Richard Plant EricPaul Noonan Professor Patricia Vazquez English 272, Section 1001 The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War against HomosexualsThis Presentation runs automatically to completion and contains a sound track.
“These people will obviously be publicly degraded anddismissed and handed over to the court. After that they will be all taken into a concentration camp and in the camp they will be shot while escaping” (Himmler)
Biography In became necessary wasPlant tounder his own name, he because It addition to works for changing and in 1936, he fled to the Life in Switzerland published leave Germany, mainly wroteRichard1947 towas enforcement histhethe agetheOctoberthe 1939. The nextPlantsixteen,his career wasPlaut in at of twenty-two in Although he startedGeneva; it inof published in Cityam of At the arrived S.O.S.bornstarteda professor Frankfurt Paragraph of was 1973, he Richard at provisions of children’s Plant overzealous Plant was Switzerland writing at Fromage of in Basel, Switzerland college education University several a of dissertationU.S., he workedand translator- Dieterto Uponof his yearsin the he and he screenplay called Taschenbuch United States of America which Schnitzler, a with his physician, veteran, Socialist, as a nameAHeadiddetective to 1910. wrotechanged hisbothmore children’s Ason German-American on Arthurhe collaborated from Plaut As Germany novels writer, a wrote many parents were couple arrival laterMain, and York, first codein medicine his next book Thethe Social Many yearsof Frankfurt againstUniversity of Baselin for foot-in books, thethere and before he wrote and New School Dragon 175 New criminal book was a the homosexuals by of of Universitytrue he attended the children’s fable called, Die he 1933 his passed intermittently at the literature where Kist NazisJews. and Oskar Seidlin playwright, andOskar Seidlin. of Stefan des Films (Paperbackhe Film). the U.S. department of writer Plant. and writer, poet, under the with History intoWar of books his Doctorate in Literature and the original physician, scriptwriter-broadcaster for Seidlin had moved Cunz of hisusuallyinoncollaborated collective pen-name emit dem groβen Spartner Oskar in 1948. stepsbecause his (The box and the Forest, which was 1927. with the big S), published in 1936. received father Research. published “Eyes Wide Shut.” other words, war propaganda. 1935. Switzerland. or in Information, Brockhoff.
His One & Only Love!After Seidlin’s death Plant decided from a sense of personalinvolvement on several levels to write his last book, The PinkTheir love really did not blossom until he followed SeidlinPlant lived and worked together in Newthe University overThey and Oskar Seidlin metthe ageat eighty-seven in Der while City for ofTriangle: The Nazi War against Homosexuals, (Rosa Winkel: his Richard Plant died in 1998 at were of Yorkcultivate theirto Switzerland in they were both studying literature inFrankfurtNazis gegen dieand they in 1984. to he first where 1933 Homosexuellen), which ableKrieg der years surrounded by his family and friends.forty-five was until Seidlin diedlove. and home1929.published in German in 1986 and then translated into Englishin 1991.
“So many young gay people todaydont realize the important significanceof the pink triangle ~ they think it justanother symbol of pride, and dontrealize that it has been reclaimed froma horrific history in which many mendied for their sexuality. This book helpsthe common reader understand whyHitler began his hateful anti-homosexual campaign. Through thesurvivors’ stories, it paints a vivid portraitnot only of the despicable depths ofhatred to which men can sink, but italso shows us the undefeatable spirit ofthe human race to withstand andmove on from such adversity. I cannotrecommend this book enough ~ it isonly through realizing what we havebeen through that we learn what wewill be able to overcome.” Snyder, 1988
The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War against Homosexuals• To read this book in either German or English, Plant‟s book is a comprehensive work that details the horrific treatment of homosexuals under the all-reaching arm of the Third Reich.• At the beginning of the twentieth century, there was a vigorous homosexual emancipation movement.• Discussed in ten folds is the powerful homophobia that underlay the Nazi desire to eradicate the homosexuals of Germany.• In the book, Plant shows just how the Nazi party rose to power and felt it necessary to stomp out the homosexuals throughout the lands that were under their regime.• Most importantly, the evolution of the official Nazi policy toward homosexuals is shown, which includes the abundance of strategies used to incarcerate, humiliate, enchain, and annihilate all homosexuals.• Also discussed are the documents from the actual Nazi officers and soldiers that wrote about their logbooks, memorandums sent to concentration camps Commandants, and personal diaries.• The most riveting aspect revealed through diaries, documents, letters, listens to, or watch the interviews from the few survivors.
