Scrapbookpages Blog

May 4, 2014

“men imprisoned at Dachau for being gay” Updated

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 5:20 pm
Jews object to the use of a pink triangle combined with blue and white stripes by Urban Outfitters

Jews object to the use of a pink triangle combined with blue and white stripes by Urban Outfitters

The photo above appears on a page in a newspaper with the headline:

ADL calls on Urban Outfitters to pull tapestry evoking Holocaust prisoner apparel

This quote is from the newspaper article about the tapestry shown in the photo above:

The Anti-Defamation League again called out Urban Outfitters, the U.S. clothing-and-lifestyle-merchandise retailer, this time asking the chain to pull from its shelves a tapestry with a design that evokes apparel worn in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

The tapestry “is ‘eerily reminiscent’ of the … gray and white stripes and pink triangles that gay male prisoners were forced to wear” in the camps, ADL said in a Monday statement.

“Whether intentional or not, this gray and white striped pattern and pink triangle combination is deeply offensive and should not be mainstreamed into popular culture,” said Abraham H. Foxman, the group’s national director, who is a Holocaust survivor.

ADL said it sent a letter to the retailer’s president and chief executive, Richard A. Hayne, expressing concern about the company’s use of Holocaust imagery.

Continue reading my origianl blog post:

What’s wrong with the quote, from a Santa Barbara newspaper, in the title of my blog post?

Men were NOT imprisoned at Dachau for being gay. In the old days, gay men in Germany were arrested for breaking the German law called Paragraph 175 which banned homosexual acts in public, as well as banning men from soliciting other men in public for gay sex.  Paragragh 175 had been on the books in Germany since 1871, but it was not being enforced until the Nazis took over.  Even then, gay men who were not having sex in pubic were not arrested.

I previously blogged about the Monument at Dachau which shows the triangles worn by the prisoners, except for the black triangle worn by criminals and the pink triangle worn by gay prisoners.

In a Santa Barbara newspaper article, which you can see in full here, this quote caught my attention:

How the community of [Dachau] survivors chooses to commemorate is yet another issue. At Dachau, men imprisoned for being gay were required to wear a badge featuring a pink downward-pointing triangle (Jews wore two triangles superimposed to create a yellow star). The pink triangle has since been reclaimed as an international symbol of gay pride and the gay rights movement. A memorial sculpture commissioned in the 1960s features colored triangles that represent the various categories of prisoners. Conspicuously absent, however, was the pink one.

“At that time, many still saw homosexuality as a crime,” [Harold] Marcuse said. “Pink was banned by the survivors who commissioned the memorial. When gay activists wanted to put up a pink granite triangle memorial in that space in the 1970s, they were refused. It had to be placed in the Protestant memorial church at the far end of the former camp.”

Twenty years later, that granite panel was moved to a special memorial room in the museum.

Pink triangle in back room of Dachau museum

Pink triangle in “special memorial room” of Dachau museum

The Jews at Dachau did not wear two triangles superimposed to create a yellow star.

I took the photo below in the Dachau Museum in 1997.  It shows all the triangles used for badges in the Dachau camp.

A poster in the 1965 Dachau Museum

A poster in the 1965 Dachau Museum

Chart show the badges worn by concentration camp prisoners

Chart show the badges worn by concentration camp prisoners in all the camps

The following explanation of the Dachau badges is from my own website scrapbookpages.com:

The top row of triangles in the photo above shows all the colors of the badges worn by the prisoners in all the Nazi concentration camps. Red was for Communists, Social Democrats, anarchists, and other “enemies of the state”; green was for German criminals; blue was for foreign forced laborers; brown was for Gypsies; pink was for homosexuals; purple was for Jehovah’s Witnesses and black was for asocials, a catch-all term for vagrants, bums, prostitutes, hobos, perverts, alcoholics who were living on the streets, or anyone who didn’t have a permanent address. The “work-shy,” or those who were arrested because they refused to work, wore a black badge.

The second row on the chart shows the same colors with a matching bar over the triangle. The bar denoted a “second-timer” or a prisoner who had been released and was then arrested again for a second offense. These prisoners were isolated from the general camp population and were not allowed privileges. Their work assignments were much more difficult. Many of the prisoners, including some Jews in the early days at Dachau, were released after they had been “rehabilitated.”

