Thursday, August 04, 2011

Last known gay survivor of Holocaust passes away at 98

Geir Moulson of the Associated Press reports today the passing of Rudolf Brazda, at age 98, the last surviving person sent to a Nazi concentration camp for homosexuality, story here

The Nazi campaign against homosexuals has been a matter of controversy for some historians, including Lothar Machtan who authored “The Hidden Hitler” in 2001, and talked about Hitler as a “closet case” rather brazenly in translations of the book. On the other hand, Martin Sherman’s 1979 play “Bent” became a disturbing film in 1996 about Nazi "witchhunt" capture of and treatment of gay prisoners in the concentration camps.  Frank Rector authored a famous  book “The Nazi Extermination of Homosexuals” in 1981, published by Stein and Day.  In "Conduct Unbecoming", author Randy Shilts compared the US military's preoccupation with outlawing "homosexual thoughts" pre-1993 to the attitude of the Nazis.  I remember my parents having a book called “Education for Death: The Making of a Nazi” by Gregor Ziemer in a family bookcase back in my high school days, but it disappeared. Still another important documentary film was "Paragraph 175", about the notorious Nazi anti-gay law. 

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