Scott Lively, an absolutely deranged anti-gay bigot, is the one responsible for the bizarre claim that the Nazis were really butch gays trying to destroy the more effeminate ones (seriously, he wrote a whole book on this). Bryan Fischer has made it popular among a certain subset of the Christian right. Now the senior historian at the National Holocaust Museum has debunked it completely. I hope it’s okay that I reprint the entire letter published at Queerty.
Dear Mr. Glaser,
Thank you for your e-mail of June 5, 2015. Your inquiry was forwarded to the Division of the Senior Historian for a response.
1. With regard to the general thrust of the text that you sent us under the title, “The Truth About Homosexuality and the Nazi Party” there is no documentation to confirm that the Nazi policy towards homosexual acts (as they were labeled in those days) was governed by a Party distinction between those folks referred to in the text as “effeminate” and “masculine” homosexuals.
Even before the Nazis came to power, same gender sexual relations constituted a criminal offense under German law, though during the years of Germany’s first republic (1919-1933) only sexual intercourse or sexual exchanges aimed at a similar result constituted criminal behavior. In general, though not always, the police in the big cities, particularly Berlin and Hamburg, were relatively lax on enforcement of the law in cases that came to their attention, as long as the “offense” involved two consenting adults acting on their private time.
The Nazis shared the belief with many in the German population that same gender sexual relations were 1) unnatural and immoral; 2) undermined the cohesiveness of the family; 3) increased the habit and temptation to engage in other criminal behavior; 3) encouraged the seduction and corruption of minors; 4) and rendered public sector officials vulnerable to blackmail by foreign intelligence agents and (5) both public and private sector employees susceptible to using or demanding sexual favors in the workplace to obtain or grant discriminatory treatment in hiring, promoting, receiving assignments, rewarding and disciplining employees.
On a broader level, the Nazis also shared with many others among all classes of German society a notion that homosexuality undermined the vitality of the German male, and the capacity of Germans to stand up for themselves diplomatically or in war. Beyond this, the Nazis believed that homosexuals undermined the future of the German race by not devoting their sexual energy to reproduction. Even here, the Nazis had no exclusive ownership of this belief on this belief.
Hence when the Nazis came to power, over the first three years of Nazi rule, they 1) broadened the applicability of the law to criminalize even gestures without touching that might suggest a homosexual relationship or intent to engage in same-gender sex; 2) decreed stiffer penalties for persons convicted under the broader law; and 3) ordered more focused and consistent police enforcement of the law. Under Nazi rule, some 100,000 persons were arrested under the law; approximately 63,000 were convicted. Homosexual rights organizations were banned and their assets and publications confiscated, and past offenders, whether or not they had committed another crime, were sent to concentration camps, where hundreds, possibly thousands died under Nazi rule.
There is no reliable documentation that would suggest or confirm that, in applying the criminal statute the German judiciary and police made a legal distinction between the categories that are identified in the text that you have sent us.
Heinrich Himmler, the Reichsführer SS and Chief of German Police during the Nazi regime, believed that most homosexual activity was the consequence of experimentation or seduction and hence could be erased by discipline.
2. Among the other notions in the text that you sent us that find no confirmation in the historical record or are simply incorrect are the following:
There are no records of 40,000 “confessions of Nazi Party members to having engaged in same-gender sex.
There is no record to confirm that the Nazi Party was founded in a so-called gay bar.
While SA Chief of Staff Ernst Röhm did place on his staff individuals who were homosexuals — primarily because he had known them for years and could count on their personal loyalty to him — neither he nor the SA commanders ever recruited on this basis. Moreover, the SA chief of staff between 1925 and 1930, when Röhm was in Bolivia, was not a homosexual and did not recruit on this basis.
Hitler’s reason for having Röhm shot was not Röhm’s disloyalty to Hitler, but the demand of the German Army leadership, which feared the replacement of the professional army by a People’s Army promoted by Röhm and the SA commanders, told Hitler that his continued rule depended upon removing the SA leadership.
Though open as one could be in those days about his sexual preferences, there is no reliable documentation to confirm that Röhm engaged in sexual acts with minors.
There is no documentation that would confirm that the killers on June 30 1934 of Röhm and the other victims, were, as a group, homosexuals, either openly or “in the closet.”
The three main conspirators — Himmler, Heydrich, and Goring — were not homosexuals, nor were the best known of the executioners, Josef Sepp Dietrich and Theodor Eicke.
There is no reliable documentation to confirm the statement that Hitler thought homosexuals would make suitable SA men because of a propensity to violence or because of any other reason.
The size of the SA in 1934 was about 4.0 million.
There is no reliable documentation that would confirm that Baldur von Schirach (Hitler Youth Leader), Franz Gürtner (Minister of Justice to 1941), Otto von Thierack (Minister of Justice (1942-1945) Hjalmar Schacht (Minister of Economics to 1938), Walter Funk (Minister of Economics,. 1938-1945), Hermann Göring, Hans Frank (Hitler’s personal lawyer up to 1939, or any of his personal bodyguards were gay.
There is no reliable documentation to confirm that Hitler worked as a male prostitute in Vienna.
While there is plenty of evidence that both Himmler and Hitler were implacably hostile to the Christian Churches and denominations, in particular the Catholic Church, there is no documentation that provides confirmation that either was, as the article says, “a closet homosexual”.
Jews and Christian clergy were indeed targeted by the Nazi regime, but not, as the article opines, in like ways. All Jews were targets; only those Christian clergy who failed to comply with Nazi secular law or who engaged in public opposition to the regime were targeted and only for as long as they engaged in these activities.
There is no reliable documentation that “the masculine homosexual movement” as phrased by the article, was responsible for the formation of the SA. The Nazi Party and SA had separate beginnings; the SA came into the Nazi movement as a more or less equal partner in the early 1920s. After Hitler came out of prison in 1925, the SA was completely and absolutely subordinate to the Nazi Party and its Führer.
Two-thirds of Europe’s Jews were killed in the Holocaust; less than half of them died in gas chambers.
While there were acts of same gender sex among prisoners — some consensual, some not–the existing documentary evidence does not confirm that “many of the guards and administrators responsible for the concentration camp horrors were themselves homosexuals.” After 1941, conviction under paragraph 175 (sexual deviation) for an SS man meant at a minimum expulsion from the SS and could carry a death sentence.
For more information about the situation of gay people under Nazi rule, please visit our website (www.ushmm.org).
I hope that this is helpful to you.
This will, of course, have no effect whatsoever on Lively, Fischer or any of their followers, who are utterly immune to reality.