Hitler considered homosexuals “infectious” and sought to isolate or exterminate them to ensure his pure German master race. Most of what the Nazis called “die Rosa-Winkel” (the Pink Triangles), died – possibly up to 15,000 of them – either from exhaustion or starvation in the camps or on long marches led by the Nazi SS as allied forces closed in.
Shortly after the Nazis became the only legal party in the Third Reich, homosexual men and women became the target of police raids and interrogation. Under a section of the existing 1871 German Penal code, known as Paragraph 175 (§ 175), homosexual men could be arrested and tried. Paragraph 175 made sexual acts between men a punishable act.
Although the code was operational prior to 1933 it was largely ignored throughout Germany. The ‘unnatural’ sexual act of sodomy itself was difficult to prove unless actually caught while still in progress…
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