Homosexuals belonged to the victims who got systematically persecuted by the NS regime.
But before Hitler and the Nazis came to power, the paradise was nothing compared to Berlin in it’s Twenties. The Homosexual Movement was huge, Berlin was full of queer clubs and bars until the Nazis prohibited all that.
In 1936, only three years after the seizure of power, Heinrich Himmler invented the “Reichszentrale zur Bekämpfung der Homosexualität und Abtreibung”, a headquarter that particularly fought Homosexuality and Abortion.
Homosexuals were sent to the Concentration Camps (KZ’s) to achieve re-education by castration or being forced to visit brothels in order to develop heterosexual feelings. That was meant for the Homosexuals who belonged to the German “Herrenrasse” (means they looked like a “good German man”), the rest of them, that was not “worth it” was instantly eliminated. They had to wear the “Pink Triangle” (Rosa Winkel) as a distinctive mark.
Under the NS regime, the well known §175 became even more strict and from that time on “covetous glances” were a reason for prosecution.
Homosexual woman were not affected by that and often people believe they were persecuted as “asocial”, which is not proven. Lesbians were not particularly sent to the Concentration Camps because of their sexual orientation, but because of many other reasons and being lesbian was more like “another fact”.
It’s difficult to say how many Homosexuals were sent to the Concentration Camps, because it’s not always sure if the reason for their persecution was their sexuality or something else. As an orientation it is estimated that around 10.000 to 15.000 Homosexuals were deported and nearly 53% of them died in the Concentration Camps.
Nowadays we are reminded of that terrible killing by monuments to the Homosexuals. Tel Aviv was the first Israeli city to achieve a monument in shape of a pink triangle in 2014. We visited that monument during our time in Israel.
In Berlin we visited the Monument to the Homosexuals in Berlin- Mitte and the Pink Triangle at Nollendorfplatz.
The mood of the group was very serious while watching the monuments, because we all knew what it meant. Some where very shocked and I saw some of us getting sad about it.