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Queer History & World War II. The Holocaust. Paragraph 175 : Provision of German Criminal Code outlawing homosexual acts between Men. In 1935, the Nazis broadened the law and thousands of gay men died in concentration

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the holocaust
The Holocaust
  • Paragraph 175:
  • Provision of German Criminal Code outlawing homosexual acts between
  • Men.
  • In 1935, the Nazis broadened the law and thousands of gay men died in concentration
  • camps. Between 5 and 15,000 gay men were sent to concentration camps, where they were forced to wear the pink triangle. Most sent to the camps died there.
  • In 1945, gay prisoners were not freed from the concentration camps. Rather, they were
  • made to serve out their sentence under Paragraph 175.
  • Amended various times, including in 1969 when the government changed the law to stipulate that the age of consent was 21, Paragraph 175 was repealed in 1988.
  • Documentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySlMFFJQcO0
hayes code 1930
Hayes Code, 1930
  • Passed in 1930, this set of restrictions outlawed any reference to ‘sexual perversion’ in movies.
  • Starting in July, 1934 all films were required to have a certificate stating that they adhered to the standards of the code before being released.
  • For almost two full decades, until individual film directors challenged the code in the mid-1950s, there could be no mention of homosexuality.
  • The Celluloid Closet, a documentary, details the history of homosexuality in films (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL_vrb4-6_0)
world war ii
World War II
  • Blue Discharge:
  • Defined neither as “honorable”
  • or “dishonorable,” but “undesirable”
  • Removed homosexual members from the ranks of the military
  • It was applied disproportionately to African Americans
  • 9,000 blue discharges issued to homosexuals during WWII
  • After the war, queer people who received the blue discharge
  • experienced discrimination in hiring and were refused the
  • benefits of the G.I. Bill
  • WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service:
  • Women, many of them lesbians, in the Navy
  • WACs (Women’s Army Core): Women, many of them
  • lesbians, in the army.

Coming Out Under Fire, by Allan Berube

what is queer labor history
What is Queer Labor History?
  • Kinds of work performed by queer people
  • Discrimination faced at work. Resistance to Discrimination.
  • Distinction between what it means to be working-class and queer and what it
  • means to be middle- or upper-class and queer.
  • Involvement in the labor movement, relationship between workers.
lesbians factory work
Lesbians & Factory Work

“Rosie the Riveter”

Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55NCElsbjeQ

Female Factory Workers During WWII

Rosie the Riveter

queer labor history
Queer Labor History

Allan Bérubé

  • Self-Taught Community Historian. Scholar-Activist.
  • 1960s conscientious objector and anti-war activist.
  • Wrote THE book on gay people and World War II.
  • Wrote about the relationship between sexuality,
  • class, and race.
  • He died in December 2007. When he died,
  • he was in the middle of writing a book about the
  • “radical, intterracial, and queer-friendly Marine Cooks
  • and Stewards Union” from the 1930s-1950s.

Allan Berube

San Francisco Lesbian and Gay History Project

no race baiting red baiting or queer baiting marine cooks and stewards union
“No Race-Baiting, Red-Baiting, or Queer-Baiting!” Marine Cooks and Stewards Union

Anti-Communist Demonstrators Protest Against the Union

The union fought against racism

marine cooks and stewards union
Marine Cooks and Stewards Union
  • Formed by white men in San Francisco in 1901 to “protect” their jobs from “inferior and alien races,” by which they meant Japanese and Chinese seaman.
  • The union was transformed in the 1930s into a radical, integrated union.
  • It represented a variety of people who worked at sea, including service staff on passenger liners (janitors, bellhops, cooks, waiters, hairdressers, etc.)
  • Accused of being communist, and kicked out of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO – parent union) in 1950.
  • Mocked by its enemies as “A third red, a third black, and a third queer!” – destroyed by mid-1950s because of red-baiting and homophobia.