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< Bibliographies

Gays and Lesbians



As part of the Nazis’ attempt to purify German society and propagate an “Aryan master race,” they condemned homosexuals as “socially aberrant.” Soon after taking office on January 30, 1933, Hitler banned all gay and lesbian organizations. Brownshirted storm troopers raided the institutions and gathering places of homosexuals. While this subculture had flourished in the relative freedom of the 1920s, Nazi tactics greatly weakened it and drove it underground.

Later, a harsher revision of Paragraph 175 of the Criminal Code went into effect, making a broad range of “lewd and lascivious” behavior between men illegal and punishable by imprisonment. The revision of Paragraph 175, however, did not ban sexual acts between women. Therefore, lesbianism, while not condoned, did not face the same persecution as male homosexuality, and very few lesbians were arrested or punished.

The following bibliography was compiled to guide readers to materials on the Nazi persecution of gays and lesbians that are in the Library’s collection. It is not meant to be exhaustive. Annotations are provided to help the user determine the item’s focus, and call numbers for the Museum’s Library are given in parentheses following each citation. Those unable to visit might be able to find these works in a nearby public library or acquire them through interlibrary loan. Follow the “Find in a library near you” link in each citation and enter your zip code at the Open WorldCat search screen. The results of that search indicate all libraries in your area that own that particular title. Talk to your local librarian for assistance.

Background Information


  • Hirschfeld, Magnus. The Homosexuality of Men and Women. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2000. (HQ 76.25 .H5813 2000) [Find in a library near you]

    Presents an English-language translation of Hirschfeld’s major study on homosexuality originally published in 1913. Analyzes biological and social aspects of gay culture, including legal rights and persecution. Includes chapter notes, Hirschfeld’s 1913 bibliography, the translator’s modern bibliography, and an index.

  • Oosterhuis, Harry, and Hubert Kennedy, editors. Homosexuality and Male Bonding in Pre-Nazi Germany: The Youth Movement, the Gay Movement, and Male Bonding before Hitler’s Rise: Original Transcripts from Der Eigene, the First Gay Journal in the World. New York: The Haworth Press, 1991. (HQ 76.2 .G4 H66 1991) [Find in a library near you]

    English translations of twenty-one selections from the German journal Der Eigene, originally published between 1899 and 1931. Addresses the medical view of homosexuality, the aesthetics of the male body, male bonding, and political issues pertaining to the rise of Nazism.

  • Seifert, Dorthe. “Between Silence and License: The Representation of The National Socialist Persecution of Homosexuality in Anglo-American Fiction and Film.” History & Memory 15, no. 2 (2003): 94-129. (D 16.8 .H6243) [Find in a library near you]

    Analyzes the development of general awareness of Nazi persecution of gays and lesbians through British and American literature. Discusses the German attitudes towards gays and lesbians over the last 30 years. Includes endnotes.

  • Steakley, James D. The Homosexual Emancipation Movement in Germany. Salem, NH: Ayer Company Publishers, 1975. (HQ 76.8 .G4 S84 1993) [Find in a library near you]

    Reviews the history of the gay rights movement in Germany from 1862 through the end of the Second World War. Includes a chapter on the impact of Nazism on the homosexual community.

  • Tamagne, Florence. A History of Homosexuality in Europe: Berlin, London, Paris, 1919-1939, Volume I & II. New York: Algora, 2006. (HQ 76.3 .E8 T3513 2006) [Find in a library near you]

    Details developments of legal policies and social attitudes towards gays and lesbians in Europe during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Demonstrates advances in gay rights during the interwar period. Includes footnotes, appendices, an annotated bibliography, and an index.


  • Meyer, Adele. Lila Nächte: die Damenklubs im Berlin der Zwanziger Jahre. Berlin: Edition Lit. Europe, 1994. (HQ 75.6 .G3 L5 1994) [Find in a library near you]

    Explores lesbian culture—bars, fashion, neighborhoods, poetry, etc.—in the Berlin of the 1920s. Also features an epilogue by Ilse Kokula regarding lesbian life during the Weimar Republic, under the Third Reich, and through the post-war period. Based on the 1928 book, Berlins lesbische Frauen [Berlin’s Lesbian Women] by Ruth Roelling.

  • Stümke, Hans-Georg. Homosexuelle in Deutschland: Eine Politische Geschichte. München: C.H. Beck, 1989. (HQ 76.3 G4 S88 1989) [Find in a library near you]

    Chronicles the history of homosexuals in Germany over the last 200 years. Describes the various ways that gays and lesbians have been persecuted during that time, including being burned at the stake, interned in lunatic asylums, “criminalized” under the Kaiser, declared “enemies of the state” under the Nazis, and labeled as “danger to youth, marriage and family” under the modern democracy.

The Nazi Period


  • Ettelson, Todd Richard. “The Nazi ‘New Man’: Embodying Masculinity and Regulating Sexuality in the SA and SS, 1930-1939.” PhD diss., University of Michigan, 2002. (DD 256.6 .E88 2002) [Find in a library near you]

    Discusses the development of Nazi ideology concerning masculinity and the role of men in an “Aryan” society as well as the purge of gays from the SA and the persecution of gay members of Nazi institutions. Includes footnotes and a bibliography.

