I read that Nazi Germany only prosecuted gay men, not gay women. This really confuses me.

As to my understanding, the Nazis wanted to increase the Aryan population and exclusively gay men don't seem to be of much help for this endeavor. However, an Aryan woman being gay seems like a much bigger loss. Why did they lock gay men up in concentration camps and kill them / work them to death but didn't prosecute gay women at all? Wouldn't it be much more logical to force them to have children with Aryan men?

Furthermore, why did the put gay men who were capable of fighting in concentration camps? This seems very illogical to me.

As far as I understand it, most Nazis were convinced homosexuality is congenital. Only some thought it's acquired during life. I do understand that they feared a decrease in the number of Aryans due to war losses and wanted to increase the reproduction of their people but straight-up removing them from the work force or army (I don't count living in a forced labor camp for a short period of time before dying as being part of the work force permanently because ... well, they died after a short period of time, compared to the amount they would be able to work outside of concentration camps) seems like a really stupid thing to do.

Even if they wanted to make sure straight people aren't infected with homosexuality due to exposure to gays, couldn't they still use gay men for their war effort? Possibly having dedicated gay divisions to minimize exposure of straight men to gay men.

Why were they just fine with gay women living in the regular population when some of them feared that homosexuality could be contagious? Shouldn't those who despised gays and assumed homosexuality to be an acquired trait have been in favor of forcing Aryan women to have sex with Aryan men and have children, therefore increasing the Aryan population with good chances of the children being straight?

I know that there only was a law criminalizing homosexuality in men, not in women, but surely some stupid old law could just be changed.

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    In my opinion approaching political ideologies like Nazi ideology from strictly logical point of view is rather futile. Madness, lack or logic and rather contradicting logic in rules and regulations are essential part of the system. – Greg Jul 12 '17 at 1:01
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    This question would benefit from sources to back up the various assertions. – Mark C. Wallace Jul 12 '17 at 1:28
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    Consider that homophobia was culturally embedded in most of Europe and America (if not the whole world) - given the Nazi's rather extreme stance on other traits and behaviours, it isn't too much of a stretch for them to include homosexuals as a "deviant" class. The difference in treatment between men and women is likely as simple as conflating male homosexuality with sodomy, while female homosexuality was almost not even considered to be a real thing (it still isn't by a lot of people) – user13123 Jul 12 '17 at 1:40
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    This reads like a request for discussion. What is the question? – Mark C. Wallace Jul 12 '17 at 10:51
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    Agree with @MarkC.Wallace I think. You raise many points and it's hard to distill an answerable question from them. Check your assertions with wikipedia and then narrow down your question? – mart Jul 12 '17 at 11:14

    There were too few lesbians compared to male homosexuals to make separate laws. According to prevailing doctrine (not just in Third Reich), homosexuality was spread by "grooming". Basically, older homosexuals would find younger victims, not fully developed in sexual meaning, and molest them until they were mentally broken and change their sexual preference. Victims were usually teenage boys, sometimes even younger. And when they grow up, they would repeat the vicious circle, from victims they would become predators.

     For lesbians, there were very few opportunities to enact this cycle. You could say there were two basic classes of lesbians in those days. First were extreme feminists that used to wear male clothes, male haircut and generally tried to behave like men. Such persons were naturally not allowed to communicate with young girls, and being usually involved with communists, anarchists and other leftists groups, Third Reich had other mechanisms to deal with them. Second class of lesbians were actually bi-sexual prostitutes. They didn't have any ideological attachment and would basically sleep with anyone for money. Again, Third Reich had other legal mechanism to cope with them, so no separate laws were enacted.

    Worth to mention that even in Weimar Republic (or anywhere else in the world at that time), homosexual lobby didn't have access to mass media (either press or radio) , so they didn't spread their worldview to general public like today .

EDIT: Added sources about lesbians in Third Reich and general attitude of German leadership about homosexuals.

This article, although with heavy political POV, confirms there were not many lesbians recognized as such by Third Reich authorities, and confirms that although some of them were persecuted it was usually because of their political activity .

