Lesbian Victims & Survivors Of The Nazi Regime, WWII

From 1933, the Nazi regime persecuted / raided and then closed lesbian meetings places. Devastatingly, Jewish lesbians were forced on a one way route to concentration camps. Personalising some Lesbian experiences of Nazi persecution: lesbian victims and survivors of the Nazis.

Lesbian Victims & Survivors Of The Nazi Regime    |
Lesbian Resistance Fighters & Lesbians Who Defied The Nazi Regime   |   Lesbian Nazi Collaborators
 

Commemorating Lesbian Victims And Survivors Of Nazi Persecution

Though this page is dedicated to lesbians' experiences during the Nazi regime, out of sweet empathy I can't exclude the experiences of gay men. Here are a few examples of lesbian victims and survivors of Nazi persecution

What was the Nazi policy towards gay women? In the past, LGBT and lesbian experiences under the Nazi Regime has been rarely discussed. Stellar historians like Claudia Schoppmann are endeavouring to address this gap in history. Uncovering the stories of LGBT people during the Nazi era, however, is difficult because across Europe still, until the late 1960s, it was illegal for men to have same sex and therefore gay male victims were reluctant to discuss this, the continued prejudice against same-sex sexuality (lesbainsim was still taboo too) and possibly

... ... of missing data as, facing defeat, the Nazis tried to burn records of their monstrous murders. In cases when lesbians were arrested and sent to concentration camps, their records can be sometimes hard to find - they were rarely identified as such in official records. Also for consideration is that some LGBT Nazi victims may not have had relatives who would have searched for them after the war's end and, tell their experiences. For imprisoned gay men, many were still imprisoned after the war's end because sexual relations between men was still criminalised.


The Second Reich's Homosexuality Laws: Paragraph 175
In 1871, following the unification of the German Empire (The Second Reich), Imperial laws were enacted that took precedence over the laws of the previous individual states. Paragraph 175 was enacted which criminalised sexual relations between men, but did not stipulate against sexual relations between women. A law was drafted, however, in 1907, that would persecute lesbians as well, but the Reichstag (German Parliament) rejected this proposal.


The Weimar Republic
After the end of WWI, in 1918, Germany formed a new government called the "Weimar Republic". Though there was economic hardship following The Treaty of Versailles and political turmoil, it was an era of vibrant artistic movements and new social freedoms.

In the 1920s, the nature of human sexuality became an area of scientific research and debate in Europe and the United States. Germany was at the forefront of these discussions, particularly in Berlin. Physician and sex researcher Magnus Hirschfeld and others organised gay and lesbian “friendship leagues” (Freundschaftsverbände). They also sought to educate the public about sexuality - that homosexuality is inborn and not a vice or perversion and advocated for the decriminalisation of sexual relations between men.

Lesbian communities in 1920's Weimar Berlin flourished and there were many lesbian run bars, clubs and balls such as Damenklub Violetta, Damenklub Monbijou. Lesbian kabarett singers like Claire Waldoff sang overtly gay songs, Lesbian themed plays were performed such as La Prisonnière (1926), a lesbian play was adapted into a ground-breaking and successful movie Mädchen in Uniform (1931), lesbian magazines like the Die Freundin were popular, and Ruth Roellig published a city guide, Berlins lesbische Frauen (1928), for lesbians.


The Third Reich - The Persecution of "Untermenschen"
This all changed with Hitler's rise to power and becoming Chancellor of Germany on the 30 January 1933. Not only did Hitler wish to build an Empire, he and his National Socialists (Nazis) believed the Germans belonged to the "master race" / the "Aryan race". Hitler and the Nazis' goal was to eliminate "non-Aryans" and "undesirable people" (Untermenschen) including: Jews
Roma
Blacks
Political opponents
Homosexuals
Criminals
Religious figures
Any out-spoken critics (including journalists and artists)
Physically and mentally disabled...