These are homosexual men standing for roll call, which could last hours, and many died in the process.
Plant began to see propaganda throughout his city and knew that something was about totake a turn for the worse.He brings to the forefront how he saw the rise of the Nazi party and the increase in sexualprejudices that came with them.This was the rise of a vigorous homosexual emancipation movement, the virulenthomophobia that underlay the Nazi desire to annihilate German’s homosexuals, and theevolution of official Nazi policy toward them.Plant even discusses the recurring strategies for thedegradation, imprisonment, enslavement, and extermination of the gay man and even somelesbians.The main focal point of the book explores the Nazi’s policy towards homosexuals and thetactics that were inflicted upon those men while imprisoned in concentration camps.Plant also brings to the surface the methods of torture of these gay men at the hands ofHimmler and his SS.He also translates diaries, documents, letters, and interviews that had never been read orheard before from survivors and some that are no longer with us.
A list of gay men who were transported toconcentration camps
Reich Penal Code Paragraph 175 The enforcement of this penal code was the main reason Plant left Germany175. A male who indulges in criminally indecent activities with another male or who allows himself to participate is such activities will be punished with Jail. If one of the participants is under the age of twenty-one, and if the crime has not been grave, the court may dispense with the jail sentence.175(a). A jail sentence of up ten years or, if mitigating circumstances can be established, a jail sentence of no less than three years will be imposed on: 1. Any male who by force or by threat of imminent violence and danger to life and limb compels another male to indulge in criminally indecent activities, or allows himself to participate in such activities; 2. Any male who forces another male to indulge with him in criminally indecent activities by using the subordinate position of the other man, whether it be at work or elsewhere, or who allows himself to participate in such activities; 3. Any male who indulges professionally and for profit in criminally indecent activities with other males, or allows himself to be used for such activities or offers himself for same.175b. Criminally indecent activities by males with animals are to be punished by jail; in addition, the court may deprive the subject of his civil rights (Plant, 1986).
Some Men who were arrested under Paragraph 175
This was a chart designed to identify if you wereJewish, gypsy, political , gay, Catholic, or a combination depending on your triangle color.
Mind Set Translation:This type of discrimination was imposed by “GermanNazis on only!” businessHomosexuals, Jews, gypsies, Catholics, and any others classified as “Undesirables.” “Jews not allowed to shop!”
Through Plant‟s research he discovered that discrimination against homosexualswas not a new occurrence in the Nazi regime. In 1871, Section 175 (Paragraph175 in English) was added to the Reich Penal code, which criminalizedhomosexuality under German rule.Adolf Brand, also a revolutionary gay German writer, pushed for the reform of thissection in 1928 until the government on October 16, 1929 approved it.Though these reforms were approved in 1929, they were not put into effect untilafter the Great Depression, when the German government once again had themeans to enforce these policies.Unfortunately, in 1933, the Nazis‟ took over and put their anti-homosexual campaigninto effect.All that Brand fought for was lost due to the Nazi‟s Campaign, and he soon lost allhe had both financially and materialistically.In the following years, between 1933 and 1945, an estimated 63,000 wereconvicted of homosexuality, many of whom were sent to concentration camps.
“Our Führer has given the order for the merciless extermination of these festering sores” (Himmler)
“We must exterminate these people, root and branch… We can’t permit such danger to the country; the homosexuals must be entirely eliminated” (Himmler)
The Beginning of the EndIt is important to bring to the forefront that Plant makes it clear to the reader that itwas not Adolf Hitler who went after homosexuals; it was Heinrich Himmler who hada much larger hatred for the homosexual, even more than the Jew.It is gruesome the maltreatment that the homosexuals had to endure, in fact it wasmuch worse than the other prisoners had to endure, even the Jews.If you were suspected to be a homosexual or were on one of their many lists, youwere arrested and then almost immediately convicted, without a trial.Once convicted, all that were sent to concentration camps were required to wear apink cloth triangle about three and a half inches high.Their insignia was significantly larger than those of the other prisoners, makingthem easily distinguishable from other prisoners.Often homosexuals received the worst treatment within the camps since they foundthemselves the victims of both the guards and the other prisoners.In an attempt to improve their status, many stole other insignia to wear, sometimeseven resorting to the yellow Star of David that classified Jews.
