michael mills wrote: Homosexual acts by males were prosecuted in National Socialist Germany under a section of the Criminal Code that was in existence well before Hitler came to power, and had been passed some time in the 19th century, at approximately the same time as male homosexuality was criminalised in Britain.
This statement is true, as far as it goes, yet fundamentally disingenuous. Section 175 of the Prussian (and later Imperial and Weimar) criminal code made homosexual anal sodomy illegal. While this law was on the books, it was hard to enforce as actual sodomy (not mere licentiousness, nor oral sodomy, nor mutual masturbation) had to be proved. On at least one occasion, Ernst Röhm avoided prosecution under Section 175 by claiming (probably falsely) that he and a male prostitute had only engaged in mutual masturbation. Outside of the military (where the regulations were much tighter) homosexual prosecution was virtually nil before the Nazi regime.
Secondly, not only did the Nazis made the penalties under Section 175 much more severe, but they also made prosecution easier by including not only oral and genital play, but mere licentiousness (e.g. provocative speech, the possession of homoerotic pornography, etc.) as grounds for prosecution. As a result, prosecutions went up dramatically and harsher sentences were handed out.
Thus, it is incorrect say that the Nazis merely continued with a pre-existing policy.
michael mills wrote: There was in Germany no law criminalising homosexual acts by females …
Under the Nazi regime, Section 175 was revised to include lesbianism, though prosecutions were extremely rare.
michael mills wrote:The reason why both male and female homosexuals ended up in concentration camps is not specifically their sexual orientation, but rather a provision made in 1943 that persons convicted to sentences over a specific term could be transferred to concentration camps for "destruction by labour". …
This too is disingenuous as the harsher sentences required by the Nazi revision of Section 175 made conviction a de facto
sentence to the concentration camps. Also, any SS men found engaging in homoerotic activities were sent directly to concentration camps.
It is also worth noting here that male homosexual prisoners in concentration camps were often given the chance to “prove” themselves to be heterosexual with prostitutes and thus earn a parole to military service. There are many documented cases of this, in fact most of the homosexual survivors of the camps survived for just this reason. If homosexuals were not in the camps for just that reason, then why weren’t petty thieves given the chance to “prove” themselves property respecting and only then paroled to the military?
michael mills wrote:Female homosexual inmates, who had usually been convicted of an offence such as prostitution, were given the black triangle for anti-social offences, which was issued to all persons convicted of such offences, and had nothing to do with their sexual orientation.
As I mentioned before, female conviction under Section 175 was a rarity. Since the Nazi motivation for persecuting homosexuality was because it was antigennic, as opposed to “vice,” married women were only rarely convicted (even in the face of prima fascia evidence) and women with children were never convicted of lesbianism! Thus, it should surprise almost no one that the vast bulk of lesbian women in concentration camps were there for other reasons, yet there are documented cases of women wearing the pink triangle!
michael mills wrote:Given the actual historical background to the reasons why male and female homosexuals could end up in concentration camps, the dedication of a memorial specifically to homosexual prisoners does seem to be more the result of pandering to a politically influential lobby group rather than the righting of an historical injustice. Why single out those convicts transferred to concentration camps who were homosexual, rather than those had been convicted of petty theft, for example?
Dan wrote:An important thing to remember is that in most countries of the world, homosexuals were typically thrown into jail during that time frame. I frankly wonder about this precident, whether or not another 100 or so nations will have to erect monuments to the persecution of homosexuals.
These arguments only make sense if you think that homosexuality is the moral equivalence of petty theft. The general consensus in the civilized world now is that society has a right to punish crimes committed against others (e.g. petty theft) but that it is despotic to punish sins against the self (e.g. obesity, homosexuality, sloth). Thus, while it might be draconian to send petty thieves to almost certain death, it constitutes an atrocity to kill people over a purely private matter.
Dan wrote:The fact that Penn44 has said that he likes to frequent strip clubs … may perhaps cloud his judgement.
Here I must agree with Dan. Paying money for sex is perhaps one of the most morally debased results of capitalism! The idea that human love can be turned into a commodity to be bought and sold is just stomach-turning, yet it is the inevitable result of capitalist markets and bourgeois proprieties! Such exploitative behavior will come to an end only when capitalism is eradicated. I’m sure that Dan will join me in praying for that day!
Dan wrote:The fact that Penn44 has said that he likes to … date bisexual women may perhaps cloud his judgement.
I’m not sure I understand the objection here? If no money changes hands, what’s the harm in it?