosexuals who died in the camps (mostly of disease and starvation) were "a small fraction of less than 1 percent" of homosexuals in Germany (S. Katz:146), compared to more than 85 percent of European Jewry exterminated in the gas chambers. More significantly, many of the guards and administrators responsible for the infamous concentration camp atrocities were homosexuals themselves, which negates the proposition that homosexuals in general were being persecuted and interned.
While any prisoner could be chosen as a Kapo (a slave overseer), none of the other interned groups except homosexuals had counterparts among the Nazi guards and administrators. Examples of the homosexuality of the concentration camp guards can be found in many of the personal accounts of Holocaust survivors. Elie Wiesel, sent to the Buna factory camp in the Auschwitz complex, for example, acknowledges this in his book Night:
The head of our tent was a German. An assassin's face, fleshy lips, hands like wolf's paws. He was so fat he could hardly move. Like the leader of the camp he loved children...(Actually this was not a disinterested affection: there was a considerable traffic in young children among homosexuals here, I learned later) (Wiesel:59).
In Treblinka, the narrative account of the Treblinka uprising, Steiner records the story of another Nazi administrator, taken from interviews with survivors:
Max Bielas had a harem of little Jewish boys. He liked them young, no older than seventeen. He had a kind of parody of the shepherds of Arcadia, their role was to take care of the camp flock of geese. They were dressed like little princes...Bielas had a little barracks built for them that looked like a doll's house...Bielas sought in Treblinka only the satisfaction of his homosexual instincts (Steiner:117f).
The enduring "Butch/Femme" conflict among German homosexuals clearly had a substantial bearing on the treatment of pink-triangle prisoners. Plant writes of one survivor who reported that "the guards lashed out with special fury against those who showed 'effeminate traits'" (Plant:172). And Rector records an interview with a former Pink Triangle named Wolf (a pseudonym) in which the issue of effeminacy was raised. "The ones who were soft, shall I say, were the ones who suffered terribly," said Wolf. Rudolf Hoess, the infamous commandant of Auschwitz, who may himself have been a "Butch" homosexual, defined "genuine homosexuals... [by their] soft and girlish affectations and fastidiousness, their sickly sweet manner of speech, and their altogether too affectionate deportment toward their fellows" (Hoess in Rector:137f). These "genuine homosexuals" were considered incorrigible and held in special barracks, while many non-effeminate homosexuals were released (ibid.:137). Hoess, incidentally, had at one time been a close friend of Edmund Heines (Snyder:301), the procurer of boys for Roehm's pederastic orgies.
Toward the end of World War II, many homosexuals were released from the concentration camps and drafted into the German army (Shaul:688). Steven Katz cites records that "indicate that 13 percent of all homosexual camp inmates were reprieved and released" (S. Katz:146). This was happening at the same time as the Nazis' frantic push to increase their "production" in the death camps, in an effort to exterminate every last Jew in Europe before the Allies could liberate the camps.
The American Connection
While the Nazi Party was crushed as a political force in 1945, remnants of Nazism survive around the world. As in Germany, many of these fascist groups are dominated by male homosexuals.
The most famous incident in the history of the American Nazi Party resulted from its 1977 demand to stage a march through the largely Jewish neighborhood of Skokie, Illinois, a Chicago suburb and the home of many Holocaust survivors. This plan was devised by Frank Collin, who often appeared with his followers "in full Nazi regalia: brown shirts, black boots, and armbands..." Civil authorities effectively blocked the march at first, but the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) rose to Collin's aid and forced the City of Chicago to allow it. The subsequent event drew international media attention. Homosexualists Johansson and Percy in Outing: Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence have finally revealed, more than 15 years later, that Collin was a homosexual pederast. In 1979 Collin was arrested "for taking indecent liberties with boys between ages 10 and 14" and was sentenced to seven years in prison (Johansson and Percy, 1994:130).
Meanwhile, back in Germany, the alarming increase of neo-Nazi skinheads is also linked to homosexuality. Elmay Kraushaar, a journalist for Der Spiegel, Germany's equivalent to TIME, is quoted in The Advocate:
There is a gay skinhead movement in Berlin. They go to cruising areas with leaflets that say, "We don't want foreigners." A major leader of the neo-Nazis in Germany, Michael Kuhnen was an openly gay man who died of AIDS two years ago. He wrote a paper on the links between homosexuality and fascism, saying fascism is based on the love of comrades, that having sex with your comrades strengthens this bond (Anderson:54).
Learning from History
Sadly, the homosexual dimension of Nazi history is overlooked by many historians. As Duberman, Vicinus and Chauncey have stated with the title to their "gay studies" text, the role of homosexuals and pederasts has been Hidden from History. They, of course, imagine the influence of homosexuality to be positive. From the Judeo-Christian cultural context, however, the rise of homosexuality necessarily represents the diminution of Biblical morality as a restraint on human passions. Consequently, where Judeo-Christian ideals decrease, violence and depravity increase.
