Over the last couple of weeks, Bryan Fischer made a series of claims regarding homosexuality and the Holocaust. He summarized his arguments in an article on the RenewAmerica website (in italics):
Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.
In making his case, he relies heavily on two books: The Hidden Hitler by Lothar Machtan and The Pink Swastika by Scott Lively. Last summer, I did a series of posts critiquing The Pink Swastika. This morning I had a brief email exchange with Lothar Machtan regarding Fischer's central thesis. His current schedule did not allow an extensive interview at this time, but he did react to Fischer's claim.
In the Hidden Hitler, Dr. Machtan argues largely from circumstances, inference and second hand accounts that Hitler was a homosexual. He is in the minority in his view but he presents an account that is important to consider.
Everything about Hitler is historically interesting and relevant. If Hitler was same-sex attracted, it would be of interest to students of history in the same that historians have examined the imperial heterosexuality of Mao Zedong. Along those lines, I know of no historian who blames the cruelty of the Red Guard on heterosexuality. Back to the WWII Germany, Machtan told me that he believes Hitler's (alleged) homosexuality influenced his political career up to about 1934-35. However, Machtan wrote in clear terms that Hitler's cruelty was not due to his sexuality, saying, "Hitler's atrocities primarily do NOT derive from his homosexuality." Regarding the Holocaust, Machtan added, "Of course you CANNOT blame Hitler's homosexuality for the Holocaust." (Machtan supplied the emphasis)
I am about half way through The Hidden Hitler and am reserving my opinion until I complete it and perhaps until after I am able to interview Machtan. However, as I suspected, Machtan does not advance the simplistic causal links advanced by Mr. Fischer in the service of the culture war.
See my prior post relating to Bryan Fischer's claims.
Mr. Fischer is out with a new post today which scales back what he said in his prior articles. In this article he says (in italics):
Adolph Hitler did in fact surround himself with homosexual thugs.
This is true to a point. Hitler did not care much about the personal sexual morals of those willing to do evil on his behalf. He attracted thugs of all sorts, gay and straight. Fischer just omits the part about the straight evil thugs. Here is what Fischer actually said (in italics):
But Hitler recruited around him homosexuals to make up his Stormtroopers, they were his enforcers, they were his thugs. And Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but that homosexual solders basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after. So he surrounded himself, virtually all of the Stormtroopers, the Brownshirts, were male homosexuals.
See the difference? Fischer said on air that straights weren't savage enough, Hitler had to get gays. But in his recent article, he makes an accurate statement. His prior statement is what I wrote about and which brought the legitimate criticism.
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About Dr. Warren Throckmorton
Warren Throckmorton, PhD is Associate Professor of Psychology and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at Grove City College (PA). He co-founded the Golden Rule Pledge which advocates bullying prevention in evangelical churches. His academic articles have been published by journals of the American Psychological Association and he is past president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association. He is the author with fellow Grove City College professor, Michael Coulter, of the book, Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims About Our Third President. Over 200 newspapers have published his columns. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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