The black circles under the badges in the third row denote prisoners who were assigned to the penal colony. They were given the most difficult work assignments, usually in a rock quarry or gravel pit. Many of the camp locations were chosen because they were near a quarry which could furnish building materials for the new buildings Hitler was planning for Berlin and Linz, Austria, his former home town. Dachau had a gravel pit which was located where the Carmelite convent now stands.

The fourth row shows yellow triangles with each of the regular triangle colors placed on the top, forming a six-pointed star. These badges were worn by the Jews and showed their classification as political prisoners, criminals, foreign forced laborers, homosexuals or asocials.

A combination of a red triangle over a yellow triangle meant a Jewish political prisoner. The black dot below it meant that the Jewish prisoner had been assigned to the punishment detail.

A red triangle pointing upward designated a non-Jewish German political prisoner. The letter P on a red triangle pointing downward designated a Polish political prisoner.

January 15, 2014

Memorial in Tel Aviv honors gays and lesbians

A news article in The Times of Israel tells about a new memorial in Tel Aviv, which is shown in the photo below:

Monument to gays and lesbians in Tel Aviv

Pink Triangle Monument to gays and lesbians in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv unveils memorial to gay Holocaust victims
Landmark is the first in Israel to deal universally with Jewish and non-Jewish individuals persecuted by the Nazis

TEL AVIV — Israel’s cultural and financial capital has unveiled a memorial honoring gays and lesbians persecuted by the Nazis during World War II.

Authorities in Tel Aviv unveiled the memorial Friday. It shows a pink triangle — the symbol gays were forced to wear in concentration camps. Writing on it in English, Hebrew and German reads: “In memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Did those hateful Nazis actually persecute innocent men and women for their “sexual orientation and gender identify”?  NO!  They persecuted criminals who broke the German law, known as Paragraph 175, which had been on the books since 1871 when the German states were first united into a country.  Many other countries, including the United States of America, had similar laws which made homosexual acts a crime.

Did the evil Nazis go around peeking through bedroom windows to find men who were breaking the law known as Paragraph 175?  NO!  They arrested men who were having gay sex in public, in bathhouses and on stage in night clubs.  As far as I know, women were not arrested in Germany, nor in any other country, for being lesbians.

The main concentration camp, where homosexual men were sent, was Sachsenhausen, the camp in Oranienburg, near Berlin.  When I visited the Sachsenhausen Memorial Site in 1999, I picked up an Information Leaflet, which told about  the Klinkerwerk [brick works], which was a satellite camp of Sachsenhausen.

According to the leaflet, the Klinkerwerk satellite camp was used for “… the deliberate annihilation of certain prisoners groups.”

“From July to September 1942, the systematically planned murders of some 180 to 200 homosexual prisoners were carried out in the Klinkerwerk satellite camp.” according to the Information Leaflet.

As the closest concentration camp to Berlin, Sachsenhausen had more homosexual prisoners than any of the other camps. A total of approximately 10,000 homosexuals were sent to all the Nazi concentration camps combined during the 12 years of the Third Reich, according to a display which I saw in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. in the year 2000.

In an era when homosexuals were still in the closet in all the countries of the world, Berlin was a mecca for gays. The movie Cabaret depicts the gay scene in Berlin before the Nazis came to power. It was based on a book entitled Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood, who lived an openly gay lifestyle in Berlin, the capital city of Germany.

After the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, male homosexuals who broke the German law, by flaunting their lifestyle in public, were arrested. After their second arrest and the completion of their second prison term, homosexual men were sent to a concentration camp for six months.  As far as I know, no lesbians were ever sent to a concentration camp, solely for being a lesbian.

Some of the young men, who were sent to Sachsenhausen after they had been imprisoned for public homosexual activity, were actually Strichjunge, or male prostitutes, from Berlin.

This quote is from the memoirs of Rudolf Höss:

The strict camp life and the hard work quickly reeducated this type [ male prostitutes]. Most of them worked very hard and took great care not to get into trouble so that they could be released as soon as possible. They also avoided associating with those afflicted with this depravity and wanted to make it known that they had nothing to do with homosexuals. In this way countless rehabilitated young men could be released without having a relapse.

In 1943 the brick factory [Klinkerwerk] was partly converted into an armament factory where hand grenades were produced. On April 10, 1945, an Allied bombing raid destroyed the armament factory and the brick factory. About 200 prisoners of the concentration camp lost their lives in the raid.

