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What was it like in the camps?
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What was it like in the camps?


10. THE WAR AND THE CAMPS

The war years witnessed a rise in concentration camp populations as the Gestapo seized increasing numbers of "enemies of the state." In July 1940, SS and police chief Himmler directed officers of the Criminal Police that "in future, after their release from prison, all homosexuals who have seduced more than one partner are to be placed in preventive detention (Vorbeugungshaft)" at a concentration camp. This radical step, intended to stop the homosexual "contagion," meant that thousands of homosexual men convicted under Paragraph 175 whose police histories recorded multiple partners faced indefinite incarceration in the camps.

Once in the camps, the fragmentary record suggests, homosexual men had short life expectancies and high death rates from overwork, starvation, physical brutality, or outright murder.


Identification pictures of a prisoner, accused of homosexuality, recently arrived at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Auschwitz, Poland, between 1940 and 1945.

Identification pictures of a homosexual prisoner who arrived in Auschwitz on November 27, 1941, and was transferred to Mauthausen on January 25, 1942. Auschwitz, Poland.

Identification pictures of a prisoner, accused of homosexuality, who arrived at the Auschwitz concentration camp on June 6, 1941. He died there a year later. Auschwitz, Poland.

Identification pictures of a prisoner, accused of homosexuality, who arrived at the Auschwitz camp on December 6, 1941. He died there three months later. Auschwitz, Poland.

Identification pictures of a prisoner, accused of homosexuality, who arrived at the Auschwitz camp in November 1941. Auschwitz, Poland, 1941.


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