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Saturday, November 1, 2008

The part that really struck me in my first entry... the words of this young lady, "too many." How can there be "too many" of any of us? Too many what? Gays, Jews, Jehovah Witnesses, triangles. Too many triangles.

Mr. Stickney and I are beginning to become immersed in the project little by little. I was reading about the Holocaust today. I can only stomach bits at a time--a normal human response I suppose. I have, like most people, been under the impression that this was primarily about Jews. I was misinformed. I think most people nowadays are.
There is something, as a human, to identifying with another who has been through similar circumstances. Pain is pain is pain.

I recently read this:
The pink triangle (German: das rosa Triangel) was one of the concentration camp badges, used by the Nazis, to identify male prisoners in concentration camps who were sent there because of their homosexuality. Prior to World War II, pink was historically a male color, as an offshoot of red, and pink was chosen not because it meant the wearer was feminine, but because they liked other men. Every prisoner had to wear a triangle on his or her jacket. The color was to categorize him or her according "to his kind." Jews had to wear the yellow badge (in addition to any other badge representing other reasons for incarceration), and "anti-social individuals" (which included vagrants and "work shy" individuals) the black triangle. There hasn't been any evidence for the persecution of lesbians under the "black triangle." Only one lesbian (Mary Pünjer) was mentioned in the Ravensbruck archives as being stigmatised with a black triangle, but the reason for her persecution was her Jewish heritage.

Between 5,000 and 15,000 homosexuals of German nationality are estimated to have been sent to concentration camps. After the camps were liberated at the end of the Second World War, many of the pink triangle prisoners were simply re-imprisoned by the Ally-established Federal Republic of Germany. An openly gay man named Heinz Dörmer, for instance, served 20 years in total- in a Nazi concentration camp and then in the jails of the new Republic. In fact, the Nazi laws, which turned homosexuality from a minor offence into a felony, remained intact after the war for a further 24 years. While suits seeking monetary compensation have failed, in 2002 the German government issued an official apology to the gay community.
Why bring this up now... we will get to that!


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