Following Up!Plant‟s book discusses how homosexuality at this time was thought of as a disease. To preventcontamination of other prisoners, some camps isolated homosexuals or attempted to cure themthrough forced sexual acts with women prisoners, mainly Jews and gypsies.Almost all homosexuals were sent to a concentration camp on the island of Sylt, in the North Sea.Ironically, this island is owned by the nobility of Germany and is a resort destination forGermans.Many incidences the guards ordered sexual favors from homosexuals.It was well known that the Nazi guards preferred homosexuals to Jewish women.When the camps were liberated, homosexuals were also released with the other prisoners.Unfortunately, unlike other prisoners, homosexuality remained illegal until 1969 and these victimswere therefore classified as criminals and were unable to receive compensation for theirincarceration.After their release, families often refused to accept the homosexual ex-inmates, and formerhomosexual friends likely perished in camps or left Germany, leaving survivors on their own.To this day, homosexuality has a negative connotation, preventing full research of Nazi persecutionof these individuals to be completed.
Mahnmal Aufschrift, Germany This Memorial built in 1995 states:“The Gay and Lesbian victims of National Socialism; Hushed up! Beaten to death!”
One Survivor’s Story Plant interviewed one man by the name of Heinz Heger. Heger tells his story in detail of his experiences in German prisons and the Sachsenhausen (Saxony House) concentration camp in Germany. Heger was born in Vienna, Austria in March 1917 and was a university student at the time of his arrest. Then he went by his birth name of Josef Kohout, but all who knew him called him Heinz. This man was well ahead of his time because he was openly gay with all who came in contact with him, including his family, which accepted him with open arms. Because of Paragraph 175 of the criminal code, Heger was arrested without any warning and was taken to prison for six months and from there he went on to the Sachsenhausen, where he stayed until the end of the war. Plant discusses Heger‟s terrible conditions that he had to endure and was forced to endure to survive.A photo of Heinz Heger prior to hisarrest around the age of twenty-two.
Heger used an old trick that many did beforehim and after him and that was to be called byan effeminate name, “dolly-boy.”This was to assist the men who were havingsexual relations with him feel secure with theiractions, even though they were almost always aleader of the gangs in the camp or one of theGerman guards.In return for all of the sexual favors Heger wasperforming, he received larger rations of food A photo of Heger (left) prior to hisand protection from harsh treatment and arrest with a couple of friendspunishment.It did not hurt that Heger upheld a goodreputation, near the end the war he became thefirst homosexual gang leader and remained inthat position until the war was over.Plant does disclose that Heger had written hisown book about the suffering of thehomosexuals of the war, but it was far differentfrom his own. A couple of years before Heger died in 1994 at the age of seventy-six.
This Memorial was built in 1985 but not placed here until 1995 and it states: “Hushed up. Beaten to death. The Gay Victims of National Socialism”Gay Holocaust Memorial Dachau, Germany
Predecessors and SuccessorsHeinz Heger (Josef Kohout): The Men with the Pink Triangle (Die Männer mit dem rosaWinkel), 1972Hegers’ book inspired the play Bent in 1979, which inspired the same movie in 1997.Frank Rector: Nazi Extermination of Homosexuals, 1981Günter Grau: Lesbians and Gays – What Now?, 1991 and Hidden Holocaust, 1995Jean-Luc Schwab: Itinerary of a Pink Triangle, 2010
It states the following on it:“This is here to inspire and support lesbians and gays in their struggle against denial, oppression, and discrimination.” It was the first monument in the world to commemorate gays and lesbians who were killed by the Nazis. Homomonument In Amsterdam, Holland
It is still alive and well!Plant wrote his piece of work as a window to the past for all to view and yet the bigotry is still happening today. A few years ago, this transpired andthere are many cases similar to this.In 2003, Republican Arlon Lidner, a state legislator in Minnesota claimed that no such persecution of gays in Nazi Europe ever occurred, and issomehow tying that argument to his proposal to repeal his states human rights amendment that protects gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgenderedpersons from discrimination. Lidner proposed further legislation to remove sexual orientation as a protected class in the state of Minnesotas hatecrimes laws. How he justifies his homophobic crusade is based on his argument that gays were not gassed by their Nazi captors is unclear.However, this view may well be more relevant now than ever because a crucial part of history may be fully discarded, and by ignoring, it risks ithappening again.
