The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals

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Henry Holt and Company, Feb 15, 1988 - History - 257 pages
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The Pink Triangle sheds light on a corner of contemporary history that has long remained in the shadows: the persecution of homosexuals under the Third Reich. The author, himself a refugee from Nazi Germany, begins at the turn of the 20th century when widespread anti-gay prejudice was increasingly challenged in Germany by the rise of a vigorous homosexual emancipation movement. The various popular and scientific beliefs that often defamed and sometimes romanticized the gays are analyzed in depth. The Nazi movement, as it emerged in the 1920s, drew upon a rich tradition of sexual prejudice while adding its own brand of gutter fanaticism. The author records the origins and growth of the virulent homophobia that underlay the Nazi desire to annihilate Germany's homosexuals in order to ensure the "purity" of the Master Race. Street brutalities, as well as legal formalities, are described in detail. Painstaking study is given to the evolution of official Nazi policy toward the homosexuals, including the recurring strategies for their degradation, imprisonment, enslavement, and, finally, extermination. Directed by Himmler and his SS, the war against gays resulted in tens of thousands of arrests and thousands of deaths. How this campaign was conducted--the crackpot fantasies that fueled it, the men who made it possible, and the men who were its victims--is the subject of this book. The Nazi crusade against the gays saw friends, acquaintances--some no more than a name in someone's address book--arrested and shipped to concentration camps. There, forced to wear pink triangles, the accused constituted the lowest rung in the camp hierarchy. The horror of what camp life was like for them is revealed through diaries, documents never before translated from the German, and interviews with and letters from survivors. The Nazi rage against the homosexuals was more than an outburst by the gangsters of Europe; it was the attempted elimination of the polluting stranger, the defiling other.--Adapted from book jacket.

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User Review  - rocketjk - LibraryThing

This is a topic, sad and horrific as it is, that I've always wanted to know more about. As a Jew, I was brought up to know about what happened to Jews in the Holocaust, and I've read extensively on ... Read full review

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User Review  - SoulFlower1981 - LibraryThing

This was one of the harder reads for me over the Holocaust because it had more of a personal twinge to it than the other books that I have read. The book focuses primarily on the plight of homosexual ... Read full review

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Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
Limited preview - 1993
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About the author (1988)

Richard Plant was born in Frankfurt and was a graduate of the University of Basel, where he earned his Ph.D. Since emigrating to the United States in 1938, he has contributed numerous articles to many publications, and teaches at the New School for Social Research in New York City.

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