Created By: Xzenu on March 17, 2012 Last Edited By: randomtroper89 on September 2, 2013

Pink Swastikas

Connecting Those Wacky Nazis with sexual minorities

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Trope
Rolling Updates * Needs More Examples

Springtime for Hitler and Germany:
We're marching to a faster pace:
Look out, here comes the master race!
Springtime for Hitler[[note]]The Show Within a Show, not the trope[[/note]], The Producers.

There are many ways to portray Those Wacky Nazis as lesser than us normal people. One heteronormative classic take on this is to pretend that The Third Reich was some kind of rainbow club for "sexual deviants" such as homosexuals, transvestites and sadomasochists.

Traditionally, this trope is a subtrope of Abomination Accusation Attack: It got started in World War II England, where the anti-German propaganda kept portraying the Nazis as being gay et cetera. Meanwhile, the real Nazi Germany was strictly conservative in matters of sexuality, including systematically putting any gays they could find in the death-camps. However, the English propaganda got some fuel from the Nazi party practice of excusing executions within the party by accusing the victim of being gay. After the war, the trope mostly got used in reverse: It was now used against sexual minorities, as a way of trying to discredit them by linking them to Nazi Germany.

While the background is political, modern usage of the trope simply draws on old stereotypes and doesn't necessarily have any political agenda of any kind.

As for real life Nazis who are/were gay and/or paraphiliac, they are very few and hated on both sides: Their fellow Nazis generally consider the deviant or degenerated, while the LGBTQ community generally consider them just as evil as the vanilla heterosexual Nazis. Lets just leave it at that: No Real Life Examples, Please!

Compare Stupid Jetpack Hitler and Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot.

Examples

Comic Books
  • Chick Tracts routinely portray gays as the SA stormtroopers of the evil New World Order.
  • In Preacher, Odin's Lawyer at first seem to merely be a Dominatrix with some kind of Nazi fetish. However, she turn out to be mentally unstable and totally delusional - including some peculiar ideals about Hitler's benevolence and sexuality. Ironically, she's not a racist - and believe that Adolf Hitler wasn't either. While her boss who turns out to have an even creepier fetish is secretly a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
  • Parodied in Planetary, where a Miracleman Expy complains that he never wanted to learn about his true origins as a being "grown from the DNA of Aryan super-athletes and Hitler's personal sex midgets!"
    "I didn't even know Hitler had personal sex midgets!"
  • In Lucifer, one young Nazi has fantasies of becoming the next Fuhrer. These fantasies have sadomasochistic Hard Gay overtones... foreshadowing the fact that the character is actually gay - A Boomerang Bigot Heteronormative Crusader.

Film
  • In The Producers, the protagonists fail to understand this trope, thus failing miserably at failing with their show Springtime for Hitler. The film uses the Pink Swastikas trope in two ways, both Played for Laughs:
    • First, we have poor unhappy old Franz. His character is entirely based on the "The Third Reich Nazis were gay" stereotype, but without any implications that this stereotype would be true in general. Instead, he comes across as delusional.
    • Second, we have the Show Within a Show, Springtime for Hitler, which make Nazi Germany look like one big happy Pink Swastika Pride Parade. See page quote. The audience hate it at first, taking it for the Nazi propaganda it is. Then they recognize the classic "Nazis are gay" propaganda stereotype and love it for being a joke at the Nazi's expense. How would they be able to know that the author was dead serious, anyway?
  • The Guns of Navarone. After the protagonists capture a number of Nazi soldiers and take their uniforms, Sergeant Miller goes over to the SS officer and says "shocking taste in undies (underwear), too".
  • In American Beauty, Ricky's father is an Abusive Parent who collects Nazi memorabilia. At the end, he turns out to be a murderously repressed gay man.

Literature
  • The Pink Swastika, the Trope Namer, is an absolutely atrocious "history" book from 1995. It tries to claim the Nazis were almost entirely driven by their Depraved Homosexual tendencies.
  • "Hitler: A Bisexual Circus Freak" is a little gem of speculations never intended for public view. It was written by Office of Strategic Services, the cloak and dagger predecessor agency to the CIA. Here are excerpts from one newly released OSS report, a confidential 68-page examination of Adolf Hitler. In these pages, America's spies focus on the German leader's leisure time activities (liked the circus) and his sexual life (had issues). Among other things, it gets speculated that Hitler was a coprophiliac.
  • The Iron Dream has as the second part of its Framing Story a literary analysis which categorizes the story by that reality's Hitler as having homosexual, fetishistic and narcissistic overtones.
  • In Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, the testing of Rocket 00000 is run by Depraved Bisexual Captain Blicero, who keeps an adolsecent male Sex Slave named Gottfried. Blicero ends the novel by using Gottfried as a "passenger" in the rocket as a sort of human sacrifice. Of course, it's not just the Nazis who provide examples of Depraved Homosexual, Depraved Bisexual, Depraved Heterosexual, Anything That Moves in that novel...