It was the pederasts of the Community of the Special who sponsored the revival of Hellenic pagan ideals in German society. These men were viciously anti-Jew and anti-Christian because of the injunctions against homosexuality inherent in the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic. Homosexualist Warren Johansson notes that Hans Blueher, one of the leading theoreticians of the Community of the Special, "maintained that Judaism had suppressed the homosexual aspect of its culture, with concomitant hypertrophy [enlargement] of the family" (Johansson:816). Benedict Friedlander, in an essay for Der Eigene titled "Seven Propositions," chose as his first proposition an attack on Christianity. "The white race is becoming ever sicker under the curse of Christianity, which is foreign to it and mostly harmful," writes Friedlander. "That is the genuinely bad 'Jewish influence,' an opinion that has proven true, especially through the conditions in North America" (Friedlander in Oosterhuis and Kennedy:219). For his part, Adolf Brand called Christianity "barbarism" and "expressed his desire to fight 'beyond good and evil,' not for the sake of the masses, since the happiness of 'the weak' would result in a 'slave mentality,' but for the human being who proclaimed himself a god and was not to be subdued by human laws and ethics" (Oosterhuis and Kennedy:183). We should not forget Nietzsche, who called Christianity "the lie of millennia" (Macintyre: 188).
Much has been made of the reported silence, and in some cases complicity, of the supposed Christian churches during the Third Reich. But few have noted the long period of "Biblical deconstruction" that preceded the rise of Nazism, and fewer still have chronicled the diabolical perversion of German religious culture by the Nazis themselves. While the neo-pagans were busy attacking from without, liberal theologians undermined Biblical authority from within the Christian church. The school of so-called "higher criticism," which began in Germany in the late 1800s, portrayed the miracles of God as myths; by implication making true believers (Jew and Christian alike) into fools. And since the Bible was no longer accepted as God's divine and inerrant guide, it could be ignored or reinterpreted. By the time the Nazis came to power, "Bible-believing" Christians, (the Confessing Church) were a small minority. As Grunberger asserts, Nazism itself was a "pseudo-religion" (ibid.:79) that competed, in a sense, with Christianity and Judaism.
The schools were heavily targeted in order to de-Christianize the young. Mandatory prayer in schools was stopped in 1935, and from 1941 onward, religious instruction was completely eliminated for all students over 14 years old (ibid.:494f). The Nazi Teachers Association actively discouraged its members from taking religious instruction, while at the same time many teachers of religious studies (who were all required to be licensed by the state) "inculcated neo-paganism into their pupils during periods of religious instruction." Later, teachers were outright prohibited from attending voluntary religion classes organized by the Catholic church (ibid.:495).
From the early years, leading Nazis openly attacked Christianity. Joseph Goebbels declared that "Christianity has infused our erotic attitudes with dishonesty" (Taylor:20). It is in this campaign against Judeo- Christian morality that we find the reason for the German people's acceptance of Nazism's most extreme atrocities. Their religious foundations had been systematically eroded over a period of decades by powerful social forces. By the time the Nazis came to power, German culture was spiritually bankrupt. Too often, historians have largely ignored the spiritual element of Nazi history; but if we look closely at Hitler's campaign of extermination of the Jews, it becomes clear that his ostensive racial motive obscures a deeper and more primal hatred of the Jews as the "People of God."
The probable reason for Hitler's attack on Christianity was his perception that it alone had the moral authority to stop the Nazi movement. But Christians stumbled before the flood of evil. As Poliakov notes, "[W]hen moral barriers collapsed under the impact of Nazi preaching...the same anti-Semitic movement that led to the slaughter of the Jews gave scope and license to an obscene revolt against God and the moral law. An open and implacable war was declared on the Christian tradition...[which unleashed] a frenzied and unavowed hatred of Christ and the Ten Commandments" (Poliakov:300).
There is no question that homosexuality figures prominently in the history of the Holocaust. As we have noted, the ideas for disposing of the Jews originated with Lanz von Leibenfels. The first years of terrorism against the Jews were carried out by the homosexuals of the SA. The first concentration camp, as well as the system for training its brutal guards, was the work of Ernst Roehm. The first pogrom, Kristallnacht, was orchestrated in 1938 by the homosexual Reinhard Heydrich. And it was the transvestite Goering who started the "evolution of the Final Solution...[with an] order to Heydrich (Jan. 24, 1939) concerning the solution of the Jewish question by 'emigration' and 'evacuation'" (Robinson:25). Still, despite their disproportionate role, homosexuals did not cause the Holocaust. They, along with so many others who had lost their moral bearings, were merely instruments in its enactment. The Holocaust must be blamed on the one whom the Bible compares to "a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (NKJ:I Peter 5:8).
