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  #1  
Old 12-08-2012, 02:28 PM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is offline
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Strange bedfellows: Gays & the Nazi party

Ernst Röhm, as leader of the SA, was one of the most influential nazis until the Night of the long knives. I remember Hannah Arendt and a documentary* saying that the upper echelons of the SA/Nazi party had many homosexuals.

Is it true that there was an unusually high number of homosexuals in the upper echelons of the SA/Nazi party at some point? If so, how come?


Why were they tolerated at all? Was it only because Rohm was important in the first decade of the Nazi party and the Nazis couldn't go after them until Rohm had been knocked off or were there other reasons? How did Rohm ever make it to the top of the SA?





*It's been too long since I've watched it so I can provide a cite.
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2012, 03:07 PM
njtt njtt is offline
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Well, the Nazi's put gays into concentration camps, just for being gay, so it seems unlikely that homosexuality was endemic (a least openly) in the upper echelons of the party. Röhm, of course, was purged fairly early on in the period of Nazi rule. I suppose it is possible that the party hierarchy was full of self-loathing gays, and I am sure there were some who were in the closet and got caught up in the politics, but is there really any good reason to think that the party was rife with such people?

I don't know what was in the documentary you saw, but you say it was a long time ago so I am going to guess that it is from an era when saying there were a lot of gays in an organization was quite a slur on it. You might think that were already plenty enough reasons to despise Nazis without making extra stuff up, but some people love piling on the hate.

I believe Röhm was a powerful figure in the party before Hitler even joined, so the question should not be how did Röhm rise to power in Hitler's party, but how did Hitler rise to power in Röhm's.

Last edited by njtt; 12-08-2012 at 03:09 PM..
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:20 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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Rohm's homosexuality was well known,* but the SA was important to the party in its rise to power. There probably weren't a lot of gays in it, but Rohm certainly surrounded himself with other gays in top positions. Hitler tolerated it because he needed them. Once he came to power, the SA became a liability, so he shut it down.

It was pure pragmatism. However the Nazis felt about gays, it was secondary to their gaining power. Once they got power, they could do what they wanted.


*When he was killed in the Night of the Long Knives, it was claimed it was done because Hitler had discovered he was a homosexual. The joke at the time was, "What will Hitler do when he discoveres Goebbels has a club foot?"
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Last edited by RealityChuck; 12-08-2012 at 03:21 PM..
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:07 PM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njtt View Post
I don't know what was in the documentary you saw, but you say it was a long time ago so I am going to guess that it is from an era when saying there were a lot of gays in an organization was quite a slur on it. You might think that were already plenty enough reasons to despise Nazis without making extra stuff up, but some people love piling on the hate.
Similarly, in the Communist-hating hysteria of the 1950's, it was standard practice to equate
Commies == homosexuals == gleeful godless atheists == every other evil epithet of the times.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:14 PM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
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Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
Similarly, in the Communist-hating hysteria of the 1950's, it was standard practice to equate
Commies == homosexuals == gleeful godless atheists == every other evil epithet of the times.
A major proponent of that equation was Roy Cohn who I understand is now shacked up with Rohm somewhere in Hell.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:19 PM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
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As to the OP, Rohm's homosexuality was just a convenient justification for the Night of the Long Knives and the perception of its prevalence in the rest of the SA was mostly manufactured by Goebbles to sour any sympathy for those that were killed or purged.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:54 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Similarly, in the Communist-hating hysteria of the 1950's, it was standard practice to equate
Commies == homosexuals == gleeful godless atheists == every other evil epithet of the times.
My father held that view right up until his death this past year. Oh, and don't forget Muslims, pagans, hippies, and Satanists, too, and of course all those gays were getting abortions.
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:03 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Originally Posted by Elmer J. Fudd View Post
As to the OP, Rohm's homosexuality was just a convenient justification for the Night of the Long Knives...
Must...resist...Beavis and Butthead.... joke...
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