The Nazi Crackdown on Gay Men and Gay Women
Ironically, the commander of the Nazi Party's early militia force, the SA (Sturmabteilung / Brown Shirts), Ernst Röhm, who was one of the most powerful members of the party, was... gay. Following a newspaper's outing of Röhm in 1932, Adolf Hitler defended the commander: "The private life cannot be an object of scrutiny unless it conflicts with basic principles of National Socialist ideology." During The Night of the Long Knives, in the summer of 1934, the SS murdered Hitler's political enemies and every significant SA member including Ernst Röhm.

From 1933, the Nazi regime harassed and destroyed lesbian (and LGBT) communities and networks. The Nazis at first raided and then shut down Lesbian meeting places, publishing houses, burnt lesbian books, banned lesbian performances and lesbians from exhibiting their work. For lesbians, this created a climate of restriction and fear.

A few weeks before the adoption of the Nuremberg Laws, on 28 June 1935, Paragraph 175 was strengthened by the Nazis. From then on any homosexual act or intention (even looking at another man with "desire") would be punishable, no longer just sexual relations of a coital nature. Unlike gay men, under the Nazi regime, there was no official law prohibiting sexual relations between women. The Nazis treated sexual relations between women differently than sexual relations between men as they saw lesbians, first and foremost, as women. The Nazis believed that German Aryan women had a special task to perform: motherhood - to give birth to racially pure Germans, called "Aryans", even outside of marriage. The Nazis concluded that Aryan lesbians could easily be persuaded or forced to bear children. For racially pure German procreation, the Nazis sterilised people who supposedly hereditary disabilities and the 1935 Nuremberg Laws defined who could have sex with whom e.g. Jews were no longer able to marry Aryans

Without question gay men had it harder than lesbians during the Nazi regime as sex between men was illegal under Paragraph 175. In 1936, Heinrich Himmler (the Reich Leader (Reichsführer) of the evil SS) created the Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion (Reichszentrale zur Bekämpfung der Homosexualität und der Abtreibung). This office was part of the Criminal Police (Kripo) and worked closely with the Gestapo. One of its main responsibilities was to police and track down men suspected of homosexuality and interrogate those who had be denounced. Though the police were less concerned with lesbians, they did investigate and interrogate some lesbians. Check out the PDF: Queer in Europe during the second World War


The Crackdown on Gay Men Across Europe
Homosexuality was decriminalised in Poland (1932), Denmark (1933), Iceland (1940), Switzerland (1942) and Sweden (1944). Leading up to and during WWII there was a crackdown on gay men, across Europe.

Although homosexuality was also illegal prior to 1938 (Sec.129 Ib of the Austrian Penal Code had criminalised homosexual acts by both men and women, or “unnatural fornication”, since 1852), 1938 onwards, the number of arrests of homosexuals or people suspected of homosexuality by the Criminal Police or Secret State Police increased dramatically. 1934 - Soviet Union - the crime of sodomy, though abolished in 1917, was reintroduced in 1934, making homosexuality punishable by five years in a forced labour camp (Gulag).

1937 - Romania - when reforming its Criminal Code in 1937, introduced the concept of acts of sexual "inversion".

1938 - Italy - One of Mussolini's zealous police prefects, in Catania (Sicily), arrested homosexuals and imprisoned them on the on the island Tremiti, in the Adriatic Sea. As they led a decent life, ironically, the gay prisoners found some degree of freedom there.

1938 - Austria - from 1938 onwards, the number of arrests of homosexuals or people suspected of homosexuality by the Austrian Criminal Police or Secret State Police increased dramatically. Since 1852, Sec.129 Ib of the Austrian Penal Code had criminalised homosexual acts by both men and women, or "unnatural fornication"

1942 - France - Since the French Revolution homosexuality had no longer been punished but on 6 August 1942, Vichy leader Marshal Pétain approved a law introducing the concept of an "unnatural" act into French law which gay men could be arrested for.



