September 14, 2022

EP. 282 — How Did Queer People Experience Nazi Germany? with Dr. W. Jake Newsome

In 1871, Germany adopted an anti-sodomy statute called Paragraph 175. Sixty years later, the Nazis broadened that law—and it quickly became the basis for persecuting Germany’s queer population. When World War II ended, Paragraph 175 remained on the books. Dr. W. Jake Newsome joins Jonathan to discuss queer Germans’ experiences of Nazi rule and its aftermaths, the history and legacy of the pink triangle, and how this pivotal moment in queer history bears on today.


CW: This episode references racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic ideology, and bodily harm.


W. Jake Newsome, Ph.D. is an award-winning scholar of German and American LGBTQ+ history whose work educates global audiences. His new book Pink Triangle Legacies: Coming Out in the Shadow of the Holocaust chronicles the dynamic and inspiring history of the LGBTQ+ community’s first international pride symbol: the pink triangle.

For more of Dr. Newsome’s work, visit his website or follow him on Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok @wjnewsome.

You can find digital essays, videos, podcasts, lesson plans, and other resources on LGBTQIA+ people in Nazi Germany at


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Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.


Transcripts for each episode are available at


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Our executive producer is Erica Getto. Our associate producer is Zahra Crim. Our editor is Andrew Carson.


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Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness & Dr. W. Jake Newsome JVN [00:00:00] Welcome to Getting Curious. I’m Jonathan Van Ness and every week I sit down for a gorgeous conversation with a brilliant expert to learn all about something that makes me curious. On today’s episode, I’m joined by Dr. Jake Newsome, where I ask him: How did queer people experience Nazi Germany? Welcome to Getting Curious. This is Jonathan Van Ness. We have such a good episode for you today. Like, chills-on-my-triceps-level good episode. Let’s dive in. Welcome to the show, Dr. Jake Newsome, who is a scholar of German and American LGBTQ+ history. His new book, Pink Triangle Legacies: Coming Out In The Shadow Of The Holocaust, chronicles the lives and legacies of the Nazis’ LGBTQ+ victims. Hi, Jake, how are you? W. JAKE NEWSOME [00:00:44] Hey, Jonathan. It’s always a great day to talk about queer history. JVN [00:00:47] Amen to that. We are in this moment where LGBTQIA+ plus and reproductive

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