Paragraph 175 was part of the German criminal code which was only repealed in 1994. It made homosexuality illegal.As part of the commeration of the liberation of Auschwitz 75 years ago there was a programme on German TV last night called "Ein Tag in Auschwitz" (one day in Auschwitz). It concerned mostly the activities of the SS photographer Stabsscharführer (Sgt) Bernard Walter and his assistant. They photographed everything, absolutley everything and published 15 albums with around 200 pictures. The only surviving example is in a museum in Israel. In addition two survivors were interviewed, one who as a young girl, about 13, was taken to Auschwitz with the rest of her family, she and an older sister survived. The other person interviewed was a Polish Jew who worked with other prisoners disposing of the bodies of murder victims. He escaped and later moved to the States where he is still living.
The SS photos revealed in great detail what was nothing less than industrialised mass murder. Although most of the victims were Jews, there were also large numbers of gypsies, socialists, communists, homosexuals and anyone else the Reich took a disliking to, eg Russian POWs. Rabbi Weis ought to bear that in mind.
I found the programme difficult to watch and had to look away several times.
A documentary called 'Paragraph 175' detailed amongst other things the story of Pierre Seel who was arrested and taken to Schirmek concentration camp for being gay. He was 18 years old.
He'd not been there long when the inmates were called to witness punishment.
It turned that his boyfriend had been arrested too.
The boyfriend was stripped naked, had a tin bucket put on his head to muffle his screams and was mauled to death by the camp dogs.
Paragraph 175 is worth watching but you'll need a strong stomach.