To put this in perspective, here are more of the larger categories of people killed, tortured, sterilized or otherwise harshly persecuted in the Holocaust.
Did some quick online research, paraphrased as notes, numbers aren’t listed but each victim and group is important.
"11 million people were killed during nazi reign over germany. 5 million non jewish victims.
Reasons: Political dissidents, the disabled (considered subhuman), racial (considered subhuman)
General groups: Jewish, Romani (Gypsies), Polish, Ukranians and people of other slavic countries, Jehova’s Witnesses, some catholics, some protestants, smaller faith groups such as Bah’ai (Nazi’s created their own state church, Reich Church), Political dissidents and clergy, homosexuals, transgender people, mixed race children (such as german x african children), interracial couples (again, white x african), miscellaneous “other” people that were considered unfit for society, such as prostitutes and drifters.
Basically anyone who didn’t belong to the “master” race and didn’t fit their criteria of personhood or humanity.”
Back to the original topic: Gays, transgender, and lesbians definitely were persecuted. Prior to WW2, in Berlin, homosexuality was generally tolerated, as much as it could have been in the 1920s western world. There were places for gays to openly meet, homosexuality was the topic of books, magazine articles, and movies. Hitler even raked the ranks of his army and officers for homosexuals and threw them into prison or sentenced them.
“According to many survivor accounts, homosexuals were among the most abused groups in the camps…. Guards ridiculed and beat homosexual prisoners upon arrival, often separating them from other inmates. Rudolf Hoess, commandant of Auschwitz, wrote in his memoirs that homosexuals were segregated in order to prevent homosexuality from spreading to other inmates and guards." (Persecution of homosexuals in the third reich, US Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia.) According to this same page, homosexuals were often abused physically and sexually by other inmates and guards, sterilized, castrated, and killed whenever guards or officials felt like doing so.
I wonder if the idea that ‘homosexuality is a disease that can spread’ came from Nazi ideals of this period. This idea is often cited by anti-gay advocates today.
In response to holocaust deny-ers: detailed records of victims and survivors and accounts were taken during this time period. There is no excuse.
Again, this is not to diminish other victims and survivors, but to share my findings as to what happened to this specific group during the Holocaust.
It is important to spread as much information about our past so this stuff NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN in any other shape or form.