Denunciations of Lesbians
Some people disapproved of sexual relations between women and sometimes denounced lesbians to the police. In the toxic environment of the Nazi regime, people could be denounced by neighbours, relatives, friends, work colleagues... Because there was no legal basis to prosecute lesbians, in some cases, the police dismissed the complaints. Nonetheless, a denunciation, could lead to an investigation which could uncover criminal offenses such as friendship with Jews, ties to a resistance group or subversive political behaviour (like being a member of the communist party). In those cases, women could be arrested, interrogated by the Gestapo, imprisoned. They could be sent to forced labour concentration camps as political prisoners, criminals (prostitutes), asocials, and as members of other groups.


Jewish Lesbians
Being lesbian and Jewish, was a one way ticket to a ghetto / concentration camp not because they were lesbian but because they were Jewish. Jewish Lesbians were deported even if: one parent was Jewish, a grandparent was Jewish, the parents had converted them to Protestantism or Catholicism. To try and avoid anti-Semitic persecution and deportation some lesbians married foreigners to gain foreign passports like Margot Liu who married a Chinese waiter but didn't admit to her finance that she was lesbian while others managed to enter lavender marriages such as Erika Mann who married gay English poet W.H Auden.


Lesbians and the Pink Triangle
According to the reason for their imprisonment, The Nazis classified prisoners in concentration camps into groups. By 1938, these groups were identified with various coloured badges worn on camp uniforms. A pink triangle badge ('die Rosa-Winkel') identified men, who had been imprisoned for allegedly violating Paragraph 175, as "homosexual". Women who self-identified or were identified as lesbians did not wear the pink triangle. Instead, they wore badges that corresponded to the official reason for their arrest and internment. Criminals were marked with green inverted triangles, political prisoners with red, "asocials" (including Roma, vagrants, and other groups) with black badges...


Harrowing Stats - Homosexual Convictions
The exact numbers of homosexuals who were convicted by the Nazis is unknown and will never be known. It is estimated that, between 1933 and 1945 there were approximately (source: USHMM):
  • 100,000 arrests under Paragraph 175.
  • 53,400 resulted in convictions.
  • 5,000 to 15,000 men were imprisoned in concentration camps as "homosexual" offenders.
  • Up to 60 percent of "homosexual" offenders imprisoned in concentration camps, died.


Living conditions in Nazi concentration camps were so barbaric and inhumane, some prisoners (including prisoners classified as homosexuals) committed suicide. After the war, many men serving sentences for allegedly violating Paragraph 175, remained in prison because of Paragraph 175 which was only abolished in 1969.


Plötzensee Prison
Among 2,883 prisoners who were executed in Plötzensee Prison in Charlottenburg-Nord, Berlin there are at least four gay men convicted of Paragraph 175 offences: Walter Boldes (1898 – 1942), Wilhelm Finkernagel (1910 – 1943), František Kozák (1920 – 1943), Vaclav Veleba (1910 – 1944).

Shockingly, from 1933 to 1936, 45 people were beheaded by an executioner's ax in the prison courtyard. To increase efficiency, secretly, a guillotine was transported from the Bruchsal prison in Baden to Plötzensee and erected there. From 1937 to 1939, 188 prisoners were beheaded by guillotine. In late 1942, the execution chamber was fitted with a steel beam to which eight iron hooks were fastened. This gallows was then used for hangings.

Reading the convictions in the Plötzensee Totenbuch (Death Book) are heart-breaking.


Concentration Camps
Between 1933 and 1945, The Nazi Regime and its allies established more than 44,000 camps (including ghettos, labour camps, tansit camps, concentration camps, and extermination camps) across Europe - see the USHMM's maps of the camp network. Though there are so many harrowing documents to watch I would highly recommend: Night Will Fall (2014), Auschwitz in 33 Objects (2021) and The U.S. and the Holocaust (2022) which highlights how hard it became to escape Nazi persecution by emigration.


Holocaust Restitution
After the war's end the German government agreed to make direct payments to victims of the Holocaust. Until June 24, 1987 Gay survivors of the Holocaust and other "forgotten victim groups" were excluded from the restitution proceedings. In 2017, The German government voted to annul all convictions made under Paragraph 175 and to pay restitutions directly and specifically to those who had been convicted and/or jailed because of Paragraph 175.


Never Forget. Never Again
Behind every name there is a story - I pass on the torch to you, to keep continuing the research and build biographies for the names on those haunting deportation / execution / murder lists, and, where possible to put a pic to that name. And for consideration, some gay Nazi victims may not have had relatives who would keep their memories burning.


Caveat
If you are using a translator - so sorry, it may not translate the gendered pronouns correctly which I can't fix :( This page is clearly not an excerpt from an academic paper (oops, I am not a gifted writer) but this is just an heartfelt salute to perhaps some unsung gay humanitarians.

If any information is incorrect - my hugest and sincerest apologies. Alas, I am collating what info is out on the web. Please do email with any suggested corrections and I will amend accordingly. Moreover, during my research there were some stellar ladies I wished to include herein, but within the source material, it was ambiguous / concealed if they were indeed lesbians.

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Victims: Baroness Gertrud von Puttkamer

Baroness Gertrud von Puttkamer

Prussian Jewish Poet: 1881 - 1944
Death by The Nazi Euthanasia program?

Was Baroness Gertrud von Puttkamer who wrote one of the first European collections of erotic sapphic verses a victim of the Nazi's Aktion T4 euthanasia campaign? ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Victims: Anita Rée

Anita Rée

German Jewish Painter: 1885 – 1933
Committed suicide as a result of Nazi persecution

Artist Anita Rée committed suicide in 1933 due to the harassment from anti-Semitism and dealing with her own sexuality ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Victims: Christa Winsloe & Simone Gentet

Christa Winsloe & Simone Gentet

German-Hungarian Playwright : 1888 – 1944
Wrongly executed by French patriots

Christa Winsloe and Simone Gentet were falsely accused of being Nazi spies by four Frenchmen and were shot in a forest near the country town of Cluny ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Victims: Eva Kotchever

Eva Kotchever

Polish-Jewish Writer: 1891 – 1943
Murdered in a Auschwitz gas chamber

In 1912 Eva Kotchever left Poland for America, but was deported back to Poland 1927 because of (lesbian?) "obscenity and disorderly conduct", fled to Paris during the Nazi ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Victims: Mary Pünjer with her mother Lina Pünjer

Mary Pünjer nee Kümmermann

German-Jewish Sales Assistant: 1904 – 1942
Murdered by The Nazi Euthanasia program

Married Mary Pünjer was a shop assistant who was accused of being lesbian and murdered in the Nazi Euthanasia Centre at Bernburg ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Victims: Thérèse Pierre

Thérèse Pierre

French Teacher & Resistance Member: 1908 – 1943
Death by Gestapo torture

Thérèse Pierre was a teacher and courageous French resistance fighter who died after being tortured by the German Gestapo ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Victims: Henny Schermann

Henny Schermann

German Jewish Shop Assistant: 1912 – 1942
Murdered by The Nazi Euthanasia program

Frankfurt shop assistant Henny Schermann was murdered in the The Nazi Euthanasia Centre at Bernburg for being a "Licentious lesbian" ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Victims: Martha Geiringer

Martha Geiringer

Austrian Jewish PhD Student: 1912 – 1943
Died in Auschwitz concentration camp

Martha Geiringer was studying for her PhD in Vienna, fled to Belgium to continue her studies but was forced to "resign" from the University of Ghent and, in occupied Belgium, she was denounced as Jewish by her lover's husband and she was transported and murdered in Auschwitz ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Victims: Elli Smula

Elli Smula

German Tram Conductor: 1914 – 1943
Died in Ravensbrück concentration camp

Elli Smula was a Berlin tram conductor who was arrested for failing to report for work after going out drinking with female colleagues and subsequently died in Ravensbrück Concentration Camp ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Victims: Felice Schragenheim and Lilly Wust

