REL2120 Lecture15

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Religious Studies
REL 2120
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LECTURE 12 continuedHomosexuality A behavioral choiceNazi persecution of homosexual men was directly related to their population policy and the role that they believed Aryan German rdmen must fulfill in the 3 ReichThey placed great importance on high birth rates like in biblical times because they would expand the Aryan German raceIn the Nazi view men who fathered children seemed to be acting in the best interest of the communityHeinrich Himmler in 1937 gave a speech linking homosexuality with the fall of the nation A good race which has too few children has a oneway ticket to the graveLegal sanctions to homosexuals were not new paragraph 175 of the German Criminal Code declared unnatural indecency between men to be illegal Women were not mentionedAfter WWI and the establishment of the Weiman republic there was a greater emphasis put on individual rights and freedomBerlin had a very open artistic scene and this made homosexuals more visible in the urban areasBy the end of the 1920s about 350000 homosexual men and women lived in BerlinFree speech advocates were arguing openly advocating homosexual rights Publications came to spring up as well arguing their rightsLiberal rights advocates campaigned to repeal paragraph 175Dr Magnus Hirschfeld the founder of the Institute for Sexual Science in Berlin was a vocal critic of article 175 arguing that homosexuality was not a crime and you only pass laws to prevent crime rightConservatives argued that homosexuals undermined family morals and valuesThe Nazis in particular spoke of moral abandon These homosexuals should be prosecuted with all severity because such vices will lead to the downfall of the German nation
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