This is a complete Himmler speech about homosexuality. It is hosted on some ultra-right site, but I could not find full version elsewhere. It confirms that Third Reich officially considered grooming as a method for spreading male homosexuality. Relevant quote

But the moment when the hustlers are not there – I am not going to lock up the homosexuals – then there is a risk that the millions of homosexuals will seek new victims for themselves.

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    Pick any sentence in there and substantiate it, please – Ne Mo Jul 12 '17 at 9:52
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    -1 and VTD because not an ounce of this "answer" is backed up by evidence and it appears to be a homophobic/anti-left rant rather than an actual answer which could be salvaged into something useful – NSNoob Jul 12 '17 at 10:58
  • Thank you. But why didn't they send the gay men to war? Or at least the strong ones so they didn't waste materials on people unable to fight (as according to the other there was the notion that gay men were weaker than straight men). They can't infect straight men when there only are gay men in their divisions. – UTF-8 Jul 12 '17 at 14:26
  • @UTF-8 Homosexuals in military warrant additional question, it is somewhat unrelated topic. I recommend that you simply create new question, and I would respond to the best of my ability. – rs.29 Jul 12 '17 at 16:28
  • @NeMo Added references about number of lesbians and about official position on grooming. – rs.29 Jul 12 '17 at 16:45

I understand this should be a comment but I dont have the reputation unfortunately and I apologise about this. There is SOME evidence and I stress this in the most minimal degree possible that logically rs.29 may have a basis for the arguement.

The Nazis based themselves very heavily around the Roman Empire which also based itself around the Athenian and Greek states. In both Rome and Greece pederasty (the act of older males taking on younger boys in a psuedo-homosexual relationship in order to relay experience in a protegee/master relationship) was commonplace. This leads to phrases like Gibbons' "Claudius was the only one whose taste in love was entirely correct" implying he was the only one to not take men or boys as lovers.

So the idea that homosexuality was a grooming practice does have a logical consistancy (at least in the mind of a member of the Nazi party). Combine this with the fact that according to a 1939 census after the annexation of Catholic Austria into Germany indicates approx 94% of them were Christian (in some form) and 3.5% identified as believers in god.

As is common through out history when one idealogy replaces another its very common to replace and substitute common beliefs and practices. Think of Christmas as an example.

Either way it would be logically consistant to keep hold of Christian beliefs in homosexuality being wrong whilst still holding onto the idea of pederasty and then combining the idea of the aryan race being a series of genetic traits you would want to de-associate the possibility of genetic homosexuality with your so called "perfect people".

Examples of this may be found by Giles, Geoffrey J., "The Denial of Homosexuality: Same-Sex Incidents in Himmler's SS", Journal of the History of Sexuality, Vol. 11, No. 1/2, Special Issue: Sexuality and German Fascism (Jan. – Apr., 2002), pp. 256–290.

  • I think you should re-work this as an answer to the question rather than an extended comment (especially since the answer you're referencing may be deleted). – Steve Bird Jul 12 '17 at 14:06
  • Did they think grooming makes straight men bisexual or exclusively gay? Did they think the same thing happens with women? – UTF-8 Jul 12 '17 at 14:28

One possible explanation may be found in the conflict between the nazis and the Berliners.

Berlin in the 1920's was actually a very left leaning city. Goebbels described it as 'the reddest city in Europe after Moscow'. Homosexuality was not uncommon, and was practiced more openly in Berlin than the rest of Germany at that time.

Even after the rise of the nazis, Berliners retained their attitudes, albeit in a greatly masked form to avoid persecution. Ironically, Berliners probably suffered the most from the consequences of the nazis they held in such disregard.

And, in general, conservative hetero men tend to view male homosexuality with more disfavor than lesbianism. Why that is, can be argued ad infinitum...

So, the nazis persecuting male homosexuality more than female, may have been a combination of a dislike of the libertarian nature of Berlin, and a dislike of the male homosexual acts. Why they didn't target lesbians... possibly because it didn't affect them personally.

Side note: During the early years, Hitler's direct competition was Ernst Roehm, who headed up the Brownshirts. Roehm was a homosexual, although he kept it well hidden. When Hitler's henchmen came to get Roehm on the Night of the Long Knives, they found him in bed with his boyfriend, and dispatched both.

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