Homosexuals were also sent to Dachau, but when the Dachau camp was converted into a Memorial Site, they were not honored.

Pink triangle memorial in Dachau Museum

Pink triangle memorial in the Dachau Museum

Notice the pick triangle on the right in the photograph above, taken at Dachau in 2003.  At the bottom of the plaque, the words read “To the homosexual victims of National Socialism, the homosexual initiatives of Munich, 1985.” The inscription at the top reads “Beaten to death, killed again by silence.”

The inscription on the triangle refers to the fact that homosexuals in all the Nazi concentration camps received very harsh treatment from their fellow prisoners, and after the war, the homosexuals were not included in the commemoration of the victims. The pink triangle at Dachau was first placed, in a small room, inside the Museum on June 18, 1995.

In the early days of the Dachau camp, the Kapos, who supervised the other prisoners, were German criminals, who typically treated the homosexuals very badly. Later the internal administration of the Dachau camp was taken over by the Communist inmates, who did not honor the homosexuals.

After the war, it was the Communists who designed and supervised the Dachau Memorial Site, which was set up in 1965. There is no pink triangle on the bas relief sculpture at the International Monument at Dachau, and also no green triangle in honor of the German criminals. The new 2003 Dachau museum included  both the homosexuals and the German criminals as victims of the Nazis.

This quote from the news article in The Times of Israel explains why the city of Tel Aviv was chosen for a memorial to the gays and lesbians, who were persecuted by the Nazis:

The landmark joins similar memorials in Amsterdam, Berlin, San Francisco and Sydney dedicated to gay victims of the Holocaust. While Israel has scores of Holocaust monuments, the Tel Aviv memorial is the first that deals universally with Jewish and non-Jewish victims alike.

“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 told Haaretz. “As a cosmopolitan city and an international gay center, Tel Aviv will offer a memorial site that is universal in its essence. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not a monument, but a place — a place of quiet that will invite visitors to sit, contemplate, reflect and be in solitude.”

Tel Aviv has a vibrant gay scene and is a top international destination for gay tourists.

Many Germans referred to Hitler’s Germany as a paradise.  Hitler tried to clean up the country.  The YouTube video below is from the movie Cabaret.

October 19, 2013

Glenn Beck in trouble again, as he talks about the purple triangle, used in the Nazi camps

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 10:09 am
Purple triangle, worn by Jehovah's Witnesses, shown in sculpture at Dachau

Purple triangle, worn by Jehovah’s Witnesses, shown in sculpture at Dachau

Glen Beck is shown in this YouTube video, as he explains why Jehovah’s Witnesses were put into concentration camps and forced to wear a purple triangle on their clothing to identify themselves.

Glen Beck was obviously confused because the German name for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, which was Bibelforscher, is translated as “Bible Student” in English.  The Nazis did NOT put people into concentration camps for studying the Bible.  You can read about the persecution of the Jehovah’s Witnesses on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Jehovah%27s_Witnesses_in_Nazi_Germany

This news article, which you can read in full here,  explains how Glen Beck offended people in the audience when he talked about the triangles used to identify prisoners in the Nazi concentration camps:

This quote is from the news article:

As many people know, the Nazis used colored triangles to indicate what group a prisoner — who was likely to die — was from. Perhaps the most well-known is the pink triangle, which indicated the person whose prison uniform bore the patch was homosexual — or believed to be. An estimated 5,000–15,000 people wearing the Nazi’s pink triangle were murdered during the Holocaust.

“Does anybody know what the purple triangle was?,” Beck asked his audience. Someone yells, “Gay.”

“No, not gay — that was pink,” Beck responds.

The crowd laughs.

Did the mostly religious right Christian evangelist conservatives in Beck’s audience find the prospect of 15,000 gay people about to be murdered by Hitler’s thugs during the Holocaust to be amusing — enough so that they had to break out in laughter?

“It’s hard to know exactly what motivated each person in that room to laugh at that moment,” Sharona Coutts, Director of Investigations and Research at RH Reality Check writes in “Why Did ‘Values Voters’ Attendees Laugh About Gays Being Killed by Nazis?”

[quote from RH Reality Check] ”Was it because it seems funny that gay people were also murdered in the Nazi concentration camps? Was it because of the apparent absurdity, in their point of view, of confusing ‘legitimate’ victims of the Holocaust (Jews, Christians, people with disabilities) with those who they believe might really deserve to be killed? What part of the audience’s “values” made that reference to gay people seem so funny?”

