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New Comic Book Examines Gays’ Fate in Nazi Europe

New Comic Book Examines Gays’ Fate in Nazi Europe

French graphic artists Michel Dufranne and Milorad Vicanovic-Maza with Christian Lerolle have produced the first comic book about the gay experience of the Holocaust.

It tells the story of “discreet, cheerful and romantic” designer and advertising art teacher, Andreas from the early 1930s in Berlin.

Life then is OK if you are gay – but the “brown plague” gradually invades the streets, and the city’s institutions. Laws are enacted. Andreas experiences violence. He is sent to prison, then a concentration camp.

Surviving the abuse, post-war does not bring more rest. Taken prisoner again, a new fight begins for his rehabilitation. This fight, which seems lost in advance, will be won by betraying his identity. Like many other gays, he disguises his history, saying he was a “red triangle” (political prisoner). He marries a lesbian and together they raise the child she was forced to have with a Nazi officer.

The pink triangle (‘Triangle rose’) was the symbol in the Nazi concentration camps used to mark gay men. The deportation of homosexuals by the Nazis was part of a logic of repression of “undesirables” (antisocial, criminal, etc.).

The memory of the deportation of homosexuals is fairly recent. On 25 September 2010, a plaque in memory of “victims of Nazi barbarism, deported on grounds of homosexuality” was placed in the Struthof camp (Alsace). Elsewhere, plaques and monuments recall the deportation of homosexuals by the Nazis. These include ones in the cities of Amsterdam, Berlin, Bologna, The Hague, Frankfurt, Cologne, Anchorage, Sydney, San Francisco and Montevideo.

The last known survivor of the deportations was Rudolf Brazda, who was sent to Buchenwald for almost three years. He died this year at the age of 98 years.

The anti-gay Paragraph 175 law was finally amended in West Germany in 1969, and homosexuality ceased to be a reason for imprisonment, it was finally repealed in 1994 in the reunited Germany. The authors note that the French Article 331 of the Penal Code in the Vichy regime was only deleted in 1982.

In Germany a foundation dedicated to research in the memory of gay people persecuted under the Nazis during the Holocaust has been awarded more than $20 million.

The establishment of the Magnus Hirschfeld National Foundation, named after the late founder of the former Institute for Sexual Research, by the Department of Finance, comes after more than three decades of lobbying by volunteers of the Magnus Hirschfeld Society.

Hirschfeld was an openly gay Jewish sexologist driven from Germany with his work burned when the Nazis came to power.

“The foundation comes far too late to compensate the GLBT survivors of the Nazi period, but it will help the research to commemorate their names and fates,” Ralf Dose, founder of the Hirschfeld society, told Bay Area Reporter. The establishment of the foundation comes a decade after the first bill regarding its establishment passed the Bundestag in 2001.

Some of the few remaining original works of Hirschfeld will be on display in an exhibit at the Schwules Museum, Berlin, from December 6 through the end of March.

Related stories:

Gay Activists Are “The Gaystapo,” Says Church of England Newspaper

10 Worst Myths About LGBT People

Last Known Gay Holocaust Survivor Dies at 98

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Cover of 'Triangle rose'

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47 comments

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5:40AM PDT on Apr 17, 2014

Your blogs stuff is purely enough for me personally.
comics chronology

8:29AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

thanks for the info

8:02AM PST on Nov 20, 2011

Thanks for the post.

4:44PM PST on Nov 19, 2011

Stephanie K This has nothing to do with being German. You are correct that not all Germans were Nazis and that many people did bad things because they had no choice. You are also correct that many horrible things have been done to people in and by other countries and during various time periods.

The point is instead to honor victims of violence and hatred. The other point is that we should be vigilant in preventing /stopping evil in its early stages before it gets to that point. "the only thing needed for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing" (don't remember who said it)

4:32PM PST on Nov 19, 2011

Very interesting. It seems odd to me that a comic book will be the forum for such a serious subject!! The Nazi movement brought horror and terror to many people. What a tragic period of history. We must all be on guard to speak out for the freedom and basic human rights of others whenever they are violated. God bless all survivors of torture, wrongful imprisonment, and other abuses. God bless all who stand up for what is right.

2:25PM PST on Nov 18, 2011

Never forget!

Nie wieder krieg!

7:28AM PST on Nov 17, 2011

After you sign a petiton above, others petitions are then presented for you to sign;

BEWARE OF THE PETITIONS YOU SIGN WITHOUT READING THEM. THERE'S A PETITION ABOVE FROM "CREATIVE AMERICA". IF YOU READ IT CAREFULLY THEY ARE ACTULLY TRYING TO TAKE YOUR INTERNET FREEDOM AWAY. DON'T BE FOOLED BY THE LINE "PROTECT WORKERS" IN THE TITLE!!!!!

They have stooped to a NEW low posting a petition like that on this website. They would like to control What you see and where you go on the INTERNET.

1:43PM PST on Nov 16, 2011

And this is why it baffles me to no end why far-right activists like Bryan Fisher, Scott Lively, et al. claim that many involved in Naziism were homosexuals...why would Hitler allow people he clearly had a great hatred for to serve under him?

12:33PM PST on Nov 16, 2011

Thank you for the article

10:05AM PST on Nov 16, 2011

Thanks for sharing.

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