Bent Historical Context

Martin Sherman
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1930s Germany and the Origin of the Holocaust

From 1919 to 1933, the German government was known as the Weimar Republic. During this time, a rather avant-garde culture flourished in fields such as theater, art, and architecture, and included Einstein's physics and Heidegger's philosophy. An off-shoot of this culture was a decadent nightlife in the major cities, particularly Berlin, where open homosexuality was tolerated. There was even an attempt to reform laws against homosexual acts. However, the coming of the depression brought political unrest and new fears that included a growing homophobia. According to a 1995 article by Raphael Lev in the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review:

The early and mid-30's brought bar closings, surveillance, beatings, censorship, and tough anti-gay legislation. From the mid-30's on, the campaign escalated, with stricter sentences, registration of homosexuals, 'preventive detention' in concentration camps for some, and the institution of the death penalty for...

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This section contains 783 words
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