  • Giles, Geoffrey J. “Legislating Homophobia in the Third Reich: The Radicalization of Prosecution against Homosexuality by the Legal Profession.”German History 23, no. 3 (2005): 239-254. (DD 1 .G379 v. 23) [Find in a library near you]

    Traces the persecution of gays through the legal reforms of 1935 and the tightening of Paragraph 175. Demonstrates that stiffer penalties and punishments were part of a broader law reform initiative carried out by the Nazis. Includes footnotes.

  • Giles, Geoffrey J. “‘The Most Unkindest Cut of All’: Castration, Homosexuality, and Nazi Justice.” (external link) Journal of Contemporary History 27, no. 1 (1992): 41-61. (D 410 .J66 v.27) [Find in a library near you]

    Discusses castration of gay men within the context of Nazi forced sterilization of over 400,000 Germans classified as “asocials.” Includes endnotes.

  • Giles, Geoffrey J. Why Bother About Homosexuals?: Homophobia and Sexual Politics in Nazi Germany. Washington, DC: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2001. (D 804.5 .G38 G55 2001) [Find in a library near you]

    Explores the genesis of the Nazi opposition to homosexuals, and traces the shifts in the wording and enforcement of Paragraph 175. Describes the harsh treatment homosexuals faced in the camps, providing examples from individual cases of imprisonment or castration. Includes detailed end notes. Originally presented as a lecture at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in May 2001.

  • Grau, Günter. Hidden Holocaust?: Gay and Lesbian Persecution in Germany, 1933-45. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1995. (HQ 76.3 .G4 H6613 1995) [Find in a library near you]

    Uses original records, including previously unpublished papers from East German archives, to describe the Nazi policies against gay men and lesbians and to reconstruct the daily terror under which these groups were forced to live. Traces the systematic campaigns of legal discrimination, documents the methods employed to persecute gay men and lesbians, and examines the fate of homosexual prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. The Library also has an edition in German under the title, Homosexualität in der NS-Zeit: Dokumente einer Diskriminierung und Verfolgung.

  • Grau, Günter. “Final Solution of the Homosexual Question? The Antihomosexual Policies of the Nazis and the Social Consequences for Homosexual Men.” In The Holocaust and History: The Known, the Unknown, the Disputed, and the Reexamined, edited by Michael Berenbaum and Abraham J. Peck, 338-344. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998. (D 804.18 .H66 1998) [Find in a library near you]

    Critically examines a number of viewpoints, statements, and hypotheses regarding the impact of Nazism on gay men in the 1930s and 1940s. Particularly explores whether or not the Nazis really sought to eradicate all homosexuals.

  • Herzog, Dagmar, editor. “Sexuality and German Fascism.” Special issue, Journal of the History of Sexuality 11, nos. 1/2 (January/April 2002). (HQ 18 .G3 S49 2002) [Find in a library near you]

    Collects eleven essays on various aspects of sexuality and sex during the Nazi era including: propaganda, race defilement, prostitution, women’s rights, venereal disease, law enforcement, displaced persons, foreigners in Germany, and collective memory. Contains footnotes, suggested readings, and author biographies.

  • Johansson, Warren, and William A. Percy. “Homosexuals in Nazi Germany.” Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual 7 (1984): 225-263. (D 804.3 .S5953 1984) [Find in a library near you]

    A literature review covering fourteen different works on homosexuality and the Holocaust. Provides an overview of the anti-homosexual attitudes and policies in place under the Third Reich and the conditions homosexuals faced in the camps. Addresses the varying estimates of homosexual victims of the Holocaust.

  • Lautmann, Rudiger. “Gay Prisoners in Concentration Camps as Compared with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Political Prisoners.” In A Mosaic of Victims: Non-Jews Persecuted and Murdered by the Nazis, edited by Michael Berenbaum, 200-221. New York: New York University Press, 1990. (D 804 .G4 M63 1990) [Find in a library near you]

    Compares the social profiles and death rates of three groups imprisoned in the concentration camps for reeducation rather than for issues of racial purity. Presents statistics showing the different rates of death and survival of each group.

  • Lautmann, Rudiger. “The Pink Triangle: Homosexuals as ‘Enemies of the State.’” In The Holocaust and History: The Known, the Unknown, the Disputed, and the Reexamined, edited by Michael Berenbaum and Abraham J. Peck, 345-357. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998. (D 804.18 .H66 1998) [Find in a library near you]

    Explores the political background of antihomosexual persecution, the daily life of gay men under National Socialism, the conditions they faced in the camps, and their efforts to receive reparations following the war. Evaluates victim statistics pertaining to homosexual men.

  • Lautmann, Rudiger, Erhard Vismar, and Jack Nusan Porter. Sexual Politics in the Third Reich: The Persecution of the Homosexuals During the Holocaust. Newton Highlands, MA: The Spencer Press, 1997. (D 804.5 .G38 L38 1997) [Find in a library near you]

    A detailed study of the conditions facing homosexuals under the Nazis, the reasons behind their persecution, the torturous circumstances they faced in the camps, and the political and social climate they encountered after the war. Includes statistical charts and tables, a glossary of terms, and a selected bibliography.