Felice Schragenheim

German Jewish Editorial Assistant: 1922 - 1944
Died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp

Felice Schragenheim was denounced for being Jewish, deported to Auschwitz and died during a death march or in Bergen-Belsen ... more




Examples Of Lesbian Survivors of Nazi Persecution

During the Nazi regime, though lesbian meetings places were banned and their lives were restricted, in general they were not imprisoned / sent to forced labour camps as sex between women was not illegal, unlike for gay men. Nonetheless, they could be sent to concentration camp if they were found to have committed criminal offenses such as being ant-Nazi, having friendship with Jews, ties to a resistance group or subversive political behaviour (like being a member of the communist party). Non-negotiable - Jewish lesbians were sent to their deaths as they were deemed "non-Aryan". The "lucky" lesbians who survived Nazi persecution, was by, for example:

...
  • Laying low - lesbians who were not considered by the Nazis as "Aryans" and not "undesirable" e.g. Jewish, Roma, Black... and who were not found to have made any criminal offences were not sent to concentration camps as they could still be persuaded or forced to bear children - for racially pure German procreation.
  • Fleeing - were able to flee to "safe" countries through visas or clandestinely crossed borders. There are heart breaking stories of how, in "safe countries", some Jews liaised with the Red Cross to get their relatives out of danger and but their attempts to get a visa failed. By October 1941, Jewish emigration from Germany was officially forbidden. In January 1933 it is estimated that were some 523,000 Jews in Germany (less than 1 percent of the Germany's total population) but by 1941, there were only known 163,000 Jews left. With mass refugee emigrations, countries set strict immigration quotas. For example, between 1933 and 1945 only between 180,000 and 220,000 European refugees managed to immigrate to the United States. In 1939, the US State Department issued the maximum number of visas available to Germans for the first time which was around 27,300. In 1940, 27,355 Germans received visas to emmigrate to America while 301, 935 (most of them Jewish) were on the waiting list. When the United States entered World War II in December 1941, emmigration became almost impossible. Britain admitted only about 70,000 "suitable" Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, on top of 10,000 trans-migrants. Bare in mind, in the Holocaust over 6 million Jews, 1.8 million Non-Jewish Polish civilians were murdered... more stats
  • Marrying - to gain foreign citizenship in the hope of foreign protection and emigration to "safe countries" some lesbians were lucky to enter into a lavender marriage (to a gay man) or have to hid their sexuality.
  • Acquiring false identity cards - and pray not to be denounced
  • Going into hiding - hidden by friends or resistance members who risked their lives.
  • Surviving concentration camps until they were liberated - one can't imagine the hell they (and all other prisoners) went through. Even after liberation sometimes they had to further battle diseases like typhus and weakness brought on by malnutrition.

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Survivors: Martha Mosse

Martha Mosse

German-Jew Lawyer: 1884 - 1977

Martha Mosse, was a German-Jew lawyer, Prussia's first female high-ranking police adviser and survived Theresienstadt ghetto (but under questionable circumstances) ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Survivors: Elsa Conrad

Elsa Conrad

German-Jew Night Club Entrepreneur: 1887 - 1963

Elsa "Igel" Conrad, was a legendary Berlin lesbian night club entrepreneur who was interned at Moringen concentration camp and forced to emigrate, due to Nazi racial laws, her political views and her sexuality ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Survivors: Gertrude Sandmann

Gertrude Sandmann

German Jewish Artist: 1893 – 1981

Gertrude Sandmann was an artist who was banned, by the Nazis, from exhibiting her work because she was Jewish and survived Berlin by being hidden with the help of her Aryan girlfriend Hedwig Koslowski and friends ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Survivors: Nelly Mousset-Vos

Nelly Mousset-Vos

Belgian Opera Singer: 1906 – 1987

Nelly Mousset-Vos was a Belgian opera singer and French Resistance member who was imprisoned in Ravensbruck then Mauthausen Concentration Camps and was liberated by the US Army ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Survivors: Margarete Rosenberg

