By the 1920's, Berlin had become known as a homosexual eden, where gay men and lesbians lived relatively open lives amidst an exciting subculture of artists and intellectuals. With the coming to power of the Nazis, all this changed. Between 1933 and 1945 100,000 men were arrested for homosexuality under Paragraph 175, the sodomy provision of the German penal code dating back to 1871. Some were imprisoned, others were sent to concentration camps. Of the latter, only about 4,000 survived. Today, fewer than ten of these men are known to be living. Five of them have now come forward to tell their stories for the first time in this powerful new film. The Nazi persecution of homosexuals may be the last untold story of the Third Reich. Paragraph 175 fills a crucial gap in the historical record, and reveals the lasting consequences of this hidden chapter of 20th century history, as told through personal stories of men and women who lived through it: the half Jewish gay resistance fighter who ... Written by
"An unnatural sex act committed between persons of the male sex or by humans with animals is punishable by imprisonment; the loss of civil rights may also be imposed." (Paragraph 175, German Penal Code, 1871) See more »
I would imagine that 99% of those questioned would think that only Jews were killed in the Nazi death camps. In fact, gypsies, homosexuals, politicals, and Jehovah's Witnesses were also given special stars and faced extermination.
There are only about 10 homosexuals left from this tragedy, and they interviewed eight for this special film. It was incredible and moving and, if you are not touched by their stories, then you are cast in stone.
The film did mentioned that this punishment was reserved primarily for men, but they did not explain why. I wouldn't take anything away for that, but it should have been discussed as they had many lesbians in the movie. Did they just want to show nude women? Gratuitous monties? I remember my visit to Dachau and the memories I have of this shame on humanity. This film will have to hold me until I can get to the Holocaust Museum in Washington to see more. It is not to be missed and everyone should be checking HBO to see when it plays next.
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