Yet, while we cannot say that homosexuals caused the Holocaust, we must not ignore their central role in Nazism. To the myth of the "pink triangle"-the notion that all homosexuals in Nazi Germany were persecuted-we must respond with the reality of the "pink swastika."
[This article, excerpts from The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party by Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams (Founders Publishing Company, 1995), first appeared in Culture Wars (April 1996), edited by Dr. E. Michael Jones. The excerpt was prepared for Culture Wars by Scott Lively. Culture Wars, 206 Marquette Avenue, South Bend, IN 46617, phone (219) 289-9786.]
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Source: Leadership U.
The Other Side of the Pink Triangle
By: Kevin E. Abrams
The Weimar Republic was proclaimed on November 9, 1918.
It was marked by a new liberalism which offended
traditionalists, but where new ideas gained a hearing, they
helped promote what was touted as a more `rational' approach to
sexuality. There was a degree of cautious liberalization in
social mores and the law; the homosexual subculture was granted
an increased measure of tolerance, particularly in Berlin.(1)
The issue of homosexuality became a subject of free public
discussion and `The Institute for Sex Research' and the
`Scientific Humanitarian Committee' were established in Berlin
by Magnus Hirschfeld, an effeminate homosexual, for the
promotion of homosexual rights.(2 & 3)
Historian Frank Rector records that the German Workers
Party-the forerunner to Hitler's Nazi Party-"was founded at a
gay bar in Munich, called the Bratworstglockl."(4) Jonathan
Katz, a gay Holocaust historian, writes, "most, if not all, of
its founding members were either homosexuals or bisexuals." Katz
writes that "the founders of the party were also founders of the
`Bund fur Menschenrecht' (The Society for Human Rights), the
largest homosexual rights organization in Germany at the
time."(5) The major distinction between Hirschfeld's Institute
and the `Bund' was that Hirschfeld's following was largely made
up of effeminate, passive anti-pedophile adherents, while the
Bund was comprised of butch or masculo-homosexuals who were
On May 6, 1933, Nazi Party Stormtroopers attacked and
totally destroyed Hirschfeld's Institute.(6) Ludwig L. Lenz, a
gynecologist who worked there at the time, writes, "our
Institute was used by members of every political party. We had a
great many Nazis under treatment at the Institute." Lenz wrote
of the real reason for the destruction: "the answer is simple,
we knew too much; one thing is certain, not ten percent of those
men who, in 1933, took the fate of Germany into their hands,
were sexually normal. Our knowledge of intimate secrets
regarding members of the Nazi Party and our other documentary
material-we possessed about forty thousand confessions and
biographical letters-was the cause of me destruction of the
Institute for Sexology."(7)
After World War 1, unemployment and poverty compounded
the social chaos in Germany. To re-establish order the
democratic leadership found it necessary to call upon the Army,
which had recruited some curious formations, known as the
`Freikorps (Free Corps) or `combat groups'-private armies
recognizing no other leader than the officer commanding them.
These groups put down all local insurrections.(8) Historians
Robert Lewis Koehl and G.S. Graber record how army Captain
Gerhard Rossbach started a homosexual Freikorps unit called the
Rossbachbund (Rossbach Brotherhood) which later adopted the name
"Storm Troopers" in honor of the ancient German god of storms,
Wotan.(9) Historian Robert Waite writes, "the
Rossbach-Organization was a combat league, while the
Schill-Jugend was a youth contingent organized on a local basis
by Edmund Heines, Rossbach's young associate. The two units were
notorious for homosexuality and for their wearing brown shirts
which had been prepared for German colonial troops."(10) Heines
became assistant and homosexual lover to Hitler' s close friend
and confidant, Ernst Roehm. Historian of record William L.
Shurer writes, Roehm "was a stocky, bull-necked, piggish-eyed,
scar-faced professional soldier-a tough, ruthless, driving
man-albeit, like so many of the early Nazis, a homosexual-he
helped to organize the first Nazi strong-arm squads which grew
into the S.A., the army of storm troopers which he commanded
until his execution by Hitler in 1934."(11)
Roehm's eventual comrade Rossbach was, according to
historian Nigel Jones, a "sadist, murderer, and homosexual,
[and] one of the most admired heroes of post 1919 German youth."
"In Rossbach," says a popular book on the youth movement, "we
see the Fuhrer of our youth idolized and honored as can only
happen in a time when `the personality of an individual counts
for everything.'"(12) `Freebooter' (armed bands of uprooted men
Freikorps, Free Corps) commanders didn't forget the trust placed
in them by German youth. They understood the valuable role youth
could play in resurgent, racist nationalism. Roehm enrolled
hundreds into the S .A . Stormtroopers and historian Frank
Rector records that, "the Hitler youth was so rampantly
homosexuality that it became known among the German populace as
the Homo Youth."(13)
Konrad Heiden, author of A History of National Socialism,
homosexuality was widespread in the secret murderers'
army and its devotees denied that it was a perversion.