Community Feedback Replies: 35
  • March 17, 2012
    Xzenu
    Okay, lol, I have watched the "Springtime For Hitler" youtube clip a few times too many, and now it's time to start three new tropes:
  • March 17, 2012
    Xzenu
    First version, backup:
    Rolling Updates * Needs More Examples

    Springtime for Hitler and Germany! Deutchland is happy and gay! We're marching to a faster pace: Watch out Europe, here comes ze master race!
    Springtime for Hitler[[hottip:*:The Show Within A Show, not the trope]], The Producers.

    There are many ways to portray Those Wacky Nazis as lesser than us normal people. One heteronormative classic take on this is to pretend that The Third Reich was some kind of rainbow club for "sexual deviants" such as homosexuals, transvestites and sadomasochists.

    Traditionally, this trope is a subtrope of Abomintion Accusation Attack: It got started in World War II England, where the anti-German propaganda kept portraying the Nazis as being gay et cetera. Meanwhile, the real Nazi Germany was strictly conservative in matters of sexuality, including systematically putting any gays they could find in the death-camps. However, the English propaganda got some fuel from the Nazi party practice of excusing executions within the party by accusing the victim of being gay. After the war, the trope mostly got used in reverse: It was now used against sexual minorities, as a way of trying to discredit them by linking them to Nazi Germany.

    While the background is political, modern usage of the trope simply draws on old stereotypes and doesn't necessarily have any political agenda of any kind.

    Compare Stupid Jetpack Hitler.

    Examples

    Comic Books
    • Chick Tracts routinely portray gays as the SA stormtroopers of the evil New World Order.
    • In Preacher, Odin's Lawyer at first seem to merely be a Dominatrix with some kind of Nazi fetish. However, she turn out to be mentally unstable and totally delusional - including some peculiar ideals about Hitler's benevolence and sexuality. Ironically, she's not a racist - and believe that Adolf Hitler wasn't either. While her boss who turns out to have an even creepier fetish is secretly a member o the Ku Klux Klan.

    Film
    • In The Producers, the protagonists fail to understand this trope, thus failing miserably at failing with their show Springtime For Hitler. The film uses the Pink Swastikas trope in two ways, both Played For Laughs:
      • First, we have poor unhappy old Franz. His character is entirely based on the "The Third Reich Nazis were gay" stereotype, but without any implications that this stereotype would be true in general. Instead, he comes across as delusional.
      • Second, we have the Show Within A Show, Springtime For Hitler, which make Nazi Germany look like one big happy Pink Swastika Pride Parade. See page quote. The audience hate it at first, taking it for the Nazi propaganda it is. Then they recognize the classic "Nazis are gay" propaganda stereotype and love it for being a joke at the Nazi's expense. How would they be able to know that the author was dead serious, anyway?

  • March 17, 2012
    pawsplay
    Real life was a good deal more complex. Ernst Rohm, the SA's leader, actually was gay. Further, homosexuality was fairly openly tolerated among the Prussian officer class of the Wermacht, with a policy along the lines of "thou shalt not get caught." Hitler actively persecuted practicing homosexuals, but had no qualms about purposefully appealing to closet cases to entice them into military service; he viewed the military as a masculinizing influence. Hitler was accused of, and believed by the military's intelligence service to be, a coprophiliac.

  • March 17, 2012
    Xzenu
    I'm not entirely sure about the first sub-example of The Producers. Been a LONG time since I saw the movie. The way I remember it, it was heavily implied that Franz had romantic feelings for Der Fuhrer.
  • March 17, 2012
    OmarKarindu
    There's an absolutely atrocious "history" book from 1995, The Pink Swastika, that tries to claim the Nazis were almost entirely driven by their Depraved Homosexual tendencies. I assume it's the Trope Namer. It's a serious case of Critical Research Failure. Any history section of this article is, more generally, very likely to become Flame Bait. I strongly suggest a No Real Life Examples clause.

