Wednesday, June 14, 2017

How often do I get to put "lesbians" and "Nazis" in the one post title?

Researcher sheds light on life of lesbians in Nazi Germany

Long story short:  the Nazi's didn't get as worked up about lesbians as they did about gay men.
The systematic persecution of gay men under the Nazi regime has been well documented by historians. The regime's laws explicitly criminalized homosexual acts between men. About 50,000 men were convicted for being homosexuals and between 5,000 and 15,000 were imprisoned in concentration camps, where up to 60 percent of them died, according to scholars.

But how lesbians fared is less clear. Females were excluded from the law that made homosexual acts illegal. Aside from a few cases that have been uncovered by a handful of scholars in the United States and Germany, little documentation exists describing how the Nazis treated lesbians.

There were still some attempts at prosecutions, though, and the article notes 8 cases on the records where the women were not convicted.  One was particularly odd:
Liu née Holzmann, whose lesbian relationship was also documented in a recent German monograph, struck Huneke as particularly strange. Holzmann was a Jewish lesbian who lived in Nazi Berlin. In 1941, she married a Chinese waiter and received Chinese citizenship, which the police insisted shielded her from deportation to a concentration camp. Once Holzmann's husband became aware of her lesbian relationship, he filed for divorce and contacted the police.

Yet, as in the other three cases, the police opted not to intervene. "It is frankly bizarre that the criminal police would insist, in multiple documents, on the protections conferred a German Jewish lesbian by virtue of her de jure Chinese citizenship," Huneke wrote.

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