“People with disabilities” were sent to “Nazi concentration camps”?  No, people with disabilities were sent to places like Hartheim Castle.

Beck also says, in the video, that the Nazis used a “black triangle” to designate “anarchists”.

According to information given at the Dachau Memorial Site, a black triangle was worn by the “work-shy” who were called “asocial.”

I previously blogged about the Nazis and homosexuals at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/hitler-started-with-the-gays-say-what/

Why did those evil Nazis discriminate against the innocent Jehovah’s Witnesses, who never did them any harm?

The main camp, where the Jehovah’s Witnesses were sent, was Sachsenhausen, which was near Berlin.  At the Sachsenhausen Memorial Site, there is a memorial stone in honor of a prisoner named August Dickman who was executed because he was a member of International Bible Students Association who refused to serve in the Germany army. The memorial stone says that he was a “conscientious objector.”  He was not executed because he was a Jehovah’s Witness, but rather, because he had refused to serve in the German Army.

In America, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Japanese internment camp prisoners, who refused to serve in the American army, were sent to federal prisons where they were forced to work at hard labor, but none were executed.

According to Rudolf Höss, who was an adjutant in the Sachsenhausen camp before he was transferred to Auschwitz, there were a large number of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Sachsenhausen camp.

Rudolf Höss wrote in his memoir that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were sent to concentration camps, beginning in 1937, because they were “using religion to undermine the will of the people for military preparedness,” by recruiting others to their beliefs about not serving in the military.

Höss claimed that only those who were actively preaching against the state and recruiting others were imprisoned.

When World War II started, all concentration camp prisoners who were fit for military service were drafted. Höss wrote: “A large number of them (the Jehovah’s Witnesses) refused to serve in the military and were, therefore, sentenced to death by Himmler as draft dodgers.” Those who were willing to renounce their ideas against the military, or to serve in the army, were released.

The German hardened criminals (Schwehrverbrecher), who were sent to concentration camps, wore green triangles, but they are not represented in the Dachau sculpture.

Triangle sculpture at Dachau Memorial Site

Triangle sculpture at Dachau Memorial Site

In July 1936, just before the Olympics started in Berlin, 120 homeless bums were picked up off the streets and brought to Dachau. They were designated as “work-shy” and given black triangles, but, as you can see in the photo above, they are not honored in the sculpture.

Homosexuals, arrested under Paragraph 175 of the German Penal Code, wore pink triangles, but they were not honored at the Dachau Memorial Site until just recently.

In 1937, a new rule was made that criminals who had been arrested twice and had served two sentences would have to spend at least six months in a concentration camp for “rehabilitation.” The homosexuals in the concentration camps were classified as criminals and did not receive reparations from the German government after the war.

Brown badges were worn by Gypsies, although the first Gypsies brought to Dachau wore a black triangle because they were men who had been arrested for being “work-shy.”

The prisoners used the badge colors to refer to their affiliation. The Communists were the reds and their rivals, the German criminals, were the greens.

A bar over the top of the triangle meant that an inmate was a second-timer, or a prisoner who had served time in the camp, been released, and had then been arrested again; the second time they would be in the punishment block and would be treated more harshly.

The circles in the sculpture represent the circles that were worn below the triangle by prisoners who were assigned to the camp penal colony. These prisoners were assigned to the hardest work in the camps, usually to the rock quarries or the gravel pits. At Dachau, the gravel pit was where the Carmelite convent now stands.

 

April 18, 2011

the persecution of gays in Nazi Germany

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 2:48 pm

California will soon pass a new law which will require schools to offer a course in gay history.  Schools in Los Angeles and San Francisco already teach gay history, but soon it will be mandatory in all California schools.  When I heard this on the news today, I decided to do some research on the subject of gays in Nazi Germany.  So I first consulted Wikipedia, and learned the following:

Gays were not initially treated in the same fashion as the Jews, however; Nazi Germany thought of German gay men as part of the “Master Race” and sought to force gay men into sexual and social conformity. Gay men who would or could not conform and feign a switch in sexual orientation were sent to concentration camps under the “Extermination Through Work” campaign.

More than one million gay Germans were targeted, of whom at least 100,000 were arrested and 50,000 were serving prison terms as convicted gay men.    (more…)