Study of deaths by suicide of homosexual prisoners in Nazi Sachsenhausen concentration camp

PloS One
Esther Cuerda-GalindoAstrid Ley

Abstract

Living conditions in Nazi concentration camps were harsh and inhumane, leading many prisoners to commit suicide. Sachsenhausen (Oranienburg, Germany) was a concentration camp that operated from 1936 to 1945. More than 200,000 people were detained there under Nazi rule. This study analyzes deaths classified as suicides by inmates in this camp, classified as homosexuals, both according to the surviving Nazi files. This collective was especially repressed by the Nazi authorities. Data was collected from the archives of Sachsenhausen Memorial and the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen. Original death certificates and autopsy reports were reviewed. Until the end of World War II, there are 14 death certificates which state "suicide" as cause of death of prisoners classified as homosexuals, all of them men aged between 23 and 59 years and of various religions and social strata. Based on a population of 1,200 prisoners classified as homosexuals, this allows us to calculate a suicide rate of 1,167/100,000 (over the period of eight years) for this population, a rate 10 times higher than for global inmates (111/100,000). However, our study has several limitations: not all suicides are registered; some murders were covered-up as ...Continue Reading

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Jun 16, 2016·Frontiers in Psychiatry·Francisco López-Muñoz, Esther Cuerda-Galindo

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Citations

Jun 1, 2020·Archives of Sexual Behavior·Severi Luoto

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