They were proud, regarding themselves as `different from
the others,' meaning better. They boasted about their
superiority.(14) Roehm exclaimed that the misfortune of the
age was domination by women; he praised the epochs that
had been dominated by figures like Alexander the Great,
Caesar, Charles Xll Sweden, Prince Eugene of Savoy and
Frederick the Great, five great warriors and five
Louis L. Snyder writes, "what was needed, Roehm
believed, was a proud, arrogant lot who could brawl, smash
windows and kill for the hell of it. Straights, in his eyes,
were not as adept in such behavior as practising homosexuals. No
closets for them. Good citizenship in the Bourgeois sense be
damned, up with homosexuality."(16)
In 1919, Adolf Hitler entered the German Workers Party
which was founded by members of the racist Thule Society. This,
in fact, was the German branch of the Theosophical society which
was founded in the 1870s by two homosexual men, Henry Olcott and
convicted pedophile Charles Leadbeater, and two lesbians, Helena
P. Blavatsky, a Russian born medium and Annie Beasant a former
Fabian Socialist. Hitler was introduced into the Thule Society
by his occult mentor Deitrich Eckhart and gained control of the
German Workers Party on August 8, 1921. With Roehm' s help he
transformed the party into the NSDAP, `the German National
Socialist Workers Party' and ultimately the Nazi Party. Rector
writes that, "much of the early funding of the Nazi Party came
from Roehm and other prominent German homosexuals."(17)
Allied to certain big industrialists and the
Prusso-Teutonic Junkers or landowners, Roehm and the
Rossbachbund propagated anti-democratic ideas. Preaching
militarism, they feigned republican sentiments while
simultaneously working to overthrow the new German Republic.
Paul Winkler in his book, The Thousand Year Conspiracy, relates
how the murder of hundreds of democratic leaders after 1918 can
be traced back to the "Rossbach and `C' (Consul) Organizations
whose principal aim it was to execute, one by one, the leaders
of the young German republic."(18)
Founded on August 3, 1921, the S.A. (Sturmabteilung)
Storm Troopers were the shock troops or street thugs of the Nazi
Party. Transformed by Roehm into a revolutionary force, they
soon exceeded what remained of the German Army in numbers and
power.(19) Under Roehm's leadership, the S.A. provided
protection for party leadership and meetings. Historian Thomas
Fuchs writes, "Roehm's homosexuality is well established, and
may have specially qualified him in Hitler's mind for his
appointment as head of the S.A. Storm Troopers. The principle
function of this army- like organization was beating-up anyone
who opposed the Nazis, and Hitler believed this was a job best
undertaken by homosexuals."(20) Shirer writes:
the brown-shirted S.A. never became more than a motley
mob of brawlers. Many of its top leaders, beginning with
its chief, Roehm, were notorious homosexual perverts.
Lieutenant Edmond Heines, who led the Munich S.A., was
not only a homosexual but also a convicted murderer.
These two and dozens of others quarrelled and feuded as
only men of unnatural sexual inclinations with their
peculiar jealousies, can.(21)
The Nazis' vicious persecution of Jewish citizens began
on November 9, 1938, now known as `Kristallnacht' ("Crystal
Night") or the Night of Broken Glass. Over 236 Jews were
murdered, hundreds more died in concentration camps and at least
30,000 Jewish men were imprisoned.(22) The British
consul-general in Germany, R.T. Smallbones, who witnessed
Kristallnacht, writes that, "this outbreak of sadistic cruelty"
was caused by "sexual perversion, and in particular
homosexuality," which, he writes, "are very prevalent in
Germany." In seeking to understand what he had just witnessed,
Smallbones surmises, "It seems to me that mass sexual perversity
may offer an explanation for this otherwise inexplicable
Edmund Heines brought his Bavarian Rossbach-organization
and Schill-Jugend (youth group), the original `Brownshirts,'
into the S.A. in Munich in 1923. Heiden reports that,
"Lieutenant Rossbach's troop, notorious for its homosexuality,
spent its time brawling, smashing windows and shedding blood.
Heines belonged to Rossbach's organization before joining
Hitler; then Rossbach and Heines formed a center with Roehm
which took over and led the S.A."(24)
The preeminence of homosexuals in the rise of German
Naziism is no historical anomaly. Ancient historian Eva
Cantarella states that, "the most warlike nations have been
those who were most addicted to the love of male youths."(25)
Anthropologist Gilbert Herdt, a homosexual, personally observed
that, "ritual homosexuality was a part of preparation and
training for warrior status and warfare for the Sambia of Papua
New Guinea."(26) Cantarella writes, "military homosexuality has
been detected in the Azande of Africa and in the Amazon basin of
South America." "Greek homosexuality had its origins in warrior
life. The Thebans and Spartans were said to have taken their
male lovers with them as comrades and sex partners." In Japan,
"the sons of Samurai families were urged to form homosexual
alliances with warriors." Historian Max Gallow records how the
Nazis clearly fell into a `homosexual warrior cult category.' He
describes how "S .A. leaders hired a homosexual pimp by the name
of Peter Granninger, and paid him 200 marks a month to procure
young attractive boys from the Hitler Youth to become
participants in S.A. orgies."(27)
Nazi fascism was born of the kind of sexual debauchery
and `victim plunder ideology' undermining America today.
