Anti-social (national socialism)

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The black triangle was the symbol chosen by the National Socialists for so-called anti-socials in the concentration camps.

The external term " asocial " (compound from α privativum and Latin socius "joint, connected, allied", sa asociality ) in Nazi linguistic usage disqualifies individuals or social groups - usually from the lower classes - as incapable or unwilling to the required classification a social community imagined as a “ collective ” . In the time of National Socialism , the term “ anti- social ” was a common collective term for people from the lower social classes (“ ballast existences ”) who were classified as “inferior” and who, according to Nazi opinion, belonged to social fringe groups or had severe performance and adjustment deficits. People and groups of people were labeled as resource-consuming "pests" and "useless eaters", for which the majority of the " national community " described as "good will" and "hardworking " had to pay their detriment.

time of the nationalsocialism

"Asocial" and "Lumpenproletariat"

Unlike the term lumpenproletariat as in abschätzigem sense of Karl Marx coined and the organized labor movement (ie as subproletarischer to designate groups social category was) taken, had asocial an ethnic - racial , hereditary biological content. This also applies to "lumpenproletariat", if it was used synonymously by Nazi ideologues and "anti-social" researchers.

A Nazi synonym that replaced "anti-social" was " community alien ". A “ community alien law ” against marginalized social groups was planned and in preparation, but was prevented by the defeat of the Nazi regime in 1945.

Discriminated groups

Racial ideologists - such as Robert Ritter , Hans FK Günther and Sophie Ehrhardt - postulated a so-called “ folk hygienic ” point of view, with which numerous people were branded as “undesirable” and “anti-social dregs”. These included above all social minorities such as the homeless , migrant workers , "self-inflicted welfare recipients ", beggars , vagabonds , families with many children from the lower social classes, families from neighborhoods on the outskirts, "rural travelers wandering gypsy style", including many Yeniche , allegedly " work shy ", Alcoholics , "disguised morons", prostitutes and pimps .

“Among those arrested as anti-social [there were] enough people who could not be blamed for anything other than arriving late for work about twice or taking unauthorized leave, changing jobs without the approval of the employment office, treating their National Socialist maids badly 'when dancers had earned their bread, and what other such' offenses' were. "

The “ anti- socials” also included “women who did not fit in with the Nazi state in any way , for example who rejected the Association of German Girls or did not go to the Reich Labor Service”. The categories overlapped. Massive National Socialist propaganda spread the idea that the factual discrimination would correspond to a “ healthy popular feeling ”.

Roma , in National Socialist terminology " gypsies " (with the two subgroups of "genuine gypsies" and "gypsy hybrids"), were considered to be born "alien asocials".

Order to register and combat those who are unfit for community (anti-social) 1943, Decree No. 235 of the Reich Governor in Styria, Sigfried Uiberreither

It is controversial whether homosexual women were also systematically persecuted under the pretext that they were anti-social .

"Custody" and "Re-education"

At the opening of the Dachau concentration camp in March 1933, it was claimed that people were only taken into custody there who “ endangered the security of the state ”. Shortly afterwards, however, the concentration camps were increasingly emphasized as places of " re-education " by "criminals", so that all political opponents and perceived enemies of the Nazi state were publicly and permanently discriminated as " criminals ". The Hashude Housing Welfare Agency was set up in Bremen in 1936 to free the city ​​from beggars and " anti-social " people. In 1940 it was closed because it did not have the desired success.

NS basic decree of 1937

According to the basic decree on the “ preventive fight against crime ” of December 14, 1937, anyone “without being a professional and habitual criminal, endangering the general public through their anti-social behavior ” could be sent to a concentration camp in the course of criminal police “ preventive detention ” . The decision as to whether there was “behavior contrary to the community” rests solely with the regulatory and police authorities. In the spring and summer of 1938 there were waves of arrests as part of the “Arbeitsscheu Reich” campaign . More than 10,000 Jews , Roma and Sinti and “ German-blooded anti - socials” were deported to concentration camps, 6,000 of them to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in July 1938 . They were marked with a black triangle on prisoners' clothing in the camps . In the time before the war , the so-called anti-socials were the largest group of victims in the concentration camps.

"Destruction through work"

In the second half of 1942, a tendency in the Nazi leadership gained influence that rejected finer ethnic and racial differentiations on the “anti-social question”, including the resulting annihilation and protection decisions. Joseph Goebbels told Reich Minister of Justice Otto Thierack in September 1942 about the “destruction of anti-social life” that there were “Jews and Gypsies par excellence, Poles who would have to serve about 3–4 years in prison, Czechs and Germans who would be sentenced to death, life in prison or Preventive detention "are condemned to be" destroyed. The "thought of annihilation through work " is "the best". A few days later, Himmler and Thierack agreed to “deliver anti-social elements from the prison system to the Reichsführer SS for destruction through work”. All “persons in preventive custody, Jews, Gypsies, Russians and Ukrainians”, as well as Poles with a sentence of more than three years, should therefore be extradited “completely”, “Czechs or Germans over 8 years penalty according to the decision of the Reich Minister of Justice”. Thierack announced this to the head of the Reich Chancellery, Bormann, in October 1942, who in turn informed Hitler, who expressly consented.