Finally! Nazi-Era Gays Pardoned “German lawmakers on Friday completed the pardon process of thousands of Nazi-era army deserters and homosexuals sent to concentration camps during World War II. About 50,000 gay men and 22,000 deserters were included in the pardon passed by the lower house in Berlin, an extension of a 1998 law that cleared the names ofhundreds of thousands of Germans convicted of crimes under the Nazis. The conservative opposition voted against the law, arguing that it sends the wrong message because it doesn‟t examine each individual case. "Finally the deserters and homosexuals who were persecuted will receive justice," said Volker Beck, a spokesman for the Greens Party, which supports the law. "It is an important signal in these times when Europe is swinging to the right.” German justice minister Hertha Daeubler-Gmelin welcomed the law as long overdue. She said it was humiliating and difficult for victims of Nazi military courts to be expected to produce evidence of their convictions and undergo a review of their case before being cleared. Those convicted under Nazi laws include not only deserters but also soldiersaccused of "cowardice" or "marriage without permission," she said. "We all know that our decisions today are more than50 years late," she told parliament. "They are necessary nonetheless. We owe it to the victims of wrongful Nazi justice." Of the estimated 50,000 gay men convicted by the Nazis, few ever came forward after World War II because of the continuing stigma—as well as the fact that the law under which they were convicted remained on the books in West Germany until 1969.” (Advocate, May 21, 2002)
The Last One Rudolf Brazda is one of the last stories recounted by Plant. Rudolf Brazda (right) just as he was liberated This is Rudolf Brazda on his last visit to at the end of the war! Germany in 2006! The last gay concentration camp survivor died August 5, 2011 by himself in Mulhouse (Alsace), France at the age of 98.“His body emaciated and his toothless mouth hanging open, Rudolf Brazda is skin and bones. Then comes his scream -- a loud lament thatbecomes a moan and then tapers off. Brazda is lying in his hospital bed, waiting at deaths door. He alternately shouts, whispers or goes silent. Minutes creep by, then a quarter of an hour, then half an hour. Sometimes hell say something and then go quiet again. When he does speak, he utters lines like, "Im too old to live," "Im waiting for time to pass by," "I just dont want to do this anymore!" or "Everythings shit’” (Hornig).
Links of InterestThe last Survivorhttp://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/i-had-always-been-blessed-with-good-fortune-at-98-gay-concentration-camp-survivor-shares-story-a-772667.htmlAnother article about the last gay man:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/06/world/europe/06brazda.html?_r=0Video of last interview by last gay survivorhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-1uFsOXWhQ&feature=player_embedded#Really Great site:http://gaynorfolk-net.norfolk.on.ca/life-on-brians-beat-redux/stalag69.htmlPink News – A New Beginning (Lesbians too)!http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2011/05/31/new-memorial-to-gay-holocaust-victims-to-be-built-in-munich/A institute for research about sexInstitut für Sexualwissenschaft Press space bar or click to continue…
Bibliography• Advocate. “Nazi-Era Gays Pardoned.” www.glapn.org/sodomylaws/world/germany/genews011. 21 May 2002. Web. 10 March. 2013.• Hornig, Frank. “„I had Always Been Blessed with Good Fortune‟: At 98, Gay Concentration Camp Survivor Shares Story.” SPIEGELONLINE INTERNATIONAL. (6 JULY 2011): SPIEGELONLINE INTERNATIONAL. Web. 10 March 2013.• Plant, Richard. “The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals.” Ed. Marc Granetz. Canada:H.B. Fenn and Company Ltd. 1986. Print.• Williams, John. “VA / John Williams - Schindlers List OMPS (MCAD-10969)” MCA. Soundtrack from Schindler‟s List (1993), Performed by Itzhak Perlman and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Web 18 April 2013. Edited for length. CD.