Rethinking Homosexuality under National Socialism
Introduction 1 See Omer Bartov, “Kitsch and Sadism in Ka-Tzetnik’s Other Planet: Israeli Youth Imagine the Holocaust,” Jewish Social Studies 3.2 (1997): 42–76. 2 See Dirk Blasius, “Das Ende der Humanität: Psychiatrie und Krankenmord in der NS-Zeit,” Der historiche Ort des Nationalsozialismus, ed. Walter Pehle (Frankfurt: S. Fischer Verlag, 1990), 52. 3 I am referring here more to nationalist discourses in South Africa historically, especially during the apartheid era when homosexuality was criminalized through the Immorality Act of 1957, which later became the Sexual Offences Act and criminalized a range of nonheteronormative forms of sexuality and any form of interracial sex during the marked social trend of sexual policing in South Africa during the 1950s and 1960s. This trend of criminalization continued with the Immorality Amendment Act (Act 57 of 1969), which raised the age of consent for homosexual sex from sixteen to nine- teen, and Schedule One of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977, which allowed for the arrest of any person “reasonably” suspected of having committed sodomy. But even in the “New” South Africa of the post-apartheid period, some strands of African cultural nationalism interpreted homosexuality as a vestige of empire and as alien to African indigenous cultures. This was especially evident in the defense trial of Winnie Madikizela Mandela in 1991 when she was accused of taking part in the abductions, and possibly the beatings, of four black youths who were supposedly being abused sexually by a white Methodist minister. Many of her supporters defended...
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