Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals

This exhibition has ended, but you can still view educator resources below.

Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933–1945 is a traveling exhibition produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Through reproductions of historic photographs and documents, this exhibition explores the rationale, means, and impact of the Nazi regime’s persecution of homosexuals, which left thousands dead and shattered the lives of many more.

The Center for Diversity Education hosted the exhibit from February 12 to April 11, 2017 in UNC Asheville's Ramsey Library. Day and evening programming included guided group tours, film screenings, and lectures. 

This exhibit was presented in conjunction with Pioneering Voices: Portraits of Transgender People, an exhibit traveled by the Family Diversity Projects. Together, these exhibits provide historical and contemporary perspectives on the lives of the LGBTQ community. Pioneering Voices was displayed February 12 to April 11 in the Karpen Hall lobby.

Learn more about professional development opportunities for educators by clicking "Teacher Resources" below.

Questions about the exhibit? Contact Deborah Miles at [email protected].

Teacher Resources

The Center for Diversity Education is offering two professional development opportunities for teachers:

Gender Conformity and Sexual Minorities during the Nazi Era: 1933-1945
Monday, March 6, 4:00 - 6:00
D. Hiden Ramsey Library, UNC Asheville, One University Heights

The presentation includes a lecture by Dr. Eric Roubinek, Associate Professor at UNC Asheville, a tour of the exhibit, and curriculum development opportunities with Eric Grant with Buncombe County Schools.

Click here to register for Gender Conformity and Sexual Minorities during the Nazi Era

Pedagogical Round Table:  Safe, Inclusive and Affirming Interactions with Transgender Students in the Classroom
Tuesday, March 28, 4:00 - 6:00pm
Karpen Hall Lobby, UNC Asheville, One University Heights

The presentation includes an opportunity to view the exhibit and participate in a panel discussion led by Keith Bramlett, retired Sociology professor from UNC Asheville.

Click here to register for Pedagogical Roundtable: Safe, Inclusive, and Affirming Interactions for Transgender Students in the Classroom

View a PDF of the Exhibit


Victim Identity Cards:

Willem Arondeus

Gad Beck

Karl Gorath

Friedrich-Paul von Groszheim

Robert T. Odeman

Harry Pauly

Online Resources About the Holocaust:

READING: Persecution of Homosexuals in the Third Reich

READING: Background and Timeline of Events

READING: Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals

READING: "Do You Remember, When" (A book shared between teenagers Manfred Lewin and Gad Beck)

READING: Dr. Magnus Herschfeld, founder of the Institute for Sexual Research in Berlin

READING: Article 6 - Indecency Between Men

READING: Paragraph 175

READING: Heinrich Himmler on the "Question of Homosexuality"

READING: A Gay Man Recalls 1933

AUDIO: Isolating Gays

LESSON: Paragraph 175

LESSON: What Can We Do To Prevent Genocide?

Online Resources about LGBT+ Inclusion:

LESSON: Understanding Homophobia/Heterosexism and How to Be an Ally

LESSON: Transgender Identity and Issues


Suggested Further Readings:

The Men with the Pink Triangle by Heinz Heger (translated by David Fernbach). 1980. Alyson Publications.

Normal Life by Dean Spade. 2011. New York: South End Press.

Transgender History by Susan Stryker. 2008. Avalon Publishing Group.

Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality by Anne Fausto-Sterling. 2008. Revised. Basic Books.

Sex/Gender: Biology in a Social World (The Routledge Series Integrating Science and Culture). 2012. Routledge.

Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish History. Noach Dzmura (Editor). 2010. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.

Documentary: The Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria. 2005. FrameLine.


This exhibit was made accessible thanks to the generous donations of these sponsors: 

  • Billy Gray & Jim Reid
  • Brian May & Scott Merrill
  • Congregation Beth HaTephila
  • Deutsch & Gottschalk Attorneys
  • Equality NC
  • Grace Covenant Presbyterian
  • Keith Bramlett & Phil Weast
  • Leah Karpen
  • WNC Jewish Federation
  • Cissy Majebe
  • David Berkey & Jack Lowell
  • Dudley & JoAnne Cate
  • Jacque Allen & Barbara Benisch
  • Richard & Sue Walton