Posturing as the victim was a primary Nazi\homosexual tactic. In
light of what became the masculo-homosexual Nazi domination of
Germany, plunder of Europe and persecution of the Jewish people,
I seriously question and challenge those of my own faith, who,
ignorant of the evidence of history, either espouse or support,
in any way, a positive affirmation of homosexuality. In May
1993, Washington D.C. Holocaust Museum historian Klaus Muller
(see side bar) chastised "some gay groups and researchers" for
"inventing" massive numbers of homosexual "victims" and
"misusing the Holocaust as merely a `dramatic metaphor.'"
What Muller is perhaps reluctant to acknowledge is that
exaggerating homosexual victim status is at the core of gay
political strategy. In an article entitled, "The Over-hauling Of
Straight America," Marshall K. Kirk and Erastes Pill advise:
portray gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers. In any campaign
to win over the public, gays must be cast as victims in need of protection
so that straights will be inclined by reflex to assume the role of
protector. If gays are presented, instead, as a strong and prideful tribe
promoting a rigidly nonconformist and deviant lifestyle, they are more
likely to be seen as a public menace that justifies resistance and
oppression. For that reason, we must forego the temptation to strut our
gay pride publicly when it conflicts with the `Gay Victim' image.(28)
In Nazi Germany, homosexuals as a specific "group" were
NEVER targeted for extermination and were treated far better
than most other concentration camp prisoners. Dr. Judith
Reisman, co-author of Kinsey, Sex and Fraud, documents how "the
data does not sustain claims of homosexual martyrdom. On the
contrary, in June 1935, two years after Hitler's victory, the
term unnatural was purged from the definition of homosexuality
in the German Criminal Code." Gay holocaust historian Jonathan
Katz reports that "without Himmler's express permission, even if
police repeatedly apprehended homosexual actors and artists
engaged in sodomy, they were not to be arrested. Again in 1940,
Himmler reiterated that only homosexual "multiple offenders"
could be jailed, while a pledge of abstinence could result in
their freedom. No laws penalized non- practising homosexuals."
Reisman writes, "no `gay ghettos' were plundered and
wiped from the face of the earth, their populations hauled off
to be gassed, while 6 million Jews lost their `civic rights,'
jobs, education, and lives." She states, "it is unconscionable
for radical homosexuals to wrest `Nazi victim status' from the
bones of millions of exterminated men, women and children.
History, a true guide to the future, cannot be fictionalized to
suit the interests of a modern `superman' class."(29) Austrian
author Heinrich Heger in his book, The Men With The Pink
Triangle, testifies to homosexual brutality in the Nazi
concentration camps when he tells how "the S .S. guards and
officers would repeatedly rape pink triangle prisoners, and
Jewish and Gypsy boys. The SD-SS guards would use sadomasochism
on a daily basis."
Historian of the rise of Naziism, Konrad Heiden, records
that the S.A. fell apart in 1925 after Nazi election losses and
after Hitler broke with Roehm. A sex scandal involving Roehm,
initiated by the Democrats, helped to defeat the Nazis and
eventually forced Roehm to leave Germany. Roehm fled to Bolivia
where the army was seeking German officers. There he was engaged
with the rank of Bolivian lieutenant- colonel. Roehm wrote home
complaining there was so little understanding of homosexuality
in Bolivia, yet he cynically promised "to spread the
In 1930, Hitler recalled Roehm to once again head the
S.A.Brownshirts. Hitler praised Roehm as "a collaborator endowed
with talents, ironic clear-sightedness, and at the same time
good will. Hitler allowed Roehm the greatest liberties in order
to instill confidence in him for his new task of building up
Hitler as `Der Fuehrer.'"(31)
After Roehm's return, Heiden records that, "Roehm
immediately provoked opposition by filling the S.A. leadership
with his homosexual cohorts, Captain von Petersdorff, Captain
Rohrbein and Count Ernst Helldorf, an adventurer and military
profiteer of the worst sort. For a time in 1931 Josef Goebbels,
Reich Minister of Propaganda, also grew embittered at Roehm's
repulsive `harem.' He cried out that he was sick of taking
orders from the `vain operetta queen' in Munich."(32) Historian
Samuel Igra states, "the Brownshirts started out as an
exclusively homosexual and bisexual organization, and the
leadership remained so."(33) Igra also documents how "Hitler
named the `SS,' his personal bodyguard, the Leibstandarte - SS
after a homosexual group in Vienna at the turn of the century.