Impact history

Sustainable stereotypes

Even after 1945 the term and the complex of ideas behind it (“saboteur in the construction of socialism”, “socially damaging (...), unwilling (...) to fit into society”) remained part of the stereotypical everyday thinking of German public opinion Opinion. “Asocials” were not recognized as victims of Nazi persecution even by other victims of Nazi persecution. In the GDR, this tradition was continued in Section 249 of the Criminal Code “Endangering public order through anti-social behavior”. Anyone who was convicted was sent to a labor education camp and later (from 1977) imprisoned.


There can be no question of serious recognition and material compensation even in the case of the Roma and Sinti who are recognized as "racially persecuted" after long disputes, let alone in the case of other groups. Unimpressed by the preceding events, the discrimination was continued politically, in terms of compensation law and in the popular understanding.

At the beginning of 2018, the social scientist Frank Nonnenmacher , together with the historians and political scientists Julia Hörath, Dagmar Lieske and Sylvia Köchl and the sociologist Andreas Kranebitter, started a petition for the "Recognition of 'anti-socials' and 'professional criminals' as victims of National Socialism". The first signatories include a. Volker Beck , Micha Brumlik , Daniel Cohn-Bendit , Detlef Garbe , Barbara Glück , Jürgen Habermas , Benno Hafeneger , Wilhelm Heitmeyer , Peter Tauber , Wolfgang Thierse , Konstantin Wecker and Michael Wildt .

