Nazi Germany: Paragraph 175 and other sexual deviance laws
A national prohibition, Paragraph 175, was added to the Reich
Penal Code in 1871. it read:
An unnatural sex act committed between persons of male sex or
by humans with animals is punishable by imprisonment; the loss
of civil rights might also be imposed.
When the Nazi's came to power in 1933, they put a halt to efforts
seeking reform of this law. In 1935, after the murder of Ernst
Roem, the NSDAP amended the Paragraph 175 to close what were seen
as loopholes in the current law.
The new law had three parts:
Paragraph 175: A male who commits a sex offense with another
male or allows himself to be used by another male for a sex offense
shall be punished with imprisonment. Where a party was not yet
twenty-one years of age at the time of the act, the court may
in especially minor cases refrain from punishment.
Paragraph 175a: Penal servitude up to 10 years or, where
there are mitigating circumstances, imprisonment of not less than
three months shall apply to: (1) a male who, with violence or
the threat of violence to body and soul or life, compels another
male to commit a sex offense with him or to allow himself to be
abused for a sex offense; (2) a male who, by abusing a relationship
of dependence based upon service, employment or subordination,
induces another male to commit a sex offense with him or to allow
himself to be abused for a sex offense; (3) a male over 21 years
of age who seduces a male person under twenty-one years to commit
a sex offense with him or to allow himself to be abused for a
sex offense; (4) a male who publicly commits a sex offense with
males or allows himself to be abused by males for a sex offense
or offers himself for the same.
Paragraph 175b: An unnatural sex act committed by humans
with animals is punishable by imprisonment; the loss of civil
rights might also be imposed.
Paragraph 174 of the penal code forbade incest and other sexual
offenses with dependents, while paragraph 176 outlawed pedophilia.
Persons convicted under these laws also wore the pink triangle.
The Nazi's passed other laws that targeted sex offenders. In 1933,
they enacted the Law Against Dangerous Habitual Criminals and
Measures for Protection and Recovery. This law gave German
judges the power to order compulsory castrations in cases involving
rape, defilement, illicit sex acts with children (Paragraph 176),
coercion to commit sex offenses (paragraph 177), the committing
of indecent acts in public including homosexual acts (paragraph
183), murder or manslaughter of a victim (paragraphs 223-226),
if they were committed to arouse or gratify the sex drive, or
homosexual acts with boys under 14. The Amendment to the Law for
the Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary Diseases dated June
26, 1935 allowed castration indicated by reason of crime for men
convicted under paragraph 175 if the men consented. A May 20,
1939 memo from Himmler allows concentration camp prisoners to
be blackmailed into castration.
From Scott Safier's Pink Triangle Page.