Frederick the Great (1746-1786), an openly effeminate
homosexual, was Hitler's greatest hero. Hitler displayed a large
painting of Frederick from behind his desk.
The gay and bisexual officer corps of the S.A. became
the Sicherheitsdienst (S.D.), organized by Reinhard Heydrich,
Himmler's second in command. It was this branch of the SS
security Service that controlled the concentration camps. Of the
three SS divisions the Sicherheitsdienst division was the most
sadistic. Whenever the murder of innocent masses of Jews, Poles
or captured allied prisoners was portrayed in the movies, it
would have been the Sicherheitsdienst division, the `butch'
homosexuals, who were responsible. This created some ironic
situations, especially since the laws concerning homosexuality
were made more stringent after 1935. Gay author Barry Adam
writes that author Heinrich Heger was "convicted and sentenced
to six years in a concentration camp for seducing the son of a
Nazi official in Austria." Adam writes, "Heger could never quite
understand why his persecutors would beat him up for being
homosexual and then force him to commit homosexual acts with
them."(34) The charge of homosexuality also became a "catch
all" for political prisoners who did not fit into other
categories. Historian Warren Johansson writes that, "many of
those convicted under paragraph 175 of the German Penal Code
[which classified homosexuality as an unnatural form of
licentiousness, carrying a prison term for persons caught in
such an act] were not homosexual some were opponents of the
regime.(35) Heiden explains, "with Roehm and Heines, Hitler
helped to impose the rule of Roehm's exclusively homosexual
clique over the S.A." Hitler wrote a letter of praise and thanks
to the depraved murderer, Edmond Heines. "The disciplining of
the S.A.," Hitler wrote, "remains . . . above all, dear Heines,
your achievement and that of your staff, read: `men's harem'."
Hitler praised Heines, "for your services which have been above
all praise," and said, "today I feel a special need to thank you
most heartily for this and to express my full appreciation."(36)
Some felt that Roehm brought shame to the organization
but Hitler defended him. "Captain Roehm," he said, "remains my
Chief of Staff, now and after the elections, despite all
slanders."(37) Hitler also knew that Roehm and his friends were
causing untold misery among the boys and youth in their
companies by forcing them to their will. Edmond Heines had an
equally bad reputation. "In the spring of 1933 there was so much
scandal about Heines and the youths in the upper forms of the
schools at Breslau, that an attempt was made to transfer him
under the pretext of a promotion, but, Heines simply refused to
go."(38) By 1934, "almost everyone in Germany knew about the
S.A. and their degenerate leaders; they condemned Roehm's newly
organized Berlin headquarters as the scene of extravagant and
obscene homosexual orgies," writes Heiden.(39)
Numerous sources, including Heiden's Der Furhrer,
document that in the early days of the National Socialist
Movement, "when Hitler was still engaged in his struggle against
the state, he appealed to the `Uprooted and Disinherited'
praising them as his best troops."(40) Roehm and Hitler,
however, completely failed to understand one another. Hitler
wanted to conquer the world while Roehm and the S.A . were
calling for a second socialist "revolution." Roehm also wanted
control of the German military, one thing the proud Prussian
Officer Corps would not tolerate-a gang of unruly homosexual
thugs running the German army. Hitler was told the army would
not support his war plans if Roehm's S.A. Stormtroopers were let
in. Thus Hitler had a choice: give up his plans or tell Roehm
and the S.A. to forget their plans. Hitler chose the latter.
After January 30th, 1933, when the Nazis achieved power,
Hitler forbade his partisans even to use the term `revolution.'
In Hitler's mind, the National Socialist revolution was
complete. On January 27th, 1934, Hitler made one last attempt to
gain Roehm's compliance. Heiden writes: "Hitler wrote Roehm a
letter full of strikingly cordial phrases intended to honor and
pacify Roehm. He assured the homosexual murderer that he was
extremely grateful to destiny for having given me the right to
call a man like you my friend and comrade in arms, in cordial
friendship and grateful respect, Your Adolf Hitler."(41)
Finally, at the beginning of June 1934, "Hitler,
according to his own account, had a five-hour conversation with
Roehm, in which he demanded the liquidation of Roehm's male
harem, and, more generally, a complete change in his system of
leadership. It appears that Roehm refused to be intimidated and
contradicted Hitler stubbornly. From this moment on, the fate of
the S.A. and their leaders was sealed." Hitler, far from being
opposed to homosexuals, knew he must separate himself from Roehm
if he were to become supreme chief of the Reich and gain the
trust of heavy industry, the army and landowners.(42)
On June 26th, 1934, Hitler made a final offer to Roehm,
through his secretary Rudolph Hess, a bisexual known in
homosexual circles as "Fraulein Anna,"(43) to forgive Roehm his
indiscipline, abuse of power, `evil' intentions and scandalous
behavior, provided he renounce the second revolution. "An old
National Socialist," said Hess, "must be generous toward human
peculiarities and weaknesses in National Socialist Leaders if
these go hand in hand with great achievements and because of the
great achievements Hitler will forgive the little
weaknesses."(44) Thus five days before Roehm was to be
eliminated in the mass-murders of June 30th, 1934-known as "The
Night of the Long Knives"-Hitler was prepared to forgive all.