See also


NS source texts
  • Irmgard Andrees: Investigations into an anti-social clan in Münster (Westphalia) . In: The Public Health Service . Journal of the Reich Committee for Public Health Service, the State Academy of the Public Health Service Berlin and the Scientific Society of German Doctors in the Public Health Service . Edition A, 5, H. 3, 1939, ZDB -ID 216948-4 , pp. 81-101.
  • Fred Dubitscher : Antisocial clans. Hereditary and sociological investigations . Georg Thieme, Leipzig 1942
  • Fred Dubitscher: The bullshit. Collected work: Handbuch der Erbkrankheiten, Vol. 1. Ed. Of the complete works Arthur Gütt . Thieme , Leipzig 1937 (passim)
  • A "Kallikak family" in Germany . In: Völkischer Wille. Battle sheet for population policy and the family . No. 46, 1935, ZDB -ID 717052-x .
  • Albert Friehe : What does the National Socialist need to know about inheritance? The basics of inheritance and its importance for man, people and state . Diesterweg, Frankfurt 1934
  • Heinrich Wilhelm Kranz , Siegfried Koller : The unfit for community. A contribution to the scientific and practical solution of the so-called "anti-social problem". 2 parts. Publishing house K. Christ, Giessen 1939–1941.
  • Wilhelm Langenbach: The danger of the anti-social . With a family tree. In: People and Race. Illustrated monthly for German folklore, race studies, race care. Journal of the Reich Committee for Public Health Service and the German Society for Racial Hygiene . H. 1, 1939, ZDB -ID 201180-3 , pp. 15-19.
  • Robert Ritter : The tasks of criminal biology and criminal biological population research in Germany . In: Criminology . 15, 1941, ZDB -ID 206468-6 , pp. 38-41.
Research literature
  • Anne Allex , Dietrich Kalkan (Hrsg.): Ausgesteuert - marginalized ... allegedly anti-social , AG-SPAK-Bücher , Neu-Ulm, 2009, ISBN 978-3-930830-56-5 .
  • Anne Allex (Ed.): Social racist persecution in German fascism: children, young people, women as so-called "anti-social" - difficulties in commemoration , AG-SPAK books, Neu-Ulm, 2017, ISBN 978-3-945959-21-3 .
  • Wolfgang Ayaß : "Asocial" in National Socialism . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-608-91704-7 .
  • Wolfgang Ayaß : "Community strangers". Sources on the persecution of "anti-social" 1933–1945 . Koblenz 1998. Digitized
  • Wolfgang Benz (Ed.): Legends, Lies, Prejudices. A dictionary on contemporary history. 8th edition (special edition), Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-423-04666-X ( dtv 4666).
  • Thomas Irmer, Barbara Reischel, Kaspar Nuremberg: The municipal work and preservation house Rummelsburg. On the history of a forgotten place of persecution of "anti-socials in the Nazi era" . In: Memorial circular . No. 144, 8, 2008, ZDB -ID 1195828-5 , pp. 22-31.
  • Jens Kolata: Between social discipline and “racial hygiene”. The persecution of " anti-social ", "work-shy", "swing youth" and Sinti , in: Ingrid Bauz, Sigrid Brüggemann, Roland Maier (eds.): The Secret State Police in Württemberg and Hohenzollern, Stuttgart Schmetterling-Verlag 2013, ISBN 3-89657 -138-9 , pp. 321-337.
  • Detlev Peukert : Comrades and strangers to the community: Adaptation, extermination and rebellion under National Socialism . Bund-Verlag, Cologne 1982, ISBN 3-7663-0545-X .
  • Klaus Scherer : “Asocial” in the Third Reich. The forgotten persecuted. Votum-Verlag, Münster 1990, ISBN 3-926549-25-4 .
  • Christa Schikorra: Continuities of Exclusion. “Asocial” prisoners in the Ravensbrück women's concentration camp . Metropol, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-932482-60-3 ( series of documents, texts, materials 41), (also: Berlin, Techn. Univ., Diss., 2000), review .
  • Dietmar Sedlaczek u. a. (Ed.): "Inferior" and "Asocial". Stations of the persecution of social outsiders. Chronos, Zurich 2005, ISBN 3-0340-0716-7 .
  • Thomas Roth: From the "anti-social" to the "anti-social". Ideology and structure of the criminal police "fight against crime" under National Socialism . In: Dietmar Sedlaczek u. a. (Ed.): "Inferior" and "Asocial". Stations of the persecution of social outsiders. Chronos, Zurich 2005, ISBN 3-0340-0716-7 , pp. 65-88.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Wolfgang Müller-Funk / Hans Ulrich Reck (Ed.): Staged Imagination . Contributions to a historical anthropology of the media, Vienna / New York 1996, ISBN 3-211-82772-2 ; Cornelius Castoriadis : Society as an Imaginary Institution . Draft of a political philosophy, Frankfurt a. M. 1990, ISBN 3-518-28467-3 .
  2. Cf. on this Wolfgang Ayaß : “Accordingly, for example, anti-social…” On the language of social exclusion in National Socialism , in: Contributions to the history of National Socialism 28 (2012), pp. 69–89.
  3. Arendt, Hannah: Elements and origins totaler Herrschaft , Munich 1986, ISBN 3-492-21032-5 , p. 853. Also on the draft law: Detlev Peukert: Labor camps and youth concentration camps: the "treatment of foreigners" in the Third Reich . In: Ders.:( together with Jürgen Reulecke and with the collaboration of Adelheid Countess zu Castell Rüdenhausen) (Ed.): The ranks almost closed . Peter Hammer Verlag, Wuppertal 1981, pp. 413-434 (here pp. 415-422).
  4. ^ Eugen Kogon : The SS State - The System of the German Concentration Camps , Verlag Karl Alber, Munich 1946, p. 15.
  5. Robert Sommer in an interview with Franziska von Kempis: Himmler's concentration camp brothels - “The cursed hours in the evening” . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , June 19, 2009.
  6. ^ R. Amy Elman PhD: Triangles and Tribulations: The Politics of Nazi Symbols . In: Journal of Homosexuality . 30, No. 3, 1996, ISSN  0091-8369 , pp. 1-11.
  7. Alexander Zinn: Was there persecution of lesbians by the Nazi regime? Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  8. ^ Claudia Schoppmann : National Socialist Sexual Policy and Female Homosexuality . (Dissertation, FU Berlin, 1990.) Centaurus, Pfaffenweiler 1991 (revised 2nd edition. 1997).
  9. Christa Schikorra: Continuities of Exclusion. “Asocial” prisoners in the Ravensbrück women's concentration camp . (Dissertation, TU Berlin, 2000.) Metropol, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-932482-60-3 .
  10. ^ A b Barbara Distel : "Asocial and professional criminals" . In: Wolfgang Benz (Ed.): Legends, Lies, Prejudices . A dictionary for contemporary history, 5th edition, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-423-03295-2 , pp. 29–31.
  11. Printed by Wolfgang Ayaß (arr.), “Community foreigners”. Sources on the persecution of "anti-social" 1933–1945 , Koblenz 1998, no. 50.
  12. Nikolaus Wachsmann , 2016: KL: The History of the National Socialist Concentration Camps . Chapter Action "Arbeitsscheu Reich" , last sentence.
  13. Michael Zimmermann, Racial Utopia and Genocide. The National Socialist "Solution to the Gypsy Question" , Hamburg 1996, p. 300.
  14. Ursula Storost: Stigmatization - "Asocial" - on the genesis of a Nazi term (archive). In: July 2, 2015, accessed September 15, 2016 .
  15. Ursula Storost: Stigmatization - "Asocial" - on the genesis of a Nazi term (archive). In: July 2, 2015, accessed September 15, 2016 .
  16. ^ Sign the petition. Accessed March 7, 2018 (German).