    As to the idea of Hitler covertly adding homosexuals to the military, there's the problem of Hitler's 1941 order prescribing the death penalty for any SS officers or policemen found guilty of homosexual activity. It's worth noting that Roehm and his circle were rather swiftly killed off once they were no longer of use, albeit that the reasons would have been as much political as anyything else. More generally, the Nazi Party vastly broadened existing anti-homosexual provisions in German law as early as 1935, the year after Roehm was killed, so that even casual and non-penetrative homosexual context or "lewd activity" was punishable by transportation to concentration camps without trial.

    The official position of Nazism was that homosexuality was a disease, potentially a curable one, and that therefore human experimentation on homosexuals, usually castration or other forms of mutilation, was permitted in the camps. Hitler's idea that military service might be a psychological cure fits perfectly well with the "disease" version of Nazism's homophobic ideology.

    I haven't a clue what coprophilia has to do with any of this, since it's a fetish shared by a vanishingly tiny minority of both heterosexual and homosexual people. James Joyce, quite het, expresses very het corophilia in some o his love letters to Nora Barnacle. Coprophilia doesn't speak to sexual orientation at all, so it's a bit of a Red Herring to bring up here...especially since the diagnosis came from the OSS and from a political rival of Hitler's, one Otto Strasser, neither one an unbiased or non-propagandistic source.
  • March 17, 2012
    pawsplay
    "Sexual minority" was mentioned. If that's being used euphemistically, the description needs to be written to be clearer this is referring strictly to homosexuality and effiminacy.
  • March 17, 2012
    Xzenu
    @Omar Karindu: Yep, that's the trope namer. There's also another book doing pretty much the same thing with Nazism and sadomasochism. I even heard tha one recited at a sociology lecture once, the speaker presented it as a "fact" that all Third Reich Nazis were sexual sadists.

    @pawsplay: The coprophilia accusation you mentioned is an example of this trope: The trope is not limited to homosexuality and camp. Do you have any work example that mention the accusation about coprophilia?
  • March 17, 2012
    pawsplay
    Well, there's always the 1942 OSS report, now available under the freedom of information acT: [1]
  • March 17, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    The Iron Dream has as the second part of it's Framing Story a literary analysis which categorizes the story by that reality's Hitler as having homosexual, fetishistic and narcissistic overtones.
  • March 17, 2012
    somerandomdude
    Rainbow Swastikas might be a better choice; Pink Swastikas conveys image of Commie Nazis.
  • March 17, 2012
    Alvin
    One objection is this may be Hitler Ate Sugar. Another objection is that I think you're wrong, and what you're complaining about has a lot to do with people using a Hitler Ate Sugar argument and getting contradicted o n the facts. Left-winger: You're a straight Christian who eats meat? So were all the Nazis! Right-winger: Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

    Left-winger: How dare you!!
  • March 17, 2012
    Xzenu
    @somerandomdude: Might be preferable, I'll keep it in mind.

    @Alvin: What YOU are describing (with the straight, christian meat-eater thing) is indeed Hitler Ate Sugar. And yes, this trope can be used in that way. I potholed the relevant part of the description. However, it's only one of the THREE ways to use this trope:

  • March 17, 2012
    pawsplay
    If this is primarily about mockery, Super Duper Super Men is a title just asking to be used.
  • March 18, 2012
    nemui10pm
    ^^^^On that note... Compare Commie Nazis.
  • March 18, 2012
    Arivne
    Film
    • The Guns Of Navarone. After the protagonists capture a number of Nazi soldiers and take their uniforms, Sergeant Miller goes over to the SS officer and says "shocking taste in undies (underwear), too".
  • March 18, 2012
    OmarKarindu
    The Sissy Villain trope is also closely related to this one. Somewhere there's a supertrope for demonizing one's enemies by depicting them as sexual minorities. EDIT: In fact it's probably Good People Have Good Sex.

    Comic Books
    • Parodied in Planetary, where a Miracleman Expy complains that he never wanted to learn about his true origins as a being "grown from the DNA of Aryan super-athletes and Hitler's personal sex midgets!"
      "I didn't even know Hitler had personal sex midgets!"

    Literature

    Possible example:

    Film
    • In American Beauty, Ricky's father is an Abusive Parent who collects Nazi memorabilia. At the end, he turns out to be a murderously repressed gay man.

  • As for the page quote, the in-universe Nazi writer's usage of the word "gay" to describe Germany is a case of Have A Gay Old Time. He means "gay" to be synonymous with "happy," but the audience members take it to mean "homosexual."
  • March 18, 2012
    Xzenu
    Not just the in-universe audience: the in-universe director make it VERY clear (through style and coreography) that "gay" means "Camp Gay".
  • March 20, 2012
    Xzenu
    I thought a bit about the name, and concluded that we shouldn't be making up new derogatory slurs against sexual minorities. This trope comes with a big creepy slur built into it, and "pink swastika" is the established name for it. Using the plural form is enough to indicate that the name is used in a wide sense. The risk for confusion with Commie Nazis is minimal, since that would be red, not pink.