  • Lemke, Jürgen. “Erich and Karl.” In Gay Voices from East Germany, edited by John Borneman, 11-36. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991. (HQ 76.2 .G35 G3613 1991) [Find in a library near you]

    The text of interviews with two gay men who lived under the Third Reich, one of whom spent ten years in prison and concentration camps, the other who remained free for most of the period, spending only the last year of the war under military arrest. Conveys each man’s personal experiences, describing conditions for gay men both in prison and in German society, and gives a sense of the extent of the Nazi campaign against homosexuals. Opens with an introduction by Geoffrey Giles placing these men’s accounts in historical context.

  • Nash, Paul J., and Michael A. Lombardi. The Gay Holocaust: The Dutch and German Experience: The Writings of Reimar Lenz, Ron Tielman, and Adriaan Venema. Jacksonville, FL: Urania Manuscripts, 1979. (D 804.5 .G38 L46 1979) [Find in a library near you]

    Contains three separate essays tracing the rise of the persecution of homosexuals in Germany and the Netherlands. Draws together the evidence from various sources concerning the imprisonment, persecution, and murder of gay men under the Nazis. Includes many personal stories.

  • Oosterhuis, Henry. “Medicine, Male Bonding and Homosexuality in Nazi Germany.” Journal of Contemporary History 32, no. 2 (1997): 187-205. (D 410 .J66 v.32) [Find in a library near you]

    Discusses Nazi persecution of gay men through the lens of broader concerns about public health and procreation of an Aryan “master race.” Includes endnotes.

  • Plant, Richard. The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals. New York: H. Holt, 1986. (D 804.5 .G38 P52 1986) [Find in a library near you]

    A comprehensive work detailing the persecution of homosexuals under the Third Reich. Explores the increase in sexual prejudice that accompanied the Nazi rise to power. Discusses official Nazi policy toward homosexuals and the strategies that developed to eliminate them. Describes the horrors faced by those gay men imprisoned in concentration camps or tortured at the hands of the SS.

  • Rector, Frank. The Nazi Extermination of Homosexuals. New York: Stein and Day, 1981. (D 804.5 .G38 R43 1981) [Find in a library near you]

    Traces the Nazi persecution of homosexuals. Explores the personal life of Hitler and other Nazi leaders while attempting to explain why they were driven to try to eliminate homosexuals. Includes testimonies from two gay survivors of the Holocaust.

  • Röll, Wolfgang. “Homosexual Inmates in the Buchenwald Concentration Camp.” Journal of Homosexuality 31, no. 4, (1996): 1-28. (HQ 76 .S45 1996) [Find in a library near you]

    Discusses the imprisonment of gay men in Buchenwald, their persecution, and the medical experiments conducted on them. Includes endnotes.

  • Woods, Gregory. “The Pink Triangle.” In A History of Gay Literature: The Male Tradition, 247-56. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998. (PN 56 .H57 W66 1998) [Find in a library near you]

    Discusses the absence of references to prisoners incarcerated for homosexuality in Holocaust literature. Contains an extensive analysis of Höss’ memoirs with relation to homosexuality and homosexual behavior.

  • Young, Ian. Gay Resistance: Homosexuals in the Anti-Nazi Underground. Toronto: Stubblejumper Press, 1985. (DD 256.3 .Y68 1985) [Find in a library near you]

    A brief look at the presence and activities of homosexual men in the anti-Nazi resistance movement. Focuses particularly on Stefan George and Claus von Stauffenberg, but also includes the stories of Albrecht von Bernstorff, Willem Arondaus, Sjoerd Bakker, Jean Desbordes, Robert Desnos, and Denis Rake.


  • Bastian, Till. Homosexuelle im Dritten Reich: Geschichte einer Verfolgung. München: Verlag C.H. Beck, 2000. (D 804.5 .G38 B28 2000) [Find in a library near you]

    Traces the history of the Nazi persecution of gays to the discrimination against gays during the German Empire of the late nineteenth century. Documents and analyzes specific examples of individuals who were persecuted because of their sexual orientation.

  • Centrum Schwule Geschichte. “Das sind Volksfeinde!” Die Verfolgung von Homosexuellen an Rhein und Ruhr 1933-1945. Koln: Das Centrum, 1998. (HQ 76.3 .G4 S56 1998) [Find in a library near you]

    A collection of articles published in conjunction with the exhibition, “‘Das sind Volksfeinde!’ Kölner ‘Sonderaktion’ gegen Homosexuelle im Sommer 1938.” Describes the persecution of homosexuals in the Rhein and Ruhr Regions, including Gestapo operations against homosexuals in Düsseldorf, special operations in Cologne, the Cologne criminal police, preventive custody, the castration of homosexual men, and the monitoring of homosexuality among youth in foster care facilities. Also addresses homoeroticism in völkisch drama and the remembrance of lesbian women. Provides examples of criminal cases against individual men, as well as short biographies of one woman and three men. Well illustrated with photographs and documents.