Margarete Rosenberg née Quednau

German Tram Conductor: 1910 – 1985

Margarete Rosenberg née Quednau was a German Berlin tram conductor who was arrested for failing to report for work after going out drinking with her female colleagues, was sent to the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp and then Buchenwald Concentration Camp ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Survivors: Margot Liu, née Holzmann

Margot Liu, née Holzmann

Silesian Jewish Dancer: 1912 – 1993

Though in a lesbian relationship, to gain foreign citizenship and hope for some protection, Margot Holzmann married a Chinese waiter. She was arrested but escaped during transfer to another prison and managed to stay in hiding until the Soviet Army arrived ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Survivors: Margot Heuman

Margot Heuman

German-Jewish Teenager: 1928 - 2022

In her early teens, for circa three years, Margot Heumann survived: Theresienstadt Ghetto, Auschwitz concentration camp, Neuengamme forced labour camps, a Death March to Bergen-Belsen and, Typhus ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Survivors: Irena Klepfisz

Irena Klepfisz

Polish-Jewish Child: 1941

Irena Klepfisz is a child survivor of the Holocaust whose Mother smuggled her out of Warsaw Ghetto and concealing their Jewish identities, hid in the Polish countryside, until the wars end ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Survivors: Lotte Laserstein

Lotte Laserstein

German-Jewish Swedish Artist: 1898 – 1993

Lotte Laserstein was a painter who was banned from exhibiting art work as she was "three-quarter Jew" and in 1937 fled to Sweden ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Survivors: Vera Lachmann

Vera Lachmann

German-Jewish Classicist & Poet: 1904 – 1985

When Jewish children were expelled from German schools, Vera Lachmann founded a school for Jewish and non-Aryan children in Nazi Berlin, that taught 65 students ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Survivors: Erika Mann & her brother Klaus Mann

Erika Mann

German Jewish Actress: 1905 - 1968

Erika Mann was a German Jewish actress who was a staunch critic of Hitler and National Socialism who married gay poet W.H Auden but still had to flee to America ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Survivors: Gisèle Freund

Gisèle Freund

German Jewish Portrait Photographer: 1908 – 2000

Gisèle Freund had to flee from Frankfurt to Paris, go into hiding in the Dordogne, and managed to find refuge in Argentina ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Survivors: Friederike Fritzi Lowy

Friederike "Fritzi" Löwy

Austrian-Jewish Swimmer: 1910 – 1994

Friederike "Fritzi" Löwy set the European record in 200 m freestyle but had to flee from Jewish prosecution, escaping first to Italy, and then fled by foot to Switzerland where she lived in refugee camps until the wars end ... more

Lesbians Under The Nazi Regime - Holocaust Survivors: Therese Giehse

Therese Giehse

Jewish German Actress: 1898 – 1975

Therese Giehse was a German Jewish actress who in 1933 fled to neutral Switzerland and to gain a British passport, married gay English author John Hampson-Simpson in 1936 ... more




Additional Dedication: Gay Men Who Were Persecuted During The Nazi Regime

Out of my entire site, this page is, where my heart missed the most beats (I am half Scottish & half German). This page is also dedicated to my Mummy's beloved "Unkle" Hans, gay men and, to ALL those who were persecuted during the heinous Nazis reign of terror and murder. Behind every name there is a story - I pass on the torch to you to keep continuing the research and build biographies for the names on those haunting deportation / execution lists, and, where possible to put a pic to that name.

