Tag Archives: pink triangle

January 27 – Holocaust Remembrance Day: Nazi Germany, The Pink Triangle and Paragraph 175

The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the victims of the Nazi era and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of over six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. Holocaust is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.” The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were “racially superior” and that the Jews, deemed “inferior,” were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community.

But also as a part of the Nazis’ attempt to purify German society and propagate an “Aryan master race,” they condemned homosexuals as “socially aberrant.” Soon after taking office on January 30, 1933, Hitler banned all gay and lesbian organizations. Brownshirted storm troopers raided the institutions and gathering places of homosexuals. While this subculture had flourished in the relative freedom of the 1920s, Nazi tactics greatly weakened it and drove it underground.

Later, a harsher revision of Paragraph 175 of the Criminal Code went into effect, making a broad range of “lewd and lascivious” behavior between men illegal and punishable by imprisonment. The revision of Paragraph 175.

The Nazis believed that male homosexuals were weak, effeminate men who could not fight for the German nation. They saw homosexuals as unlikely to produce children and increase the German birthrate. The Nazis held that inferior races produced more children than “Aryans,” so anything that diminished Germany’s reproductive potential was considered a racial danger.

The police had powers to hold in protective custody or preventive arrest those deemed dangerous to Germany’s moral fiber, jailing indefinitely—without trial—anyone they chose. In addition, homosexual prisoners just released from jail were immediately re-arrested and sent to concentration camps if the police thought it likely that they would continue to engage in homosexual acts.

From 1937 to 1939, the peak years of the Nazi persecution of homosexuals, the police increasingly raided homosexual meeting places, seized address books, and created networks of informers and undercover agents to identify and arrest suspected homosexuals. On April 4, 1938, the Gestapo issued a directive indicating that men convicted of homosexuality could be incarcerated in concentration camps. Between 1933 and 1945 the police arrested over 100,000 men as homosexuals.

The Nazis interned some homosexuals in concentration camps immediately after the seizure of power in January 1933. Those interned came from all areas of German society, and often had only the cause of their imprisonment in common. Some homosexuals were interned under other categories by mistake, and the Nazis purposefully miscategorized some political prisoners as homosexuals. Prisoners marked by pink triangles to signify homosexuality were treated harshly in the camps. According to many survivor accounts, homosexuals were among the most abused groups in the camps.

Because some Nazis believed homosexuality was a sickness that could be cured, they designed policies to “cure” homosexuals of their “disease” through humiliation and hard work. Guards ridiculed and beat homosexual prisoners upon arrival, often separating them from other inmates. Rudolf Hoess, commandant of Auschwitz, wrote in his memoirs that homosexuals were segregated in order to prevent homosexuality from spreading to other inmates and guards. Personnel in charge of work details in the Dora-Mittelbau underground rocket factory or in the stone quarries at Flossenbürg and Buchenwald often gave deadly assignments to homosexuals.

Survival in camps took on many forms. Some homosexual inmates secured administrative and clerical jobs. For other prisoners, sexuality became a means of survival. In exchange for sexual favors, some Kapos protected a chosen prisoner, usually of young age, giving him extra food and shielding him from the abuses of other prisoners. Homosexuals themselves very rarely became Kapos due to the lack of a support network. Kapo guardianship was no protection against the guards’ brutality, of course. In any case, the Kapo often tired of an individual, sometimes killing him and finding another on the next transport. Though individual homosexual inmates could secure a measure of protection in some ways, as a group homosexual prisoners lacked the support network common to other groups. Without this help in mitigating brutality, homosexual prisoners were unlikely to survive long.

One avenue of survival available to some homosexuals was castration, which some criminal justice officials advocated as a way of “curing” sexual deviance. Homosexual defendants in criminal cases or concentration camps could agree to castration in exchange for lower sentences. Later, judges and SS camp officials could order castration without the consent of a homosexual prisoner.

Nazis interested in finding a “cure” for homosexuality expanded this program to include medical experimentation on homosexual inmates of concentration camps. These experiments caused illness, mutilation, and even death, and yielded no scientific knowledge.

The sinister Paragraph 175 which criminalized homosexuality was in effect until 1969. Even after the concentration camps were liberated gay prisoners would be sent to sent to regular prisons to finish out the terms of their sentences.

In 1985, gays and lesbians had wanted to place a plaque in the camp at Dachau, but it was not until 10 years later, in 1995, that gays and lesbians have been recognized as a group of victims.

At this time here are no known statistics for the number of homosexuals who died in the camps but some scholars estimate the numbers could actually be from the hundreds of thousands to almost a million.

VP Mike Pence Visits Dachau Nazi Concentration Camp In Germany, Makes No Formal Comment About Victims

VP Mike Pence Visits Dachau Nazi Concentration Camp In Germany, Makes No Formal Comment

 

Mike Pence visited former Nazi concentration camp on Sunday and was joined by a survivor of the camp and other officials. The US vice president apparently did not speak publicly during his tour and recognize the victims of the infamous death camp.

