Paragraph 175 is a LGBT documentary film released in 2000, directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, and narrated by Rupert Everett. The film chronicles the lives of several men and women who were arrested by the Nazis for homosexuality under Paragraph 175, the sodomy provision of the German penal code, dating back to 1871.
Between 1933 and 1945, 100,000 men were arrested under Paragraph 175. Some were imprisoned, others were sent to concentration camps. Only about 4,000 survived.
In 2000, fewer than ten of these men were known to be living. Five come forward in the documentary to tell their stories for the first time, considered to be among the last untold stories of the Third Reich.
Paragraph 175 tells of a gap in the historical record and reveals the lasting consequences, as told through personal stories of men and women who lived through it: the half-Jewish gay resistance fighter who spent the war helping refugees in Berlin; Annette Eick, the Jewish lesbian who escaped to England with the help of a woman she loved; the German Christian photographer who was arrested and imprisoned for homosexuality, then joined the army on his release because he "wanted to be with men"; Pierre Seel, the French Alsatian teenager, who watched as his lover was eaten alive by dogs in the camps.
REAL LIFE UPDATE
December 2, 2005 Pierre Seel, who was imprisoned in a concentration camp during World War II for homosexuality, died last week in Toulouse, France. Filmmaker Rob Epstein interviewed Seel for his film Paragraph 175, a documentary about the Nazis' treatment of gay men during the Holocaust, and discusses Seel's life.