  • Hoffschildt, Rainer. Olivia: die bisher geheime Geschichte des Tabus Homosexualität und der Verfolgung der Homosexuellen in Hannover. Hannover: Verein zur Erforschung der Geschichte der Homosexuellen in Niedersachsen, 1992. (HQ 76.3 G4 H64 1992) [Find in a library near you]

    Describes the life of homosexuals during the Third Reich and after the war in Hannover. Published as part of the 750th anniversary of the city’s founding.

  • Hoffschildt, Rainer. Die Verfolgung der Homosexuellen in der NS-Zeit: Zahlen und Schicksale aus Norddeutschland. Berlin: Verlag rosa Winkel, 1999. (D 804.5 .G38 H64 1999) [Find in a library near you]

    Uses survivor recollections and archival materials to present the personal cases of numerous individuals persecuted by the Nazis for their sexual orientation. Also reviews the history and enforcement of Paragraph 175. Reproduces many original documents and includes numerous photographs. Provides a bibliography of related sources and an index by victims’ names.

  • Jellonek, Burkhard. Homosexuelle unter dem Hakenkreuz: die Verfolgung von Homosexuellen im Dritten Reich. Paderborn: F. Schningh, 1990. (D 804.5 .G38 J45 1990) [Find in a library near you]

    Retraces the persecution of homosexuals during the Third Reich. Interprets the law regarding homosexuality as it was written and discusses the various degrees of punishment. Also examines homosexuality within the ranks of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party [NSDAP]. Includes tables and a wealth of footnotes.

  • Jellonnek, Burkhard, and Rüdiger Lautmann, editors. Nationalsozialistischer Terror gegen Homosexuelle: verdrängt und ungesühnt. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2002. (D 804.5 .G38 N38 2002) [Find in a library near you]

    A comprehensive survey of the new research on the persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany and occupied Western Europe, as well as the treatment of victims after 1945. Addresses a variety of topics, including life for gay men and lesbians under National Socialism, the involvement of the police, the justice system, medical doctors and psychiatrists in the persecution of homosexuals, post-war reparations for homosexuals in the Federal Republic, and the recent push for memorials in remembrance of the gay victims of Nazi terror.

  • KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme. Verfolgung von Homosexuellen im Nationalsozialismus. Bremen: Edition Temmen, 1999. (D 804.5 G38 V4 1999) [Find in a library near you]

    Chronicles the experiences of homosexuals in various concentration camps, examines the National Socialist laws against homosexuality, and provides updates on several related research projects. Volume 5 in a series produced by the Neuengamme memorial site on National Socialism in northern Germany.

  • Landeszentrale für Politische Bildung des Saarlandes: Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung. Wider das Vergessen: die Verfolgung von Homosexuellen im Dritten Reich, die unterbliebene Wiedergutmachung für homosexuelle Opfer in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Saarbrücken: Landeszentrale für politische Bildung des Saarlandes, [1996]. (D 804.5 G38 W5 1996) [Find in a library near you]

    Outline of a conference on the Nazi persecution of homosexuals and potential reparations to the victims, sponsored by the State Department for Political Education and the Provinz of Saarland, September 1996. Includes a schedule of presentations and brief biographical information regarding conference presenters.

  • Limpricht, Cornelia, Jurgen Muller, and Nina Oxenius. “Verfürte” Männer: das Leben der Kölner Homosexuellen im Dritten Reich. [Köln]: Volksblatt, 1991. (HQ 76.2 .G4 V47 1991) [Find in a library near you]

    Companion book for the 1991 exhibition by the same name about the life of homosexuals in the city of Cologne during the Third Reich. Provides chapters on concentration and work camps, persecution by the courts (Paragraph 175), denunciation, the Case Bartels, Nazi youth groups, and gay life in Cologne. Includes eyewitness accounts and numerous illustrations.

  • Mosse, George, et al. Der Homosexuellen NS-Opfer gedenken. Berlin: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, 1999. (D 804.5 .G38 H65 1999) [Find in a library near you]

    A collection of nine essays about recent German commemorations and memorials to honor the gay victims of Nazi persecution. Appendices reproduce memos and newspaper articles regarding the creation of a monument to the homosexual victims of Nazism and reprint Ilse Kokula’s proposal for the establishment of such a memorial. Includes numerous photographs.

  • Müller, Joachim, and Andreas Sternweiler. Homosexuelle Männer im KZ Sachsenhausen. Berlin: Rosa Winkel, 2000. (D 804.5 .G38 M85 2000) [Find in a library near you]

    A collection of twenty-four essays by the authors and others documenting the fates of gay prisoners at Sachsenhausen, describing their living conditions in the camp, and examining their “special treatment” by the SS. Looks at numerous individual cases, complete with photographs and reproductions of original documents. Provides a list of those men who died at Sachsenhausen after being imprisoned as homosexuals. Also includes an extensive bibliography and a name index.

