Historian Debunks Fischer’s Gay Nazi Claim

One of the craziest memes to emerge on the loony right over the last few years is the one advocated by Scott Lively and Bryan Fischer, among others, that Adolf Hitler was carrying out some kind of pro-gay pogrom. Historian Jonathan Zimmerman debunks this ridiculous lie. Noting that several of the Republican candidates for president have deliberately associated themselves with Fischer as he’s told this lie repeatedly on his radio show, Zimmerman gives the real history of the Nazi regime:

But none of these GOP hopefuls have challenged Fischer, who insists that Adolf Hitler and many of his storm troopers were gay. “So it was homosexual thugs that helped Hitler to form the Nazi Party,” Fischer told a radio audience in June, adding that the party began “in a gay bar in Munich.”

The truth is precisely the opposite, as historians such as Geoffrey Giles and William Spurlin have shown. Rather than coddling or encouraging gays, the Nazis banned homosexual activity as early as 1935. The following year, they established a “Central Office for Combating Abortion and Homosexuality.”

Like the termination of pregnancies, the Nazis maintained, homosexuality would harm the health of the “Volk” — that is, of the German people. Gays “undermine the natural will to life by propagating an aversion to marriage and the family,” one Nazi author wrote in 1938.

Other Nazis worried that gays lacked the masculine virtues to defend the nation during wartime. “The new Germany has no use for criminals and weaklings, perverts and inverts, but requires instead straightforward and sincere manly souls,” one propagandist wrote, “and so we must combat homosexuality with the means available to us — education, observation, the law, the police, and the courts.”

And so they did. Between 1933 and 1945, the Nazis arrested roughly 100,000 men as homosexuals. Most convicted gays were sent to prison; between 5,000 and 15,000 were interned in concentration camps, where they wore pink triangles to signify their supposed crime.

It gets worse. To win their release from the camps, some gays were forced to undergo castration. Others were mutilated or murdered in so-called medical experiments by Nazi doctors, who insisted that homosexuality was a disease that could be “cured.”

Were some Nazis gay, as Bryan Fischer has asserted? Well, yes: Every big lie has a small grain of truth. Hitler and his advisers especially worried about homosexuals in his “SS” paramilitary force, who would supposedly put their own lusts ahead of protecting the Fatherland.

That’s why Hitler authorized an edict in 1941 prescribing the death penalty — yes, the death penalty — for SS and police members found guilty of gay activity.

“One should not tolerate homosexuality,” Hitler told his aide, Joseph Goebbels. “The National Socialist state must be a manly state.”

Before Hitler came to power, ironically, German socialists and communists tried to demean the Nazis by suggesting they were gay. The idea was picked up by the U.S. military during World War II, when American propaganda posters showed blond Nazi soldiers winking at each other.

And today, it’s mouthed by the likes of Bryan Fischer. Seventy years ago we used anti-gay prejudice to discredit Nazism. Now Fischer is trying to use our hatred of Nazism to discredit gays.

And yet, when asked, none of the candidates who have gone out of their way to court the AFA’s support by holding prayer events and going on Fischer’s radio show will say a word in opposition to this insane bit of bigotry and lunacy.


  1. Doug Little says

    “Central Office for Combating Abortion and Homosexuality.”

    Sounds remarkably like the organisation Brian Fischer is involved in.

  2. slc1 says

    It is true that Ernst Roehm and a few cadres of the brown shirts were gay. However, they were purged from the Nazi Party in 1934 during the Night of the Long Knives campaign.

  3. fastlane says

    It’s like the Hitler = Atheist claim. It doesn’t matter that it’s false. All that matters is that the sheep hear the dogwhistle. None of those who listen to Fishhead will read this debunking.

  4. escuerd says

    As if this particular claim actually needs to be debunked.

    It certainly doesn’t for the non-crazy, well-educated.

    But I’ve seen so many ridiculous claims and arguments repeated totally uncritically that I’m glad someone is debunking them.

  5. Darron says

    As slc1 points out, Ernst Roehm, the head of the Nazi SA (Sturmabteilung — commonly known as the Brown Shirts) was gay. The SA was the Nazi paramilitary/street gang the party used to harass, intimidate, and attack its political enemies.

    Hitler was well aware of Roehm’s sexual orientation for a long time before he decided that Roehm was not completely Fuehrertreu (personally loyal to the Leader, Hitler) and was using his control of the SA to undermine Hitler and advance his own personal ambitions. Hitler then seized upon Roehm’s homosexuality, among other things, to justify his purge of Roehm and the rest of the SA’s senior leadership in the 1934 “Night of the Long Knives.” Whether Hitler’s homicidal hatred of gays predated that event is a very good question. There’s little doubt that he kept his knowledge of Roehm’s sexual orientation “in reserve” to use against Roehm when needed.

  6. pa747sp says

    There’s an easy test to establish if a person is gay.
    1) Is he a non-American? Possibly gay
    2) Is he a bad non-American who imprisons gays? Probably gay
    3) Is he a really bad non-American who murdered thousands of gays? Definitely gay
    4) Is he the husband of a crazy-as-a-cut-snake, right wing Christiotard Rethuglican potential Presidential candidate who spends a lot of his time with gay men? Definitely not gay

  7. iangould says

    “Central Office for Combating Abortion and Homosexuality.”

    It should be Committee Against Socialism and Homosexuality.

    “Just make the check out to “CASH”.”

  8. rork says

    Not enough gay bars, so they wore the pink triangles to better identify each other. That’s what I heard.

    I’m actually a bit nostalgic for the days when the Michigan Nazi’s would come to town for a demonstration, all 7 of them, and 200 young people wearing arm bands with the triangles or stars of David (even if we weren’t gay or Jewish) would yell at them through the protective barricades for a few minutes before the jerks were removed by police for their own protection. I had the red triangle on as well, a tradition from some of my relatives who landed in jail early and stayed late (but survived). My mom’s from Bad Wiessee, where Röhm liked to party with cuties. The (Jewish) judge and school principal, the most respected men in the valley, were wisked away a bit later than the commie-leaning folks, and did not fare as well.


Leave a Reply