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Last Known Gay Holocaust Survivor Dies at 98

Last Known Gay Holocaust Survivor Dies at 98
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Rudolf Brazda, the last known survivor to be interned in a German concentration camp for being gay, has died aged 98.

Philippe Couillet, a friend of the deceased, is quoted by the AFP as saying that Brazda “passed on peacefully in his sleep at dawn on August 3″ in a hospital for the elderly in Bantzenheim, eastern France.

Rudolf Brazda was born to Czech parents in June 26 1913, the youngest of eight children, in Brossen in the central German state of Thuringia.

Even though homosexuality was technically illegal in Weimar Germany under Paragraph 175 of the German Criminal Code, Brazda lived a relatively open life prior to Hitler coming to power and even cohabited with his then partner, a man named Werner, whom he’d met aged 20 at a dance in Leipzig.

Brazda would later recount that, so tolerant was the culture of the time, he and Werner held a marriage ceremony with Brazda’s mother and siblings present. Their relationship, however, would be torn apart by the looming war when Werner was enlisted for military service. He would later die while still on active duty in 1940.

Germany’s tolerance was also quickly mutilated when the Nazis took power and began enforcing the country’s anti-gay laws. These laws were later expanded upon them to make homosexuality a felony. In a short space of time homosexuals in the country went from being able to live their lives relatively out in the open to, like so many others, being actively hunted.

NEXT PAGE: Arrested, deported and then interned.

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Gilles Couteau.

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71 comments

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5:36AM PDT on Aug 26, 2011

Thanks for the story.

10:29AM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

Thanks for sharing this well-rounded view of this man's accounts. Undoubtedly, there were a lot of bad SS soldiers, but there were also a few decent ones who sometimes showed their humanity.

3:47PM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

Thanks for the article!
Also, everyone should see the movies: "Aimée and Jaguar" and "Love Story: Berlin 1942", I saw the latter a few years back and it made a great impact on me and I have never forgotten the closing picture.

1:28AM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

He outlived so may under those conditions and lived to talk about it. R.I.P.

5:31PM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

amazing story and a beautiful example within of what a strong relationship built on love can do, also....thanks for sharing...may he rest peacefully....

2:19PM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

wonderful, amazing man---I am e mailing this to my gay son and his partner as well as other gay friends. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

2:08AM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

thanks

2:48PM PDT on Aug 8, 2011

Thanks for the article

1:01PM PDT on Aug 8, 2011

Shalom Mr. Brazda RIP

12:53PM PDT on Aug 8, 2011

Great story - thanks for bringing it to light.

And since Care2 apparently won't let me defend myself against Tom M. (removed my earlier post): I'm not an Islamophobe, I'm an IDIOTophobe. Meaning, I am tired of these backwards fools who immigrate to welcoming, tolerant countries (Denmark) then turn around and piss on their tolerant culture by posting a rubbish comment like "hate gays."

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