  • Mussmann, Olaf, editor. Homosexuelle in Konzentrationslagern: Vorträge: wissenschaftliche Tagung, 12./13. September 1997, KZ-Gedenkstätte Mittelbau-Dora, Nordhausen. Berlin: Westkreuz-Verlag, 2000. (D 804.5 .G38 H648 2000) [Find in a library near you]

    A collection of lectures regarding gays in the concentration camps. Touches upon the situation at Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau, Emslandlager, Lichtenburg, Mittelbau-Dora, Neuengamme, Ravensbrück, and Sachsenhausen. Describes an effort by Rainer Hoffschildt to examine police, court, and camp files to compile a comprehensive list of pink triangle prisoners and their fates. Also addresses police preventive custody, lesbian women in the camps, and attempts to add the remembrance of homosexual victims to the concentration camp memorials.

  • Pauly, Jörg. Für Zucht und Sitte: die Verfolgung der Homosexuellen im III. Reich. Osnabrück: Aktionsgruppe Homosexualität Osnabrück, 1983. (D 804.5 G38 P38 1983) [Find in a library near you]

    Uses newspaper clippings and editorial commentary to document the gradual disfranchisement of homosexuals in Nazi Germany, culminating in their wholesale persecution and murder.

  • Pretzel, Andreas, and Gabriele Rossbach. Wegen der zu erwartenden hohen Strafe—: Homosexuellenverfolgung in Berlin 1933-1945. Berlin: Verlag rosa Winkel, 2000. (HQ 76.3 .G42 B48 2000) [Find in a library near you]

    A collection of articles addressing various aspects of the criminal prosecution of homosexuals under the Third Reich. Covers the arrest, judgment, and imprisonment phases, including the denunciation of alleged homosexuals by informants, police investigations, interrogations by Gestapo and criminal police, rulings of the Berlin courts, and the treatment of prisoners in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Reconstructs the experiences of seventeen individuals based on the examination of over 2,000 criminal court files and 17,000 cases from the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s registry. Includes an introduction by Gunter Grau, as well as photographs and document reproductions.

  • Röll, Wolfgang. Homosexuelle Häftlinge im Konzentrationslager Buchenwald. [S.l.]: Nationale Mahn und Gedenkstätte Buchenwald, 1991. (D 805.5 .B83 R57 1991) [Find in a library near you]

    Describes the political persecution of homosexuals and the pseudo-scientific medical experiments performed on prisoners with the pink triangle in the concentration camp Buchenwald. Includes reproductions of documents concerning homosexual prisoners in the camp and statistical tables and charts.

  • Schoppmann, Claudia. Nationalsozialistische Sexualpolitik und weibliche Homosexualität. Pfaffenweiler: Centaurus, 1991. (HQ 75.6 .G3 S362 1991) [Find in a library near you]

    Documents how lesbians, though not officially prosecuted in the courts under Paragraph 175, were systematically attacked under the Third Reich by the “Reichszentrale zur Bekämpfung der Homosexualität und Abtreibung” [Reich Department for the Fight against Homosexuality and Abortion]. Shows a continuum through the pre- and post-war periods. Includes an extensive bibliography and notes.

  • Schulz, Christian, and Michael Sartorius. Paragraph 175. (abgewickelt): Homosexualität und Strafrecht im Nachkriegsdeutschland - Rechtsprechung, juristische Diskussion und Reform seit 1945. Hamburg: MännerschwarmSkript, 1994. (KK 8582 .A65 S3 1994) [Find in a library near you]

    Analyzes the history of Paragraph 175 since the end of World War II and compares how West and East Germany applied the law. Also addresses reparation efforts on behalf of homosexual victims of the Third Reich.

  • Sparing, Frank. “...wegen Vergehen nach [Paragraph] 175 verhaftet”: die Verfolgung der Düsseldorfer Homosexuellen während des Nationalsozialismus. Düsseldorf: Grupello Verlag, 1997. (D 804.5 .G38 S63 1997) [Find in a library near you]

    Uses unique primary source documents and historical analysis to retrace the Nazi strategy of gradually criminalizing homosexuality until it became an offense punishable by castration, concentration camp deportation, and death. Focuses primarily on the homosexual community in Dusseldorf.

  • Unabhängige Homosexuelle Alternative, Arbeitskreis Parlamente und Parteien. Der Gedenkstein in Neuengamme: Eine Dokumentation der Unabhängigen Homosexuellen Alternative. Hamburg: UHA, 1985. (HQ 76.3 .G42 H3 1985) [Find in a library near you]

    Uses primary source documents and transcripts of speeches to chronicle the planning and implementation of a memorial dedicated to the homosexual victims at the Neuengamme concentration camp.

  • Wilde, Harry. Das Schicksal der Verfemten: die Verfolgung der Homosexuellen im “Dritten Reich” und ihre Stellung in der heutigen Gesellschaft. Tübingen: Katzmann, 1969. (D 804.5 .G38 W55 1969) [Find in a library near you]

    Explains the political and ideological motives behind the Nazi plan for a “final solution for the homosexual problem.” Reviews the nearly 100-year-long discussion over Paragraph 175 of German law. Also examines anti-homosexual trends in international politics and the mass media during the 1960s.