After Hitler eliminated not only his friend and comrade-in- arms
Ernst Roehm, but also many other `enemies,' he was able to claim that as
an act of necessity he had eliminated those elements which were dragging
Germany's present into disrepute, a small group, which as a result of its
scoundrel past, had become `uprooted and lost altogether any sympathy with
any ordered human society.' Corrupt, dissolute, homosexual,
revolutionaries, they were like a nodule of cancer in the body politic
which must be ruthlessly obliterated.(45)
But it couldn't have been Roehm's homosexuality that
Hitler found objectionable. Pro-gay writer Frank Rector records,
"Hitler Youth Leader Baldur von Schirach was bisexual, Hitler's
private attorney, Reich Legal Director and Minister of Justice
Hans Frank was homosexual, Hitler's adjutant Wilhelm Bruckner
was bisexual, Deputy Feuhrer Rudolf Hess was bisexual and Reich
Minister of Economics Walther Funk was homosexual."(46) Also,
based on a secret wartime report titled, "The Mind of Hitler,"
by Walter C. Langer, and Robert G. L. Waite's The Psychopathic
God, there is strong evidence that Hitler worked as a male
prostitute in Vienna and that he engaged in a volatile form of
sadomasochism. Based on Langer's research, Hitler also possessed
a large collection of pornography.(47 & 48)
Moreover, Shirer attests that although Hitler cited Roehm's
homosexuality as a reason for his execution, it is clear he not only
tolerated but had been for years fully aware of Roehm's proclivities.
And yet Hitler had known all along, from the earliest days of the
party, that a large number of his closest and most important followers
were sexual perverts and convicted murderers. It was common talk, for
instance, that Heines used to send S.A. men scouring all over Germany to
find him suitable male lovers. These things Hitler had not only tolerated
but defended; more than once he had warned his party comrades against
being too squeamish about a man's personal morals if he were a fanatical
fighter for the movement. Now, on June 30, 1934, he professed to he
shocked by the moral degeneration of some of his oldest lieutenants.(49)
With the blood purge of June 30, 1934, Hitler had in one
fell swoop `destroyed his rivals, drugged the Army and taken the
industrialists' measure." He branded the Brownshirts "traitors,
conspirators, criminals and homosexual outcasts."(50) Much to
the delight of the Reichswehr (the German army), landowners and
industrialists, Hitler had put an end to the `Second Socialist
Revolution.' By eliminating Roehm and his homosexual clique, the
Army believed that they, with heavy industry, would be the
pillars of the Third Reich. But this was a war that Hitler won,
the war for Germany. Hitler was not about to "share" power with
others. Germany and the German people had given themselves over
to him, a pathological god born of a masculo-homosexual cult,
marked by deviance, brutality and dictatorial power. Germany,
and the National Socialist revolution, steeped in a liberal
miasma of sexual deviance and homofascism, had given birth to
How can we now ignore the hidden history of sexual
deviance so prevalent in Nazi and pre-Nazi Germany? The present
picture being offered by gay activists for public
consumption-with the ubiquitous "pink triangle" motif-fails to
acknowledge this side of the story. Although some homosexuals,
and many of those who were framed with trumped-up charges of
homosexuality, suffered and died at the hands of the Nazis, for
gay apologists to portray themselves as historical victims of
Nazi persecution on par with the Jewish people is a gross
distortion of history, perhaps equal to denying the Holocaust
itself. In light of the preeminent role sexual deviance played
in the rise of Nazi power and in Nazi crimes against humanity,
how can homosexuals today cast themselves or be cast as prime
"victims" of Naziism? Indeed, if history is to be told
accurately, the behavior of homosexuals under Hitler's barbarous
rule provides further evidence that homosexuality is a
pathology. How then can human rights groups, politicians,
academics, and the media be so totally ignorant of the epidemic
proportions of sexual deviance which prevailed amongst the
Nazis? Ironically, the record shows that there was far more
brutality, rape, torture and murder committed against innocent
people by Nazi deviants and homosexuals, than there ever was
1. The Weimar Republic, The Crisis of Classical Modernity. First
published as "Die Weimarer Republik" by Suhrkamp Verlag am Main, 1987.
