The Yale Undergraduate Research Journal


In this article, I examine how Nazi antisemitism and homophobia built upon one another, employing parallel narratives about femininity, foreignness, and threats to the nation state. I explore how early historiography of the Nazi period links the two phenomena as part of a single project, variations on the same theme of Nazi hatred. Ultimately, however, I work to challenge the earlier historiographical narrative and illuminate the ways in which Nazism treated Jews and gays very differently. In order to do so, I examine the two main strands of German sexology at the time, that of Magnus Hirschfeld and that of Adolf Brand and his intellectual society, the Gemeinschaft der Eigenen. I argue that because the Nazis responded to Brand’s homosocial ‘masculinist’ approach rather than Hirschfeld’s theory of the ‘third sex,’ they conceived of homosexuality as a contagious plague rather than an inherent racial defect like Jewishness.