Scrapbookpages Blog

August 8, 2013

“Hitler started with the gays…” Say what?

On her news show “Outfront,” news commentator Erin Burnett talked about President Obama’s appearance on the Jay Leno show.  On the Leno show, the subject of Russia came up, since Obama is planning to go there soon. Segway into the subject of homosexuality, which is frowned upon in Russia.

Erin Burnett

Erin Burnett

You can see the video of the Jay Leno Show at http://outfront.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/07/leno-is-russia-now-like-nazi-germany/  where you will read this quote:

More comparisons are being made about Russia’s new crackdown on gays and lesbians and the Nazi’s persecution of Jewish citizen, homosexuals and others Hitler wanted to eliminate.

It was mentioned on Burnett’s show that 84% of Russians are against gays, and that 76% of Russians agree with the laws against homosexuality in Russia.  You can see the video of Burnett’s segment about the Nazis and the gays here.

But prior to the discussion about Russians discriminating against gays, Erin Burnett dropped this bombshell:  “Hitler started with gays…and Gypsies.”

Ms. Burnett is correct, but she should have explained it for viewers who might have assumed that Hitler made a new law against homosexuals and Gypsies, under which he sent both groups to gas chambers to be killed.  That’s not what happened, and Ms. Burnett should have made that clear.

The law, which made homosexuality a crime, had been on the books in Germany since 1871 when the German states were united into a country by the King of Prussia, following the victory over France in the Franco-Prussian war.

After the Nazis came to power, a new law was made, which said that men who had been arrested twice, for any crime, would be sent to a concentration camp, after they had completed their second prison sentence. They would be held, in a concentration camp, for at least six months in order to be rehabilitated.  This was the law under which homosexuals and Gypsies would up at Dachau, and later, at other camps.  The law that was broken by the Gypsies was the new law which said that every man in Germany should have a permanent residence and a visible means of support.

This explanation would have taken up a lot of time on Erin Burnett’s news show, so I am not surprised that the subject was glossed over.  If my readers are not bored to death with this subject by now, you can read more about it in this quote from my own website:

Another category of prisoners in the Nazi concentration camps were the so-called “career criminals.” On June 17, 1936, Adolf Hitler had signed a decree which made Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler the new Chief of the German Police within the Reich Ministry of Interior. According to Peter Padfield, author of the book Himmler, the new Police Chief “saw his task as preventing crime before it happened by shutting away habitual criminals, preserving the Volk from contamination by shutting away subversives who might corrupt them, picking up vagrants, the ‘work shy’ and ‘anti-socials’ and putting them to work in his camps, and in addition supervising public morals.”

Padfield wrote that Himmler’s first large-scale action as Police Chief was the “nationwide round-up of professional criminals.” On March 9, 1937, Himmler gave the order to arrest around 2,000 “professional criminals” who had committed two or more crimes, but were now free after having served their sentences. They were arrested without charges and sent to a concentration camp for an indeterminate time.

In 1937, there were only 7,500 prisoners in the four main Nazi concentration camps: Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald and Lichtenberg. By that time, Lichtenberg was being used exclusively for women prisoners. According to Padfield, Himmler’s biographer, the new Chief of Police wanted to increase the number of inmates in the concentration camps because he desired a large labor force for the factories owned by SS. For this reason, he broadened the category of asocials to include “tramps and vagabonds, beggars – even those with a fixed address – gypsies and people who traveled from place to place like gypsies if they showed no will to work regularly, pimps who had been involved in legal proceedings even if not convicted and who still associated with procurers and prostitutes, or people under strong suspicion of procuring and finally people who had demonstrated by numerous previous convictions for resistance, causing bodily injury, brawling, trespass and similar that they do not want to adapt themselves to the orderly Volk community.”

Another category of German citizens, who were persecuted by Himmler, in his capacity as Chief of the German Police, was homosexuals. Paragraph 175 of the German criminal code, which had been in effect since 1871, made it a crime for men to publicly engage in gay sex or for male prostitutes to solicit men for sex. Himmler began enforcing this law and a total of about 10,000 homosexuals were eventually sent to concentration camps such as Dachau, Sachsenhausen and Mauthausen for at least 6 months of “rehabilitation.” According to Christian Bernadac, who wrote a book about Mauthausen, the homosexuals “received regular visits from the medical commissions” who attempted to change their sexual orientation because the Nazis believed that these prisoners were gay by choice.

Note that Padfield says that the number of homosexuals who were sent to concentration camps was 10,000.  Current stories about gays in Germany are giving the number of homosexuals, who were persecuted, as 100,000.

Note also that the law, under Paragraph 175, made it a crime to PUBLICLY engage in homosexual acts.  It was also a crime for male prostitutes to solicit men for sex.  Some of the men, who were sent to a concentration camp for soliciting men for sex, were later released after it was determined that they were not homosexual themselves.