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  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.


  1. At wars end when the Allies took over control of the camps, they released all the inmates except for the convicted Homosexuals who were made to serve out their full sentences because it was also illegal in their own countries.

    Comment by John Mortl — March 20, 2016 @ 5:28 pm

  2. Journalist Luigi Barzini’s memoir of Weimar Germany:

    Comment by fnn — August 10, 2013 @ 7:04 am

  3. It occurred to me after listening to Rodney Martin talk about Weimar Culture here: that it’s the only German culture Americans know anything about. Most Germans like most Americans, unless engaged in it themselves, were puzzled or appalled by the decadence of Weimar Culture. The Hollywood movie Cabaret, based on the Berlin Diaries of Christopher Isherwood an open British homosexual lured there by the promise of erotic adventure, is a perfect example of everything we DON’T know about the ordinary German’s taste in art, music, dance and cinema. When I asked Mr. Martin to suggest a book in English about non-Weimar culture in interbellic Germany he answered that there aren’t any. Well, I’m sure there must be a few, but my point is that Weimar culture (the cultural Marxism of Berthold Brecht, German Expressionism, Schoenberg etc.) always comes shrink wrapped in Holocaust victimhood.

    Comment by who dares wings — August 9, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

  4. There are several ” homo ” monuments in Holland to the Gay men murdered by the Nazis . However when the event was actually academically investigated it was found to be the reverse.
    ” Dutch historian Anna Tijseling researched the alleged events, and found that only a handful of Dutch gays were indeed sent to a concentration camp, and those that were, were not there just for being gay, but because they were common pedophile criminals.

    Anna Tijsseling: ‘The people who rally around the victimisation of homosexuals will have to face the facts: the Second World War was a relatively quiet time for Dutch gays

    Comment by peter — August 9, 2013 @ 3:03 am

    • Homosexuals in Germany were not sent to concentration camps for breaking the law known as Paragraph 175. Gay men were sent to a regular prison for breaking this law. Under a new law passed by the Nazis in 1937, homosexuals who had broken the law twice and had served two prison terms, were later sent to a concentration camp for “rehabilitation” after they had completed their second prison term. Other criminals who had broken other laws twice were also sent to a concentration camp for rehab, after they had completed their second sentence.

      Paragraph 175 was the law against having homosexual sex in public, as for example, in a public bath house or on stage in a show in Berlin. Remember the 1972 movie “Cabaret?” It was about homosexuals in Berlin in 1931 when the Nazis were just getting started; there was a clash of culture, epitomized by the young Hitler Youth boy who sings “Tomorrow Belongs to Me.”

      Comment by furtherglory — August 9, 2013 @ 7:15 am

  5. Maybe useful to remind Great Britain abrogated her anti-homosexual law as late as in 1967. Some people were jailed for homosexuality but not often because not many were “caught” (the evidence required for a jury to convict would be very hard to get without the witness being involved in a criminal act as well).

    What Allied country had no anti-homosexual law when Nazi Germany was using the old German anti-homosexual law of 1871?

    Comment by hermie — August 8, 2013 @ 8:24 pm

  6. Actually most of us would be indifferent to the Holocaust, were it not for the incessant attempts by the left to promote every cause of theirs by connecting it in some way to the Holocaust. I expect that the majority of so-called Holocaust deniers, in which category I would find myself are reacting to the unrelenting propaganda.

    Comment by Ivan — August 8, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

  7. How tiring and boring that permanent Reductio ad hitlerum is. Those people should grow a brain and find clever arguments for their struggles. Systematically distorting facts about the Third Reich and stating “Hitler did this or that, so this or that is bad” is childish and pretty stupid…

    Comment by hermie — August 8, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

  8. “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.” This is curious. How could men arrested for soliciting other men for sex be anything but homosexual unless they were desperate heterosexual hustlers? I think a more likely reason for their release would be that they’d served their sentences. The idea that straight panderers would be released and gay ones gassed doesn’t make much sense, especially when space inside the gas chambers was probably at a premium and exterminating Jews took precedence over punishing queers.

    Comment by who dares wings — August 8, 2013 @ 12:29 pm

    • I don’t think that the Holocaustian religion includes the claim that homosexuals were gassed. Of course, the extermination of the Jews took precedence over punishing queers.

      However, Berlin was famous for male prostitutes who solicited in Berlin.

      Several years ago, I was in Berlin, and I was taking photos of the Siegessäule, the famous statue that commemorates the victory of the Germans over the French. A man, who was standing nearby, told me that the tunnels under the traffic circle where the statue stands are used by male prostitutes who solicit customers there. Berlin was famous for male prostitutes in the 1930s, some of whom were not gay.

      The Nazis used to send homosexual prisoners to the women’s camps where they would test them to see if they were really gay. If they could pass this test, they were released.

      Comment by furtherglory — August 8, 2013 @ 12:53 pm

      • “The Nazis used to send homosexual prisoners to the women’s camps where they would test them to see if they were really gay. If they could pass this test, they were released.” That’s rich! Test them how? This seems even more unlikely than Nazis releasing straight hustlers yet holding the gay ones. One of the premiere symbols of American gays is the pink triangle. This is purportedly based on a badge worn in concentration camps by homosexuals. Whether or not they were gassed in those camps is incidental to the fact that most Americans just assumes that homosexuals were gassed right along with the Jews, Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the mentally challenged and the physically challenged, the other sainted martyrs of the Holocaust horror cult.

        Comment by who dares wings — August 8, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

      • FG. What was the test they used in the women’s camp to see if men were gay. I can think of a few,but I don’t know if this was their unit of measure or not

        Comment by Tim — June 19, 2015 @ 11:54 am

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