August 8, 1942 (a Saturday)

Rudolf Brazda, photo taken at Mulhouse, late 1940 (Private Collection)

On this date, following two convictions for violating section 175 of the former German Criminal Code, Rudolf Brazda was sent to the Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald. The bureaucracy of the horror of the degradation is listed matter-of-factly in the original documents from the Buchenwald concentration camp:

Registered on 8 August 1942, Paragraph 175 homosexual, prisoner number 7952, pink triangle.

Brazda was probably the last surviving “Pink Triangle”, men who were rounded up by the Nazis and detained in concentration camps for being gay. The Nazis outlawed homosexuality in 1936 and it is estimated that they sent between 5,000 and 15,000 gays to concentration camps. After the end of World War II, Brazda setted in Alsace in northeastern France. He started visiting local gay cruising grounds, notably the Steinbach public garden where ironically Pierre Seel, another homosexual deportee who later came out, had been identified by the French police shortly before the outbreak of World War II. Brazda, like Seel and thousands of others, had to remain silent for decades after World War II ended because homosexuality remained a crime (it was decriminalized in France only in 1982). He spoke out in this interview:
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Rudolf Brazda died on August 3, 2011.

Suggested reading/watching:

  • Bent, the 1997 movie made from Martin Sherman’s 1979 play of the same name
  • Epstein and Friedman, Paragraph 175
  • Richard Plant, The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals (Holt, 1988)
  • Pierre Seel, Moi, Pierre Seel, déporté homosexuel [I, Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual] (Paris: Calmann-Levy, 1994)
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2 responses to “August 8, 1942 (a Saturday)

  1. I’m trying to get some photos of Brazda for a book we are publishing called, The Pink Triangle. Do you know who owns the copyright of these images? Can you put me in touch?

    Jenny Watson
    Second Story Press
    production@secondstorypress.ca

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