In the concentration camps, the Nazis first dehumanized the inmates. They shaved all body hair, dressed them in uniform and tattooed them with numbers. As sole distinguishing marks, prisoners wore colored badges to denote the nature of their so-called crimes.
The red triangle was for political prisoners, green for habitual criminals, blue for would-be emigrants, purple for Jehovah's Witnesses, black for vagrants or Gypsies, and the pink triangle for homosexuals. Jews wore a yellow triangle superimposed by one of the above colors to form a star of David.
The Nazis' racial theories condemned anyone deviating from the Aryan ideal as "contragenic." Their homophobia, like their anti-Semitism, rested on centuries of superstitious hatred. The moral tolerance of the Weimar Republic made the gay community a visible scapegoat for the defeat of Prussian militarism.
Heinrich Himmler, who ran the SS and the camps, became obsessed with the idea that homosexuality was an infectious disease, endangering the "National Sexual Budget." Gays were "propagation blanks" in the agenda for increasing the master race.