Today is Holocaust Memorial Day, and it’s being marked in Nottingham with a large number of stalls and activities in Market Square. As part of that, councillors were asked if they’d like to make readings, and I volunteered.
I spent last night googling for some suitable text that talked about gay victims of holocaust – like maybe an extract from “Bent” or something similar, but in the end plumped for this text from the Holocaust Teacher Resource Center. I abridged it slightly.
It was certainly contained information I didn’t know before. The scariest part were these facts, that came towards the end of the reading:
After the war, homosexual concentration camp prisoners were not acknowledged as victims of Nazi persecution, and reparations were refused. Under the Allied Military Government of Germany, some homosexuals were forced to serve out their terms of imprisonment, regardless of the time spent in concentration camps. The 1935 version of Paragraph 175 remained in effect in the Federal Republic (West Germany) until 1969, so that well after liberation, homosexuals continued to fear arrest and incarceration.
(Paragraph 175 was a Nazi law that banned lewd and lascivious behaviour between men)
On the way home, I bumped into a Labour team out canvassing the ward I live in (which is a Lab/Con marginal.) This lot are a nice bunch of people, effective councillors, and we had a nice chat that stopped them working for several minutes!