By: Francesco Sacca
Hello again my avid readers!
In this week, we are going to be diving into some material that focuses on fascism and some of the historical roots/ideals that it has had in history.
Some of the material within this text may be troubling to some readers, as much of this post pertains to Nazi Germany between the 1940s-50s.
When it comes to the question of gender within fascism, there is a blurred line with what is considered against the ideals of fascism and what is solely ignored. Even today, scholars and historians struggle with defining these borders, especially during the rule of Nazi Germany. An example of this lack of agreement comes from a memorial within the Tiergarten district of Berlin. Specifically, this memorial reveals the difficulties and punishments of homosexual men under the Nazi regime, although, some have argued that it lacks bringing attention to lesbians and transvestites living in the period. While it is true that homosexual relationships between men received more attention from Nazi secret police (Gestapo) due to its illegality, it is important to realize the difficulties that women encountered as their sexual preferences did not fall in line to the social norm (It takes no small amount of courage to make these choices in modern times, one could only imagine the difficulty in attempting to do so in such a unprogressive time and place in human history).
With this is consideration, one must also note the strict parameters that men were subjugated to when it came to day to day life. “hardened masculinity” was one of the pinnacle principles of society within the Nazi regime and those that deviated were either prosecuted or (contradictorily) were so “manly” during their life that they had been permitted certain “feminine” activities.
Here is a photo of a decorated SS soldier Walter Hauck doing a task that was greatly discriminated against.