Hans

Hans Goldfreund

German Jewish Jeweller: 1896 – 1943
Murdered in a Auschwitz gas chamber

Mummy's "Unkle" Hans, Hans Goldfreund, was a German Jewish jeweller who was sent to Auschwitz, worked as forced labour for IG FARBEN and was most likely murdered in the Auschwitz gas chamber ... more

Willem Arondeus

Willem Arondeus

Dutch Artist & Resistance Fighter: 1908 – 1943
Executed by a Nazi firing squad

Willem Arondeus was a Dutch illustrator, author and resistance fighter who helped produce false identity papers and was executed for carrying out a bombing on the Municipal Office for Population Registration in Amsterdam ... more

Reed Peggram

Reed Peggram

African American Academic: 1914 - 1982
Escaped from an Italian concentration camp

Reed Peggram gave up freedom, twice for love. Reed was a stellar academic who, at the University of Paris, fell in love with fine arts student Gerdh Hauptmann. Having fled together from Denmark to France ... more

Fritz Bauer

Fritz Bauer

German Jewish Nazi Hunter & Prosecutor: 1903 – 1968

Fritz Bauer was Germany’s first Nazi hunter who helped bring Adolf Eichmann to trial and brought the first Nazi henchmen to trial in Germany (22 Nazis who had run Auschwitz) ... more







Some Key Evil Nazi Criminals

How many innocent victims did the Nazis mass murder? Not only is it utterly unfathomable but there are no accurate figures as some murders and massacres were undocumented but also towards the end of the war the Nazis burnt documents. The mass murder not only included Jews (6 M+) but also Soviet POWs (3.3 M+), ethnic Poles (1.8 M+), Roma (0.25 M+), men accused of homosexuality ... See ushmm.org

Why Have I included this section?
The LGBTQ+ community has / still suffers persecution, so we have empathy for any peaceful people who also are persecuted for being themselves. I think it is hugely important to consider and remember history to call out evil persecution and try and stand together with the persecuted.

WW II Nazi Crimes
After World War II, the Allies (France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States) created an International Military Tribunal (IMT) to hold German leaders individually accountable for violations of international law. The Nuremberg Charter gave the IMT authority "to try and punish persons who, acting in the interest of the European Axis countries, whether as individuals or as members of organizations," committed any of the following crimes:

...
  • Crimes Against Peace: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a Common Plan or Conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing.
  • War Crimes: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labour or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.
  • Crimes Against Humanity: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of domestic law of the country where perpetrated.
While the charge of war crimes was based on existing international custom and conventions, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity had never been defined as punishable offenses under international law. The drafters of the Charter argued that both of the new charges were based on pre-World War II international conventions and declarations that condemned wars of aggression and violations of the laws of humanity.

The Nuremberg Tribunal
The Nuremberg Trial lasted from November 1945 to October 1946. The IMT prosecutors indicted 22 senior German political and military leaders, including Hermann Goering, Rudolph Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Alfred Rosenberg, and Albert Speer. The tribunal found 19 individual defendants guilty and sentenced them to punishments that ranged from death by hanging to fifteen years' imprisonment. 3 defendants were found not guilty, one committed suicide prior to trial, and one did not stand trial due to physical or mental illness. The Nuremberg Tribunal laid the foundation for a new system of international criminal law and accountability that continues developing today. Find out more about the Nuremberg Tribunal.

A Tiny Percentage of Nazi Criminals Were Brought To Justice
The number of Nazi war crime suspects that have been brought to trial is a tiny percentage of the more than 200,000 perpetrators of Nazi-era crimes. In her book "Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi Persecution and the Quest for Justice" (2018), Prof. Mary Fulbrook (UCL) indicates that of the 140,000 individuals brought to court between 1946 and 2005, only 6,656 ended in convictions.

Do Watch:
Rise of the Nazis - The Manhunt - BBC documentary series
Nuremberg: des images pour l'histoire (2021)
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) - Oscar wining movie.
The Devil's Confession: The Lost Eichmann Tapes (2022)
...

Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler

Dictator of Nazi Germany: 1889 – 1945

From 1933 to 1945, Austrian-born German Adolf Hitler was the leader of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), the Führer & dictator, of Nazi Germany. Hitler started World War II and was the instigator of the Holocaust (the genocide of European Jews during WW II) ... more

Heinrich Himmler

Heinrich Himmler

Chief architect of the "Final Solution": 1900 – 1945

As the Reichsführer (leader) of the SS (Schutzstaffel), Heinrich Himmler was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and was chief architect of the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" - the genocide of more than 6 million Jews ... more

Adolf Eichmann

Adolf Eichmann

Facilitator of the "Final Solution": 1906 – 1962

SS-Obersturmbannführer (lieutenant colonel) Adolf Eichmann played a pivotal role in the implementation of the "Final Solution" by managing and facilitating the mass deportation of more than 1.5 million Jews from all over Europe to ghettos, death camps, and killing sites in German-occupied Poland and parts of the occupied Soviet Union ... more

Dr Josef Mengele

Dr Josef Mengele (der Todesengel)

Auschwitz Physician: 1911 – 1979

SS physician Josef Mengele, "Angel of Death", selected prisoners for execution in the gas chambers and conducted inhumane, and often deadly, medical experiments on prisoners, most notably twins, at Auschwitz concentration camp ... more




LGBTQ WWII Documentaries

The Queer History of Weimar Germany (2022)

Bravo Kaz Rowe, for making your own home documentary! During the Weimar era Berlin was a real queer Sin City. The Queer History of Weimar Germany explores how Berlin became the intellectual creative and LGBT centre of Europe

LGBTQ Documentary Dir: Kaz Rowe

Watch Queer Documentary on Youtube

World War II (Short Version) (2019)

Both World Wars should not never be forgotten. To date, World War II (1939 – 45) has been the deadliest military conflict in history involving more than 30 countries. Check out this short outlining the history of World War II.

Youtuber: Geo History

Watch Queer Documentary

European Antisemitism from Its Origins to the Holocaust (2022)

Over 6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust - that's almost the equivalent of the population of Sydney / more than the population of Scotland! This documentary reveals how anti-Jewish hostility goes back many centuries - to the era of early Christianity and the Middle Ages and became core elements of Nazi ideology.

Youtuber: Geo History

Watch Queer Documentary

Holocaust Denial, Explained (2016)

Incredulously and despicably, there are people who deny that the Holocaust happened. Take 3 minutes of your time to watch this video which explains the concept of Holocaust denial. This not AI generated. It is so important to never forget the Holocaust and the heinous crimes that were committed through racism.

Youtuber: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Watch Queer Documentary

The Nazi Persecution of Gay People (2020)

From March 1933, the Nazis drove the gay community underground and waged a violent campaign against homosexuality. Over the next 12 years, more than 100,000 gay men were arrested for violating Germany's law against "unnatural indecency among men". Most were sent to concentration camps and, some had medical experiments forced on them, in the aim at "curing" them.

Youtuber: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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Sapphic Movies: Paragraph 175

Paragraph 175 (2000)

Paragraph 175 is a harrowing documentary that chronicles the lives of several gay men and one lesbian who were persecuted by the Nazis. The gay men were arrested by the Nazis under Paragraph 175, the sodomy provision of the German penal code, which dated back to 1871. Paragraph 175: "An unnatural sex act committed between persons of the male sex or by humans with animals is punishable by imprisonment; the loss of civil rights may also be imposed."

LGBTQ Documentary Dir: Jeffrey Friedman & Rob Epstein

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Aimee & Jaguar: Love Story Berlin 1942 (2015)

Have you read the book / seen the movie Aimee & Jaguar - of the true tragic story about Lilly Wust, an "Aryan" hausfrau, and her romance with Felice Schragenheim, a Jew living underground during WWII? This documentary retells the story with interviews with Lilly Wust and various people who knew Felice Schragenheim, who was murdered in during the Holocaust.

Biographical Documentary Dir: Catrine Clay

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Lesbian Documentaries: Nelly & Nadine

Nelly & Nadine (2022)

For decades, a French lady kept her grandmother's diaries, photographs and home movies in her attic but they were too painful for her to explore. "Nelly & Nadine" captures the story as she finally opens the dusty treasure chest, unearthing an evocative tale of lesbian love and resilience which began on Christmas Eve, 1944 in Ravensbrück concentration camp ... more

Documentary Dir: Magnus Gertten

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