Name: Friedrich–Paul von Groszheim
Date of Birth: April 27, 1906
Place of Birth: Luebeck, Germany

Friedrich-Paul von Groszheim

Friedrich–Paul was born in the old trading city of Luebeck in northern Germany. He was 11 when his father was killed in World War I. After his mother died, he and his sister Ina were raised by two elderly aunts. After graduating from school, Friedrich–Paul trained to be a merchant.

1933—39: In January 1937 the SS arrested 230 men in Luebeck under the Nazi–revised criminal code's paragraph 175, which outlawed homosexuality, and I was imprisoned for 10 months. The Nazis had been using paragraph 175 as grounds for making mass arrests of homosexuals. In 1938 I was re–arrested, humiliated, and tortured. The Nazis finally released me, but only on the condition that I agree to be castrated. I submitted to the operation.

1940—44: Because of the nature of my operation, I was rejected as "physically unfit" when I came up for military service in 1940. In 1943 I was arrested again, this time for being a monarchist, a supporter of the former Kaiser Wilhelm II. The Nazis imprisoned me as a political prisoner in an annex of the Neuengamme concentration camp at Luebeck.

After the war, Friedrich–Paul settled in Hamburg.


Police observation photograph of the Cascade Bar, Berlin, May 1938, from the files of the Gestapo's Special Section that handled homosexuality matters.

This police photograph is located in the section of the exhibition on "Surveillance and Police Lists." Note the accompanying documents displayed around it and what they suggest about police tactics used against homosexuals.

Download the Pdf of this activity.