Why did the Nazis persecute Homosexuals?

0 0
  • image-0-thumb
Richard Grune

Richard Grune, was an artist who trained at the Bauhaus school in Weimar. 

He was arrested and interrogated in December 1934. Admitting to being homosexual and was held in ‘protective custody'. Found guilty of breaking paragraph 175 of the German Penal Code, he was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

In October 1937 he was sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. From there he was transferred, in April 1940, to Flossenbürg, where he stayed there for the next five years.



Why did the Nazis persecute homosexuals?

What was the official reason for them to be classed as 'undesirables'?

There are those homosexuals who take the view: what I do is my business, a purely private matter. However, all things which take place in the sexual sphere are not the private affair of the individual, but signify the life and death of the nation, signify world power...”

Taken from a speech Himmler made to the SS, 18 February 1937.


In Nazi Germany homosexuals were seen as ’undesirables’, as they failed to meet the Nazi ideals to create Aryan offspring. As a result they were persecuted.

During the summer of 1935, the Nazi government updated Paragraph 175 of the Penal Code in order to legislate against Homosexuals in Germany. The code read:

“A male who commits a sex offence with another male or allows himself to be used by another male for a sex offence shall be punished with imprisonment.”

In all, 15,000 homosexuals were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. Whilst in the camps they had to wear a pink triangle to identify them. Many homosexuals were castrated as a form of control, treatment or punishment. Within the SS anyone thought to be homosexual was sent to a camp where many of them were killed.