Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Holocaust Day. The fate of gay survivors

Holocaust Day. Time to remember the dehumanising effect of extreme authoritarian politics, and to remember that we humans can easily turn into beasts or worse.

Time to beware of our tendency as human beings to scapegoat people who appear to be different from "us", to project our shadow onto them, and to want them banished from our land.

Remember it was not just Jews, but communists, people with learning difficulties, religious groups who refused to conform to the Nazi state, Freemasons, Slavs, Romanies - and gays.

One of the sickest, most grimly ironic aspects of this whole nightmare is the fact that some gays who had survived the death camps were re-arrested and reimprisoned by the post Nazi government.

Continued persecution
After the camps were liberated and the plight of the Jewish victims acknowledged worldwide, the persecution of homosexuals continued throughout post-war Germany. While many survivors were rebuilding their lives and families initially in displaced persons camps, homosexuals faced further persecution and social exclusion. In fact many pink triangle survivors were re-imprisoned as homosexuals remained deviants in the eyes of post-war society. 

If anyone has doubts about the campaign for homosexual equality, let them remember this.

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