Edited By Timothy K. Nixon
“Homosexuality and Fascism”
Translated by Rachel Krantz.
1. Enacted in 1871 and remaining in effect until the late 1960s, this part of the German national legal code declared any “indecent act” committed by two men to be a criminal offense worthy of incarceration. Interestingly, Paragraph 175 did not address lesbians or indecent acts committed by two women.
2. Frank Wedekind (1864–1918), most famous today for his work Spring Awakening, was a German playwright whose dramas challenged middle-class sexual norms and mores.
3. Ernst Röhm (1887–1934) was a friend of Adolf Hitler’s who helped to form the Nazi party. He served as the leader of the Sturmabteilung (i.e., the Nazi party militia often referred to as the Storm Troopers or Brown Shirts) until he was assassinated as part of the purge known as The Night of the Long Knives. Röhm’s detractors used his alleged homosexuality as part of their case for denouncing him.
4. Paul Joseph Goebbels (1897–1945) was Nazi Germany’s infamous Minister of Propaganda. During World War I, he did not have to serve in the German military because of a clubfoot, and he walked with a limp throughout his life.
5. The term Bund used here by Mann is ambiguous: “Muß ein >>Bund<< den fascistischen, den fortschrittsfeindlichen Charakter haben?” When read as a neuter noun (das Bund), it refers to a “bundle” or “bunch,” calling to...
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