    However, I think I'll start a counter-trope called The Good Sunny Golden Swastika or something like that, for non-nazi uses of the actual symbols.

    Edit: Added draft.
  • March 20, 2012
    jatay3
    Pink Swastika's? You mean Finnish Swastikas? Which of course had no more to do with homosexuality then they did to Naziism.

    Another reason to work on it.

  • October 3, 2012
    Twospoonfuls
    To muddy the historical waters a bit more, it wasn't true that the Nazis were "sexually conservative". There was something of a sexual revolution under the Third Reich in that promiscuity and bastardy (a real taboo at the time) was encouraged if it increased the Aryan birthrate, there was also a cult of the body beautiful and they didn't mind showing it to you. I really know more about this than is altogether healthy.
  • October 3, 2012
    BibsDibs
    'Allo 'Allo!: Lieutenant Hubert Gruber is clearly gay, many of the nazis is into wierd stuff and they often end up in drag.
  • October 3, 2012
    StarValkyrie
    The description might want to mention something along the lines of: not to be confused with the Pink Triangle, the symbol that gays were made to wear by the Nazis. Pink Triangles appear as an often unexplained reference in quite a few LGBT works.
  • October 3, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    "Pink Swastikas conveys image of Commie Nazis."

    Or strawman feminists.
  • October 3, 2012
    MrRuano
    The execrable fanfic If I Was Your Nazi has Axel and Roxas were not only Nazis who were in the SS, (Axel being the bastard son of Heinrich Himmler) but Axel and Roxas were revealed to be gay. However, since it is a Dead Fic, there was no response by either Hitler or any other Nazi about this revelation (or any other, like Roxas being Jewish and dissenting with Nazi ideology).
  • October 3, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    In that quote you got, gay means what gay actually means: really happy, to the point of being energetic. Not homosexual.
  • January 10, 2013
    zarpaulus
    Live Action TV
    • A couple suggestions in Red Dwarf, Lister stole Hitler's briefcase in one episode and found a pair of pink fuzzy handcuffs. And on the wax-droids planet Lister said something about one of the officers in the war room he and the Cat materialized in being a transvestite.

    Web Comics
    • In the Big Head Press comic Roswell, Texas the Nazis wear pink. Of course given the alternate history setting there are more differences with them, for instance the Reich is ruled by an English King who had surrendered to Hitler shortly before the IRA working with a coalition of fugitive Jewish physicists nuked Berlin, and they're allied with California (led by president-for-life Walt Disney).
  • January 11, 2013
    arromdee
    Desert Peach where it seems to be used for Yaoi Fangirl fan service.
  • January 11, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Music

    The song "Les Boys" by Dire Straits talks about gay cabaret dancers in Munich who Put On the Reich:

    Les boys got leather straps
    Les boys got SS caps
    But they got no gun now
  • September 1, 2013
    BibsDibs
  • September 1, 2013
    ilniaj
    There should be a link to You Fail History Forever somewhere in the description.
  • September 2, 2013
    AgProv
    The Nazi transvestite thing is a reference to Hermann Goering, who while sexually straight was rumoured to enjoy cross-dressing. As lister said in Red Dwarf - "at least we could go dancing"

    A prominent German general, Werner von Fritsch, was forced to resign his command in 1938 because of allegations of homosexuality, specifically use of male prostitutes. It is believed the Nazi leadership forced this resignation for political reasons, in order to have a compliant Hitler sycophant promoted to a key role in the Wehrmacht heirarchy. Hitler used this scandal to reform the German War Ministry, making it into a High Command with himself, rather than an Army general, as commander-in-chief.
  • September 2, 2013
    DAN004
    Compare Godwins Law.
  • September 2, 2013
    Snicka
    Anytime a Nazi women is portrayed as a dominatrix counts as well (I cannot think of any specific examples, but I am pretty sure it's been done).
  • September 2, 2013
    BibsDibs
    • Ilsa She Wolf of the SS:
      • Ilsa works at a concentration camp and sleeps with many of the men there. She punishes most of them, more specifically, those who can't satisfy her sexually by cutting off their members.
      • Ilsa pees into the general's mouth.
      • The Nazis also use a phallic vibrator-like object that messes up your insides on the female prisoners.
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