  • Wuttke-Groneberg, Walter. Homosexuelle im Nationalsozialismus: Ausstellungskatalog. Ulm: The Author, 1987. (Oversize D 804.5 .G38 W88 1987) [Find in a library near you]

    The catalog of a traveling exhibition of documents pertaining to the persecution of homosexuals by the National Socialist regime. Includes reproductions of original documents, photographs, and newspaper articles, and bibliographies on the subject of gays in the Third Reich.

  • Zinn, Alexander. “‘Die Bewegung der Homosexuellen’: Die soziale Konstruktion des homosexuellen Nationalsozialisten im antifaschistischen Exil.” In Die Linke und das Laster: Schwule Emanzipation und linke Vorurteile, edited by Detlef Grumbach, 38-84. Hamburg: MännerschwarmSkript Verlag, 1995. (HQ 76.3 .G4 L55 1995) [Find in a library near you]

    Chronicles the escalating persecution of homosexuals during the 1930s, and traces the construction of “gay” stereotypes under National Socialism.


  • Koenders, Pieter. Homoseksualiteit in bezet Nederland: verzwegen hoofdstuk. ’s-Gravenhage: Sua-Woelrat, 1984. (HQ 76.3 .N4 K64 1984) [Find in a library near you]

    Systematically examines the persecution of homosexuals in the Netherlands during World War II. Describes the daily life of homosexuals in Germany and the Netherlands, highlighting their isolation before and during the war. Analyzes Nazi attitudes vis-à-vis homosexuality and manliness, but also puts the persecution of gays in a broader social context by considering the position of homosexuals in Dutch society.

  • Koenders, Pieter. Het Homomonument = The Homomonument. Amsterdam: Stichting Homomonument, 1987. (Oversize D 838 .N4 K63 1987) [Find in a library near you]

    Details the process taken to erect a monument in Amsterdam to the homosexual victims of the Holocaust. Includes brief historical information regarding the treatment gays received under the Third Reich. In Dutch with parallel text in English.


  • Boisson, Jean. Le triangle rose: la déportation des homosexuels (1933-1945). Paris: Éditions Robert Laffont. (D 804.5 .G38 B65 1988) [Find in a library near you]

    A general review of the treatment of homosexuals under the Third Reich. Provides some insight into the situation in Alsace-Lorraine and the rest of France. Describes how the French police in Alsace-Lorraine collaborated with the German authorities and surrendered their files on homosexuals in the region. Also covers the anti-homosexual legislation initiated in Vichy France under Marshal Petain.


  • Circolo Pink, editor. Le ragioni di un silenzio: la persecuzione degli omosessuali durante il nazismo e il fascismo. Verona: Ombre corte, 2002. (D 804.5 .G38 R34 2002) [Find in a library near you]

    A collection of essays detailing the treatment of homosexuals under Nazism and fascism. Examines the reasons behind the Nazi persecution of homosexuals, including the National Socialistic drive toward “racial purity,” and the harsh treatment gays received inside the camps. Includes the memories and testimonies of survivors. Provides an Italian translation of the booklet published by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on the homosexual victims of National Socialism, along with a chronology of significant dates and events under National Socialism and fascism.

Biographies and Testimonies


  • Beck, Gad. An Underground Life: Memoirs of a Gay Jew in Nazi Berlin. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1999. (DS 135 .G5 B333 1999) [Find in a library near you]

    A unique first-hand account of life as a gay, Jewish youth in Nazi Germany. Describes the author’s role in the Zionist underground, where he managed to save numerous other Jews and survive the Holocaust. The Library also has an edition in German under the title, Und Gad ging zu David: Die Erinnerungen des Gad Beck 1923 bis 1945.

  • Fischer, Erica. Aimée & Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943. New York: HarperCollins, 1995. (DD 857 .W87 F5713 1995) [Find in a library near you]

    The true story of two women, Elisabth Wurst (Aimée), the wife of a Nazi officer, and Felice Schragenheim (Jaguar), a Jewish lesbian, who unexpectedly fall in love against the backdrop of the Holocaust. Brings the story to life with letters, diaries, documents and photographs. Originally published in German as Aimée & Jaguar: eine Liebesgeschichte Berlin 1943.

  • Heger, Heinz. The Men with the Pink Triangle: The True Life-and-Death Story of Homosexuals in the Nazi Death Camps. Boston: Alyson Publications, 1994. (D 804.5 .G38 H4413 1994) [Find in a library near you]

    Tells the story of a gay Austrian man arrested by the SS and imprisoned for being homosexual. Describes the conditions in the camps at Sachsenhausen and Flossenburg and the brutal treatment gays received at the hands of camp guards and other prisoners. Includes an introduction by Klaus Müller, that provides an overview of Nazi anti-homosexual policies and practices. Earlier editions have an introduction by David Fernbach.

