The Last Pink Triangle

December 17, 2008

In May, a memorial dedicated to the gay victims in the Holocaust was opened in Berlin.  Since then, it’s been vandalized.  Here is an AP story about the memorial when it first opened.

If you would like to know what people see when they look into the sculpture, look for it in the full post.

The German Minister of Culture, Bernd Neumann, expressed his regret that there were no gay survivors of the Holocaust alive to see the Berlin monument in memory of the homosexual victims of Nazis.  They didn’t know about Rudolf Brazda.  He read about the memorial and came forward.  The German Federation of Gays and Lesbians (LSVD) was able to authenticate his claim.  Brazda was brought to Buchenwald from Czechoslovakia then followed a heterosexual friend he met in the camp to France.  Today, this makes him the only known gay survivor from the Holocaust.  I tried to translate the article from French.

Rudolf Brazda at the Berlin memorial. Photo by alterheros.com

Rudolf Brazda at the Berlin memorial. Photo linked from alterheros.com


The last “pink triangle” confides in Têtu
by Pierre Girard
Info du 16 décembre 2008

Rudolf Brazda, 95 years old, left anonymity this year (read the June 19th article).  Following the death of Pierre Seel in 2005, Rudolf is today the last known survivor among the fifteen thousand deported due to homosexuality.  They were called the “pink triangles.”

For the first time, for Têtu, Rudolf Brazda agreed to talk about the tragedy of the concentration camps and to speak about his experience of being a homosexual in Buchenwald.  “The way in which the Nazis treated us, us the ‘pink triangles,’ was unspeakable.  They could have crushed us, without pity,” he told.  His account is upsetting, direct and baffling.

“Before, nobody had ever been interested in this tragedy,” he confided to Têtu, for which he recollected the indefensible suffering by the homosexuals, who were considered abnormal and guinea pigs for inhumane medical experiments in Buchenwald, and of the Loves hidden in the prison.  “As we were homos (…) we belonged to the handicapped group.  Therefore, at the camp, we were constantly with people who suffered from various mental handicaps.”

After leaving the camp, Rudolf Brazda followed his then companion to Alsace, where he then remade his life with a man and in the house in which he still lives today.  It is there that Têtu met with him, one day, to collect its testimony.

To read in Têtu, issue 140, in kiosks this Wednesday.
Copyright tetu.com


The significance of the pink triangle is the arm band the gay prisoners were made to wear as the Jews were made to wear the Star of David.


Prisoners of Sachsenhausen concentration camp, 1938. Photo in National Archives

Today, the LGBT community uses the pink triangle as a symbol in remembrance.


When I was in Paris a few years ago, I saw in the gay newspaper that there was to be a free showing of Un Amour à Taire (A Love to Hide) at a Paris library.  Unfortunately, it was showing the day after I left but I finally got to see it last year when I spotted it at a video rental store.


As you can imagine, it’s not the happiest of stories but I do recommend it.

This is the video shown in the Berlin monument.

I doubt this trajedy will happen again but do get involved.  Visit these websites, join these groups and be heard.  If you’re in Texas, please join us for the Equality Texas Lobby Day on March 2nd.  Otherwise, you can find local and state groups from the Equality Federation, National Stonewall Democrats and Join the Impact.


One comment

  1. i am tyring ot locate klaus wowereit…i read he was the last holosexual holocaust sirvivor left…i have a piece of art owrk i would like to give to him…can you help me get into contact with him…thank you shelly

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