Pence was in Germany to speak at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday (18 February) and traveled to Brussels later on Sunday for meetings with Nato and EU officials.

During his Dachau visit which Pence made with his wife Karen and eldest daughter Charlotte, a tour of the former concentration camp, passing through the wrought iron gate bearing the inscription, “Arbeit macht frei“, or “Work sets you free”.

The group walked around the prison yard and inspected a map showing the camps around Germany and various Nazi-occupied countries in Europe.

The Pences also met with Karl Freller, director of the Foundation of Bavarian Memorial Sites as well as Abba Nabor, a Jewish Lithuanian, a survivor of the camp who now lives in Israel.

When questioned as to why there was no acknowledgement of the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said “we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered”, with Holocaust victims including “priests, gypsies, people with mental or physical disabilities, communists, trade unionists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, anarchists, Poles and other Slavic peoples, and resistance fighters”.

Please note how gays and lesbian victims of the holocaust were left out of the above statement.

The Trump/Pence presidential campaign had the full support and backing of the White Supremacist and Neo-Nazi parties.

 

Israel To Erect Monument In Rememberance Of LGBT’s Persecuted By The Nazis

Gay nazi prisoners

Although an exact number will never be known, between 1933 and 1945, under the notorious Paragraph 175 of the Nazi penal code, which banned homosexual relations between men, somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 gay men were murdered in Nazi concentration camps and over 100,000 were either arrested jailed, beaten and tortured.

World War II experts believe that the death rate of homosexuals in concentration camps may have been as high as 60%.- 80%.

History has proven that in the concentration camps gay and lesbian prisoners were treated to unusual and heinous punishments and and cruelties, even worse than the Nazi captors were known for.  Not only did the Nazis abuse the gay prisoners, but so did other prisoner as well.  They were considered to be the lowest of low. They were beaten, tortured, experimented on and some were used for target practice by SS soldiers, who aimed at the pink triangles that the gay men were forced to wear to designate that they were homosexual on their chest.  And of course some met their ends in the same way as the six million Jews, Poles, and Gypsies from that horrible time.

Persecution of gays and lesbians by the Nazis remained little known for decades, and what was known was spoken in whispers. It wasn’t until 2002 that the German government apologized to the gay community and until  2005, the European Parliament approved a resolution on the Holocaust that finally acknowledged the persecution of gays.

Now Israel’s plans to build it’s first monument to homosexuals persecuted by the Nazis will be erected in central Tel Aviv’s Meir Park (Gan Meir) later this year, near the headquarters of the Gay Center.

At the center of the monument will be a concrete triangle containing a pink triangle, the symbol used by the Nazis used to mark homosexuals. A bench and plaque beside the monument will give information about the persecution of homosexuals during the Holocaust which will be inscribed wiht the following statement: “To the memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual preference and gender identity.”

The monument, was the idea of attorney Eran Lev, a member of the municipal council from the Meretz party.

This will be the first and only memorial site in Israel to mention the victims of the Nazis who were persecuted for anything other than being Jewish,” Lev has stated. “As a cosmopolitan city and an international gay center, Tel Aviv will offer a memorial site that is universal in its essence.”

Memorials to the LGBT victims of Nazi persecution exist in Berlin, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Sydney and San Francisco. Most of them contain the pink triangle.

Source: Hareetz.com

In Memoriam: Rudolf Brazda, The Last Known Gay Concentration Camp Survivor Passes Away

A sad thing indeed.

Rudolf Brazda, last known survivor of the so-called “Pink Triangles” — gays interned in Nazi camps because of their homosexuality — died in France Wednesday aged 98, officials said.

In 1935, the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour was passed. This amended the existing Paragraph 175 of the Reich Penal Code:

An unnatural sex act committed between persons of male sex or by humans with animals is punishable by imprisonment; the loss of civil rights might also be imposed.

However, whereas previously the only punishable offence had been anal intercourse, the new Paragraph 175a ushered in 10 new possible ‘acts’ between men as crimes worthy of punishment, including kissing, embracing and having homosexual fantasies. Despite this, many anti-Nazis still attacked the Fascists as homosexual, and in revenge, the Nazis became increasingly vicious, later exporting their persecution of gays to the countries they occupied.

The number of gay men who died at the hands of Hitler’s Reich has never been fully established. It is not clear how many people lived in the gay community before or after World War II, and since many who were executed received no trial, there is only patchy evidence of how many were imprisoned or sent to their deaths.

Nevertheless, researchers estimate that some 50,000 men were convicted for committing homosexual acts, and that 15,000 gays died in Auschwitz alone, often as a result of being worked to death. At present, according to the historian Rictor Norton, the estimates for the total number of gay men who were killed by the Nazis range from 10,000 (undoubtedly too low) to 430,000 (probably too high).


Brazda, born in 1913, was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp in August 1942 and reamined there until it was liberated by US troops in 1945.

Sources: