Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Jeffers, Jennifer

Subject Headings

Sherman, Martin, Bent, Male homosexuality -- Germany -- History -- 1933-1945, Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Historiography, Gays -- Nazi persecution, Gay men in literature, Masculinity in literature, Gender identity in literature, Nazi Germany, homosexuality, masculinity, holocaust literature, Bent


There are very few works of gay holocaust literature, mostly due to the fact that even post Nazi-Germany, homosexuality was outlawed. Bent, thereby serves as a testament of the persecution faced by homosexuals at the hands of the Nazis. This paper argues that the play is developed to display the main character Max having a better chance of survival if he denies his sexual preference and instead claims he is a Jew. While some may argue that such a decision privileges being Jewish over homosexuality, the final argument proves that this is not the case. Art is category of its own, one that is known for creating its own boundaries. In Bent, there is no privileging of one group over another rather the play serves as a display of the disjointedness of the various communities in Nazi Germany