Earlier today, I half-jokingly posted a link to the "Hitler Youth" entry in Wikipedia, as a reference to my latest AFA Action Alert regarding the status of the "Truth for Youth Bible" that I (full-jokingly) ordered from the AFA. I insinuated that like the Hitler Jugend during the height of the Nazi regime in Germany, the AFA is recruiting tens of thousands of children to join a similar propaganda-ish "anti-state" regime in its war on homosexuals. They should be ashamed. But I digress...
I was bored tonight, and did a little more wiki-research on the topic. Enter the wikipedia topic "History of Homosexual People in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust." Among other disturbing tidbits I found:
"Nazism declared itself incompatible with homosexuality, because gays did not reproduce and perpetuate the master race. For the same reasons, masturbation was also considered harmful to the Reich, but treated lightly. There was also a fear among Nazis of a "gay gene" contamination."
"Hitler believed that homosexuality was "degenerate behavior" which posed a threat to the capacity of the state and the "masculine character" of the nation. Gay men were denounced as "enemies of the state" and charged with "corrupting" public morality and posing a threat to the German birthrate."
Scary, huh? How little some people's views differ from Der Fuhrer. (sorry, I don't know how to do umlauts on this blog)
Anyway, this is a case in point as to why, generally speaking, those who are very intolerant of anyone "different" from societal norms are dangerous. And why, as my "about me" section states, the ideals of love and acceptance are better than hate and intolerance. There are limits to that, of course, without going into a diatribe on polygamy, incest, bestiality, murderers, etc. But when it comes down to two consenting adults who aren't harming themselves or another person, no one should be able to dictate what another person does.
Oh, and FYI: "After the war, homosexual concentration camp prisoners were not acknowledged as victims of Nazi persecution. Reparations and state pensions available to other groups were refused to gay men, who were still classified as criminals — the Nazi anti-gay law was not repealed until 1994, although both East and West Germany liberalized their criminal laws against adult homosexuality in the late 1960s.
Gay Holocaust survivors could be re-imprisoned for "repeat offences," and were kept on the modern lists of "sex offenders." Under the Allied Military Government of Germany, some homosexuals were forced to serve out their terms of imprisonment, regardless of the time spent in concentration camps.
The Nazis' anti-gay polices and their destruction of the early gay-rights movement were generally not considered suitable subject matter for Holocaust historians and educators. It was not until the 1970s and 1980s that there was some mainstream exploration of the theme, with Holocaust survivors writing their memories, plays such as "Bent", and more historical research and documentaries being published about the Nazis' homophobia and their destruction of the German gay-rights movement.
Since the 1980s, cities around the world have erected memorials to remember the thousands of homosexual people who were murdered and persecuted during the Holocaust. Major memorials can be found in Berlin, Amsterdam, Montevideo, and San Francisco. In 2002, the German government released an official apology to the gay community.
In 2005, the European Parliament marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz camp with a minute's silence and the passage of a resolution which included the following text:
"...27 January 2005, the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of Nazi Germany's death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where a combined total of up to 1.5 million Jews, Roma, Poles, Russians and prisoners of various other nationalities, and homosexuals, were murdered, is not only a major occasion for European citizens to remember and condemn the enormous horror and tragedy of the Holocaust, but also for addressing the disturbing rise in anti-semitism, and especially anti-semitic incidents, in Europe, and for learning anew the wider lessons about the dangers of victimising people on the basis of race, ethnic origin, religion, social classification, politics or sexual orientation,..."
The memorial to the gay victims of the Holocaust in Berlin says, "Totgeschlagen - Totgeschwiegen." ("Struck dead, hushed up"). Let us learn from past atrocities and fight so this never happens again.
As I've stated before in other arguments, I am optimistic that the tide is swiftly changing for the better in the US. Stand up against hate speech. Stand up when someone says "fag" or "that's gay" or "dyke." For in the end, we can all say we were on the right side of justice and equality and not have to live with past embarrassments and regret.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Posted by Jane Know at 11:58 PM