  • Isherwood, Christopher. Christopher and His Kind. New York: North Point Press, 1996. (PR 6017 .S5 Z498 1993) [Find in a library near you]

    An autobiography covering 1929-1939, the ten years in the writer’s life that he spent in Berlin and traveling around Europe. Explores his homosexuality and the struggles he and other gay men faced with Hitler’s rise to power.

  • Schoppmann, Claudia. Days of Masquerade: Life Stories of Lesbians During the Third Reich. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996. (HQ 75.6 .G3 S36313 1996) [Find in a library near you]

    Ten personal stories of lesbians who lived in Germany under the Third Reich. Also includes a comprehensive overview of Nazi attitudes and policies toward homosexual men and women. Describes how lesbianism, while not criminalized and subject to arrest as male homosexuality, was driven underground by the fear of Nazi persecution. The Library also has an edition in German under the title, Zeit der Maskierung: Lebensgeschichten lesbischer Frauen im “Dritten Reich”.

  • Seel, Pierre. I, Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual: A Memoir of Nazi Terror. New York: Basic Books, 1995. (HQ 75.8 .S44 A3 1995) [Find in a library near you]

    The autobiography of a man arrested at the age of seventeen when the Nazis discovered his homosexuality. Tells of his imprisonment in the camp at Schirmeck-Vorbruch in Alsace, his forced conscription in the German army, and his subsequent capture by the Russians. Also describes the decades after the war that he spent hiding the trauma he endured, until he finally revealed his secret past. The Library also has an edition in French under the title, Moi, Pierre Seel, Déporté Homosexuel.


  • Becker, Albrecht. Fotos sind mein Leben. Berlin: Rosa Winkel, 1993. (TR 140 .B4413 A3 1993) [Find in a library near you]

    Biography of Albrecht Becker, photographer. Tells the story of his arrest, trial, and three-year imprisonment for homosexuality. Features Becker’s personal photographs and the surviving Gestapo documents regarding his arrest and trial.

  • Dijk, Lutz van. Ein erfülltes Leben, trotzdem—: Erinnerungen Homosexueller, 1933-1945: elf biographische Texte. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1992. (HQ 76.2 .E9 D55 1992) [Find in a library near you]

    Eleven largely autobiographical texts in which homosexual men recount their youth, friendships and relationships during the Third Reich. Describes the inhumanity of the political and legal systems established against gays at the time.

  • Kokula, Ilse. Jahre des Glücks, Jahre des Leids: Gespräche mit älteren lesbischen Frauen: Dokumente. Kiel: Frühlings Erwachen, 1990. (HQ 75.6 .G3 K65 1990) [Find in a library near you]

    A collection of interviews conducted between 1975 and 1982, in which lesbians describe their experiences during the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, and post-war Germany. Includes selected historical documents and excerpts from the findings of the Federal Constitutional Court in 1957 regarding Paragraph 175.

  • Sternweiler, Andreas. Und alles wegen der Jungs: Pfadfinderführer und KZ-Häftling: Heinz Dörmer. Berlin: Rosa Winkel, 1994. (HQ 75.8 .D68 S74 1994) [Find in a library near you]

    Recounts the story of Heinz Dörmer, who was arrested in May 1935 under Paragraph 175 and spent the next 10 years in various prisons and concentration camps. Also describes the persecution he endured after liberation, as Dörmer, like many other homosexuals, continued to be tried under Paragraph 175. Reconstructs Dörmer’s life through interviews, documents, letters and photos.

Literary Works

  • De Jong, Dola. The Tree and The Vine. New York: Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1996. (PS 3507 .E395 T74 1996) [Find in a library near you]

    Tells the story of a love affair between two women, a half-Jewish journalist and member of the Dutch resistance and a reserved secretary, whose romance is overshadowed by the outbreak of war and the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam.

  • Dijk, Lutz van. Damned Strong Love: The True Story of Willi G. and Stefan K.: A Novel. New York: Holt, 1995. (PT 2664 .I48 V4713 1995) [Find in a library near you]

    A short novel based on the true story of a Polish teenager who falls in love with a young German soldier. Includes a timeline and chronology regarding the persecution of homosexuals in Germany from 1871 to 1991. The Library also has an edition in German under the title Verdammt starke Liebe: eine wahre Geschichte.

  • Reed, Lannon D. Behold a Pale Horse: A Novel of Homosexuals in the Nazi Holocaust. San Francisco: Gay Sunshine Press, 1985. (PS 3568 .E3672 B44 1985) [Find in a library near you]

    A novel addressing the Nazis’ attempt to eradicate Jews and homosexuals from Europe. Traces the life of one young man, Jewish and gay, who ends up in Dachau and Auschwitz.

  • Reinhart, Robert C. Walk the Night: A Novel of Gays in the Holocaust. Boston: Alyson Publications, 1994. (PS 3568 .E4924 W35 1994) [Find in a library near you]

    A novel blending contemporary and historical elements. Reveals the history of the Nazi persecution of gays through the lead character’s search for a gay man who had been arrested by the Nazis decades earlier.

  • Sherman, Martin. Bent. New York: S. French, 1979. (PS 3569 .H433 B4 1979) [Find in a library near you]

    Text of the play that explores the persecution of gays during the Holocaust as told through the experiences of three men.

