Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Something That I Never Knew

I always knew that during the Holocaust, the Germans rounded up not only the Jew, but also gypsies, homosexuals (that is where the pink triangle came from) and the mental disabled. What I didn’t know was that when the allies liberated the concentration camps, they didn’t free the gays, lesbians and transgender people.

I came across this article…
Paragraph 175: The Holocaust and Homosexuals
By Patrick Yaeger
May 9, 2005

Germany’s Third Reich considered homosexuals common criminals; many were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Once there, they were forced to wear a pink triangle as a brand of their supposedly ‘special’ perversion. Given the fear many gay people lived under back then, it is little wonder how little of their experiences in the death camps is known. However, it is thought that their death rate was higher than any other group.
The were arrested under the criminal code’s “Paragraph 175” and when the allies freed the Jews, that still held the homosexuals because they view them as criminals serving a sentence.
Paragraph 175 of the German Criminal Code was all the authorities needed to detain homosexuals, throw them in prison, send them to concentration camps, conduct medical experiments on them and even kill them. [excerpted from the Houston Voice]
So when the allies marched in they kept them in the concentrations camps.
When the concentration camps were liberated at the end of World War II, Keel (museum director) said, there was no liberation for homosexuals. Paragraph 175 remained in force.

“At the liberation in 1945, the homosexuals remained in prison to serve out their terms,” Keel said. “They weren’t given any reparations for what they had been through.”

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