Kevin Abrams: The other side of The Pink Swastika

This title is a play on a 1994 article by Kevin Abrams, published in Peter LaBarbera’s Lambda Report, titled, “The Other Side of the Pink Triangle.” Abrams is co-author of The Pink Swastika and organizer of an organization called the International Committee for Holocaust Truth. This organization produced three reports with the same message as The Pink Swastika. As noted in the first paper, the group believes,

Hitler’s plans for a “1000 Year Reich,” is a “Homofascist” Conspiracy which still thrives today disguised as “gay” rights. Today’s Holocaust memorial museums are being co-opted as part of a broader homosexualist strategy.

Current American Nazis would violently take issue with this view, but that is a topic for another post.

The ICHT seems to consist of Howard Hurwitz, Judith Reisman, Christopher Barder, Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams. Hurwitz is a former school principal and heads a small group called the Family Defense Council. As far as I can tell, the FDC does not have a website but has various writings and descriptions scattered on the web (e.g., here and here).

As noted yesterday, the attempt to link Nazis and gays (as a movement) seems to have been triggered by outrage over the “gay holocaust” metaphor and a desire to prevent that metaphor from generating public support for gays in in the 1990s. Abrams piece on the pink triangle was circulated among activists during this period and brought at least one scholarly refutation. Christine Mueller of Reed College wrote a piece which examined and refuted the essential claims of the Abrams’ article. Abrams then replied with a rebuttal.

Mueller points out the massive leaps of logic and fact required to make National Socialism an invention of a cohesive homosexual plot. Here is one example:

The abuse to which he subjects Heiden’s Der Fuehrer [a book about Hitler] is particularly flagrant. To suggest Hitler’s homosexuality, for example, Abrams changes Heiden’s text: “With Roehm and Heines, Stennes helped to impose the rule of the homosexuals over the SA” to: “with Roehm and Heines, Hitler helped to impose the rule of Roehm’s exclusively homosexual clique over the SA.” (58) Abrams has Roehm writing from Bolivia that he intended “to spread the culture,” whereas in the original, he spreads “culture,” i.e. Kultur. (59) In another example, Heiden describes a factional feud inside the party, during which Goebbels, taking sides against Hitler, called him a “vain operetta queen” (60) — a play on Hitler’s popular title, “The King of Munich.” In Abrams’ rearrangement of the text, Goebbels is referring to Roehm and appears to be complaining about his homosexuality (61). Since in German the word queen (Koenigin) has

no reference to homosexuality whatsoever, this error speaks volumes for the quality of Abrams’ scholarly credentials. These selected instances must suffice to show how assiduously Abrams has doctored his quotations; it would be tedious to list them all.

What makes The Pink Swastika and other materials like it difficult to critique for the casual reader is this kind of revisionism. Quotes are slightly altered; or even given properly but then the meaning is altered out of historical context. Readers interested in the details should read Abrams’ initial article, the Mueller critique and then Abrams’ rebuttal. The essence of Abrams arguments comes back to the quote above:

Hitler’s plans for a “1000 Year Reich,” is a “Homofascist” Conspiracy which still thrives today disguised as “gay” rights. Today’s Holocaust memorial museums are being co-opted as part of a broader homosexualist strategy.

Mueller’s response points out the errors of fact and context which are driven by confirmation bias and apparent outrage over a perception that another undeserving group was appropriating the holocaust metaphor.

Prior posts in this series:

May 28 – Scott Lively wants off SPLC hate group list

May 31 – Eliminating homosexuality: Modern Uganda and Nazi Germany

June 3 – Before The Pink Swastika

June 4 – Kevin Abrams: The other side of The Pink Swastika

June 8 – A historian’s analysis of The Pink Swastika, part 1

June 9 – A historian’s analysis of The Pink Swastika, part 2

June 11 – American Nazi movement and homosexuality: How pink is their swastika?

June 15 – Nazi movement rallies against gays in Springfield, MO

June 17 – Does homosexuality lead to fascism?

June 23 – The Pink Swastika and Friedrich Nietzsche

List of posts on Uganda and The Pink Swastika

4 thoughts on “Kevin Abrams: The other side of The Pink Swastika”

  1. Who is this Kevin Abrams person? Is he a minister? Does he have a criminal record? Does he have any training as a professional historian? Can you suggest any links for more information on him? Does anyone even know if he has a facebook page or internet site? Thanks.

  2. I was just about to post that there was an error in my post above, but I see that Dr. Throckmorton caught it and made the appropriate correction. That’s one of the benefits of comment moderation.

  3. Dr. Throckmorton:

    I just want to say that I really enjoy and appreciate your blog. Thank you for doing these excellent posts about Lively and The Pink Swastika. It is a ponderous work, full of lies and absurdities. But because (i) it deals with historical matter in Germany from 60, 70, or 80 years ago, (ii) makes a great number of false claims, and (iii) cites little known or hard-to-find “sources”, it is a chore to refute these false claims. And given that the thesis – that Nazism is a gay conspiracy – when it was perpetrated by heterosexual men leading an overwhelmingly heterosexual nation, that few have really made the effort to deal with it. And others who might be inclined to do so are loath to give respectability to the claims that might (perversely) result from an extensive rebuttal. In that sense, it has a lot in common with traditional Holocaust denial or revisionism. Citizens Allied for Civic Action is one of the few groups who have risen to the task. Their very extensive, blow-by-blow rebuttal of The Pink Swastika, which is called “The Annotated Pink Swastika”, can be found here:

    In fact, The Pink Swastika is really nothing more than a compilation of examples of 2 types of argument. The first is simply to to take unproven assertion of homosexuality as a given. The book cites extensively to a man named Samuel Igra, who makes all sorts of scandalous allegations of homosexuality, without any evidence or personal knowledge. Lively seems to think that rumor-mongering is scholarship as long as you cite to the rumor-monger. The second type of argument was illustrated in the video clip you embedded a few months ago, wherein Lively seeks to blame gays for the Columbine shooting. He argues that one of the shooters was influenced by Nietzsche and that Nietzsche was gay. It therefore follows that homosexuality is responsible for the Columbine shooting and by extension the gays of today. The problem with this argument is that both premises are likely false and at best wholly unproven and that, even if they were true, they would not support the conclusions he reaches. Lively makes the same type of argument (false premise added onto false premise, yielding invalid conclusions) over and over in the Pink Swastika.

    Thanks again for your excellent posts. I will keep reading with interest.

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