9. PERSECUTION IN NAZI—OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

As German forces moved across Europe, Paragraph 175 or equivalent laws were selectively enforced to further Nazi political goals. In territories annexed to the Reich—chiefly Austria, western Czechoslovakia, western Poland, Alsace–Lorraine, and Luxembourg—the German law was imposed, extending the criminalization of homosexuality across the Greater Reich.

In lands under Nazi occupation, the situation varied. In general, the Nazi regime was only concerned with homosexuality among German males. It mattered little to the Nazis whether the native population carried the "homosexual degeneracy," unless it could corrupt "Germandom" as represented by the troops and officials stationed in the foreign territories. In any event, German authorities outside the Reich took no actions against homosexual males comparable to those taken within its borders.


German conquests in Europe, 1939-1942

German administration of Europe, 1942

Austria had been prosecuting sexual relations "between persons of the same sex"—including women—under its criminal code Paragraph 129 Ib since 1852. Following the Anschluss, the Nazi annexation of Austria, convictions for homosexuality rose by approximately 50 percent.

Vichy France remained unoccupied, but its collaborationist government under Marshal Philippe Pétain introduced in 1942 the first French law in nearly 150 years to outlaw male homosexuality. The new Paragraph 334 of the Code Pénal imposed prison terms ranging from six months to three years.

The Netherlands' sole law on homosexuality outlawed relations between an adult and a minor (under age 21). After occupying Holland in spring 1940, Nazi authorities instituted the terms of Paragraph 175 but left enforcement to Dutch police. The police, whom the Nazis criticized for their lack of "professional zeal" in such cases, sent to trial 138 male homosexuals between 1940 and 1943, producing 90 convictions.

For the
General Government of occupied Poland, Berlin's Ministry of Justice authorities in September 1942 instructed: "Sex offenses between men . . . should not be prosecuted where offenders and other parties are all Poles. (The offenders should, however, be deported to areas outside the Reich where they will not be a danger to the German racial community.)"


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