First American Edition 1992, translated by Richard Deveson, published by
Harper Collins, p. 104.
2. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, Homosexuality in the Third Reich.
Israel Gutman, Editor, MacMillan Publishing Company N.Y., pp. 687-688.
3. Katz, Jonathan Gay American History: Lesbian and Gay Men in the U.S.A.,
New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1976:632n94.
4. Rector, Frank, The Nazi Extermination of Homosexuals, New York: Stein
and Day, 1981 :69.
5. Katz, Jonathan, Gay American History: Lesbian and Gay Men in the
U.S.A., p.632n94. 6. Haeberle, Erwin J., Hidden From History, Swastika,
Pink Triangle, And Yellow Star: The Destruction Of Sexology And The
Persecution Of Homosexuals In Nazi Germany, New York: A Meridian Book,
7. Ibid., p. 369.
8. Delarue, Jacques, Translated by Mervyn Savill, The Gestapo: A History
of Horror. Dell Publishing 1964, pp. 16-17.
9. Cavendish, Marshall, Man. Myth & Magic. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of
Mythology. Religion and the Unknown, p. 2739.
10. Waite, Robert G.L. Assistant Professor of History, Williams
College. Vanguard Of Nazism. The Free Corps Movement In Post
War Germany 1918-1923, Harvard University Press, 1952:19.
11. Shirer, William L., The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich, Simon And
Schuster, New York. 1960, p. 38.
12. Jones, Nigel, Hitler's Heralds. The Story of the Freikorps,
1918-1923, pp. 124-125.
13. The Nazi Extermination of Homosexuals, p. 52.
14. Heiden, Konrad, Der Fuehrer, Hitler's Rise to Power. Houghton Mifflin
Company, Boston, Riverside Press, Cambridge, 1944, pp. 294-295.
16. Snyder, Louis L., Hitler's Elite. Biographical Sketches of Nazis Who
Shaped The Third Riech.
17. Rector, Frank, The Nazi Extermination of Homosexuals, p. 52.
18. Winkler, Paul. The Thousand Year Conspiracy. Secret Germany Behind The
Mask. New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, l943: 133.
19. Delarue, Jacques, The Gestapo: A History of Horror, p. 18.
20. Fuchs, Thomas, The Hitler Fact Book, New York: Fountain Books, 1990:
21. Shirer, William L., The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich,
22. Read, Anthony & Fisha, David, Kristallnacht, The Nazi Night of Terror,
Random House 1989, p. 128.
23. Ibid., pp. 68-69.
24. Heiden, Konrad, Der Fuehrer, Hitler's Rise to Power, p. 295.
25. Cantarella, Eva, Bisexuality in the Ancient World, Yale University
Press, New Haven & London, 1992, p. 71.
26. Herdt, Gilbert, The Sambia. McGraw Hill Incorp., 1981, p.
27. Gallo, Max, The Night of the Long Knives, New York: Harper & Row
28. Marshall K. Kirk & Erastes Pill, "The Overhauling Of Straight
America," November 1987, Guide Magazine. Originally published as a
two-part essay in Christopher Street, Volume 8, number 11.
29. Reisman, Judith A., "And Now For The Pink Triangle."
Muller's article originally appeared in The Advocate, May 4,
30. Heiden, Konrad, Der Fuehrer, pp. 303-304.
31. Ibid., pp. 370-371.
32. Ibid., pp. 371-372.
33. Igra, Samuel, Germany's National Vice, London: Quality Press
34. Adam, Barry D., The Rise of a Gay and Lesbian Movement. Boston:
Twayne Publishers, 1987:54.
35. Johansson, Warren, Encyclopedia of Homosexuality, Pink Triangles, New
York: Garland Publishing, 1990:997.
36. Heiden, Konrad, Der Fuehrer, p. 372.
37. Ibid., pp. 451-452.
38. Heiden, Konrad, History of National Socialism, p. 418. 39. Heiden,
Konrad, Der Fuehrer, p. 746.
40. Ibid., p. 732.
41. Ibid., p. 737. 42. Ibid., pp. 746-747.
43. Waite, Robert G.L., The Psychopathic God Adolf Hitler, New York:
Basic Books, 1977:235.
44. Ibid., p. 755.
45. Hitler's Mistakes, Lewin, Ronald, & Leo Cooper in association with
Secker & Warburg, p. 38.
46. Rector, Frank, The Nazi Extermination of Homosexuals, p. 56.
47. Langer, Waltcr C., The Mind of Adolf Hitler, The Secret Wartime
Report, Basic Books Inc., Publishers, New York, p. 103.
48. Waite, Robert G.L., The Psychopathic God Adolf Hitler, p. 235.
49. Shirer, William L., The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich, p. 225.
50. Hitler's Mistakes, p. 38.
Author's recommended reading: Der Fuehrer by Konrad Heiden.