the persecuted

Rudolf Brazda, The Last Pink Triangle Survivor From Hitler’s Concentration Camps

Goodness, this interview with Rudolf Brazda, believed to be the last known survivor of the Pink Triangles (forced to the Buchenwald concentration camp for being gay, where they were outfitted with pink triangles instead of yellow), is an emotional roller coaster. Gut wrenching. But also inspiring! An estimated 5,000 to 15,000 queers were executed at the Holocaust camps. Brazda is 97-years-old, and spent three years — 1942-45 — at Buchenwald. He settled in France after the war, where he now lives. Dare I say, this man knows a little something about “bullying.”

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    How can we arrange for this brave soul to walk up to Yehuda Levin spit in his face and tell him that his actions and words are no different than Hitler and his evil empire?

  • the crustybastard

    It’s important to note that even after “liberation,” some gay survivors of the concentration camps were actually re-imprisoned to serve out their convictions under § 175, without credit for time interned in the camps.

    The fact that homosexuals were caught up as Nazi undesirables was irrelevant. What mattered was that homosexuals had violated a valid civil law outlawing homosexuality, a law deemed unrelated to Nazi ideology. Relegated to the status of mere sex-offenders, gay concentration camp survivors were also denied reparations and pensions.

    Paragraph 175 was actually expanded in post-war West Germany and remained as a generally antigay law until 1973. Gay Germans were “cured” through lobotomy as late as 1979.

    Finally, in 2002, convictions under § 175 were vacated, and the German government apologized to the gay community.

  • Tessie Tura

    It’s nice to know that the snippier ones among us aren’t judging his looks. He is a 97-year-old historical icon, ya know.

  • Eminent Victorian

    I feel humbled just to be able to see this. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Kieran

    @Pygar: Kiss him? Have you seen Rabbi Levin? Hasn’t Rudolph Brazda suffered enough?

  • ewe

    Touching and poignant first hand testimony of history. And to think that he was one of the lucky ones.

  • AdonisOfFire

    I would love to be able to talk with him and give him a big hug, he inspires me.

  • Silver

    The fact that this man is still available to speak to us in 2010 speaks to his resilience and courage, and I feel honored that I was able to hear his story. The 2nd commenter is right- gay people were often thrown back into jail after their “liberation” from the camps, courtesy of the American G.I.s. It’s impressive that Herr Brazda was able not only to avoid this but to live on into his 90s with his partner by his side.

  • Pete

    You guys just “forget” to say that Hitler´s mentor and nº1 in the nazi-hierarchy for many years, Ernst Rohm, was a proud in-your-face butch-homosexual and the infamous Brow Shirts were notorious for their homosexual depravity and violence…and this is not all regarding Nazis and butch-homosexuality…far from it…

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