The Holocaust was one of the most disgusting and evil things to happen in the history of mankind. I think that it’s probably the most horrendous thing to happen in the 20th Century. We hold Remembrance Day services and have 2 minutes silence every year. The key phrase that’s used is “Never Forget”.
But we have forgotten. When we remember, we think about the soldiers who gave their lives. Not just in the World Wars, but in wars that have been, and are being, fought before and since. They sacrificed their lives to save others, dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.
But what about the others? When we speak of the Nazi Holocaust, we think of the Jews. Millions of Jews were murdered in cold blood, experimented on and used as slave labour. It was truly awful. But the Nazis didn’t just stop at the Jews. They wanted a Master Race.So they went after the disabled, the educated, Romani, political prisoners, and Gay men & Lesbians. Over 1 million Gay Germans were targeted. In the concentration camps Gay men were made to wear a pink triangle (in a similar vein to the Jews’ Star of David). Do you know what other prisoners wore it? Paedophiles and people convicted of bestiality. I’ll repeat that – they were put into concentration camps and made to wear a symbol that meant they were either gay, a paedophile, or a zooerast. (Making them targets for the same sort of mob justice that we see some national papers trying to drum up even in these “enlightened times”.)***THE NEXT FEW PARAGRAPHS CONTAIN GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***
I read the account of a man called Pierre Seel, who described his time at the Schirmeck concentration camp, he was 19 when he was sent to the camp. He was at a local cruising area, he had his watch stolen. When he went to report it he was added to a list of homosexuals held by the police. He was later arrested for homosexuality and, on being arrested, was anally raped with a piece of wood.
When he transferred to Schirmeck the camp guards announced a public execution. Pierre’s lover, an 18 year old called Jo was brought out into the centre of the square. He was stripped naked, had a metal bucket placed on his head and the guards released trained dogs who mauled him to death.
It didn’t stop there. Homosexuals were used as test subjects for the Nazi scientists, with experiments consisting of implanting metal tubes into the groins of homosexuals and releasing testosterone into their bodies over prolonged periods. Some were castrated, some were used in experiments to create immunisation to Thyphus fever.
***GRAPHIC BIT FINISHES HERE***
Thankfully, the Nazis didn’t win the war, and the people in the concentration camps were freed. Many received reparations and state pensions from the government. Homosexuals however were not acknowledged as victims of the Nazis and were still considered criminals. They were kept on Sex Offenders lists and could be imprisoned for repeat offences. Those who were imprisoned by the Nazis remained imprisoned after the war and served out their sentences in regular prisons.
Charles Dunst wrote a piece on The Forgotten Gay Holocaust earlier this month, and I wanted to find some way to write a bit about it myself. The recent atrocities in Chechnya have spurred me on, and my government’s silence on the matter has made me realise that we’re not talking about it enough. So there’s a petition that you can sign. (If you’ve got this far I’m assuming that I’ve at least attracted your interest, and hopefully helped you to understand how awful it was.)
So please, sign the petition, have the government confirm that we will shelter and protect the victims before we have another Gay Holocaust. Make them discuss this and raise the profile so that our representatives can represent us.