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Homosexual inmates in the Buchenwald Concentration Camp.

Review article
Röll W. J Homosex. 1996.

Abstract

The treatment of homosexual inmates in Nazi concentration camps is a subject which was largely ignored by historians in both West and East Germany after the war. Not until the 1980s, when research began to focus on some of the lesser-known victims of Nazi terror, did attention shift to the fate of homosexuals. This process can be seen clearly at the Buchenwald Memorial in the former GDR, the site of the persecution and also the death of considerable numbers of prisoners identified by the pink triangle on their clothing. The persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany began in 1933, even before Buchenwald was built in 1937. The Nazis aimed to eradicate homosexuality, which they saw as a threat to the survival of the German people. Incarceration in concentration camps like Buchenwald marked a stage in the radicalization of Nazi policy against homosexuals. There they were subjected to the harshest conditions and treated as the lowest of the low in the camp hierarchy. They were continually exposed to the terror of the SS but also the latent prejudices of the rest of the camp population. The culminating points of their maltreatment in Buchenwald were the use of homosexuals in experiments to develop immunization against typhus fever and the attempt by an SS doctor to "cure" homosexuality through the implantation of sexual hormones.

PMID

8905527 [Indexed for MEDLINE]