  • Silva, Linda Kay. Tory’s Tuesday. San Diego: Paradigm Publishers, 1992. (PS 3569 .I4592 T67 1992) [Find in a library near you]

    The story of two female lovers in Poland, one a Jew, who are rounded up and shipped to Auschwitz, where they are separated. Describes their individual experiences in the camps and the support they received from other women in the camp who help them survive.

Film and Video

  • Clay, Catrine. Love Story: Berlin 1942 [videorecording]. New York: Women Make Movies, 1997. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]

    A documentary about the love affair between a Nazi housewife and mother, Lilly Wurst, and a young Jewish woman, Felice Schraderheim, who was living underground in Berlin during World War II. Includes historical footage and interviews with survivors.

  • Dobbs, Rebecca. Desire: Sexuality in Germany 1910-1945 [videorecording]. New York: Water Bearer Films, [1992]. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]

    Traces the history of the homosexual movement in Germany from the responses of the medical and psychoanalytical professions in the 1890s to the push for homosexual emancipation during the early years of this century. Uses historical and archival films of the period to chronicle events leading to the imprisonment of homosexuals in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Includes interviews with gay individuals who describe how they survived when Hitler was in power.

  • Epstein, Rob, and Jeffrey Friedman. Paragraph 175 [videorecording]. New York: New Yorker Films, 2000. (DVD Collection) [Find in a library near you]

    A documentary on the Nazi persecution of homosexuals in which historian Klaus Müller interviews six gay men and one lesbian about their experiences living under the Third Reich. Describes the means they employed to survive and the persecutions they suffered, including arrest, imprisonment, and torture. Includes historical photographs and archival film footage.

  • Jeanrond, Elke, and Joseph Weishaupt. Wir hatten ein grosses A am Bein [videorecording]. Washington, DC: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1994. (Video Collection) [Find in a library near you]

    Details the persecution of homosexuals during the Third Reich through the personal stories of three survivors of the Holocaust in Germany. In German with English subtitles.

  • Mathias, Sean. Bent [videorecording]. [New York?]: MGM Home Entertainment, 2003. (DVD Collection) [Find in a library near you]

    Screen version of the play by Martin Sherman.

Museum Web Resources

  • Exhibitions: Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals, 1933-1945

    Online exhibition created in conjunction with the special exhibit, “Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals, 1933-1945,” held at the Museum from November 15, 2002 through March 16, 2003. Traces the rise of National Socialism and its impact on homosexuals in Germany, particularly the way in which Nazi racial science was used to classify gay men as a threat to the state. Describes the arrest and persecution of thousands of men, their harsh treatment in Nazi prisons and concentration camps, and the continued discrimination against them following the war. Provides the personal stories of eight different men impacted by the Nazi policies against homosexuality. Also includes the reproductions of numerous photographs, drawings, paintings, and historically significant documents.

  • Exhibitions: “Do You Remember, When”

    An online exhibition showcasing the diary of Manfred Lewin written for his half-Jewish boyfriend, Gad Beck. The original German language images are shown along with translations and background information.

  • Holocaust Encyclopedia: Lesbians and the Third Reich

    Briefly reviews the socio-political history of lesbians in Germany from the late nineteenth century through the Nazi era. Describes how a period of openness in the Weimar Republic was replaced by the restrictive measures of the Third Reich. Addresses the repressive attitude Nazis had toward women in general and lesbians in particular, and describes the limited extent to which lesbians were persecuted or imprisoned. Includes photographs, personal stories, and related links.

  • Holocaust Encyclopedia: Persecution of Homosexuals in the Third Reich

    Summarizes the Nazi efforts to eradicate an openly gay or lesbian culture in Nazi Germany and to criminalize homosexuality through the passage of Paragraph 175. Also describes the arrest and imprisonment of homosexuals and their treatment in the concentration camps. Includes photographs, personal stories, and related links.

  • Special Focus: Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals

    Highlights Museum resources, including articles, bibliographies, and educational materials, on the topic of homosexuals in the Holocaust. Summarizes the history of the Nazi persecution of gays and lesbians and provides links to first-person accounts by survivors. Also includes numerous images.

Holocaust Encyclopedia

Holocaust Encyclopedia

Explore our comprehensive entries on the events, people, and places of the Holocaust.

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Additional Resources

Paragraph 175

An English translation of Paragraph 175 of the German criminal code, which the Nazi regime revised in 1935 to make illegal a very broad range of behavior between men.

Subject Files

Ask at the reference desk to see the subject files labeled “Gays-Nazi Persecution” containing newspaper and periodical articles.

Subject Headings

To search library catalogs or other electronic search tools for materials on Gays and Lesbians in the Holocaust or related topics, use the following Library of Congress subject headings to retrieve the most relevant citations:

  • Gays–Nazi persecution
  • Gays–Germany–History–20th century
  • Lesbians–Germany–History–20th century
  • Gay men–Germany–History–20th century
  • Homosexuality, Male–Germany–History–20th century
  • Homosexuality, Male–Government policy–Germany–History–20th century

See all Bibliographies