Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Last gay Holocaust survivor celebrated in book, documentary

Via queer.de and Têtu

A new book published by Routledge documents the life of 97 year-old Rudolf Brazda, the last known gay survivor of the 3rd Reich deported for homosexuality, and, says its author, it will also soon be a documentary.

Brazda spent nearly three years at the Buchenwald concentration camp. His prisoner uniform was branded with the distinctive pink triangle.

The new book 'Das Glück kam immer zu mir' ("Happiness always came to me," which is sort of the motto of Rudolf Brazda, he believes he survived through unbroken humor and optimism) is by the sociologist Alexander Zinn.

Berlin openly gay Mayor Klaus Wowereit says in his preface: "His life almost novelistic, as this book recounts, is an example of persecution of homosexuals have been, as the successful struggle for a free and happy life,"

Says Zinn: "Brazda's history differs markedly from that of the majority of homosexuals persecuted under the 3rd Reich - because he survived. The majority of the 'pink triangles' died in the camps." He has filmed his research and interviews, as well as Brazda's shattering return to Buchenwald. These sequences should give rise to a new documentary, which he hopes should come out this year.

Années 1950: en compagnie d'Edi (à gauche) sur les marches du Temple Saint-Étienne à Mulhouse
Brazda has lived in Alsace, France since his release from Buchenwald. There he lived with partner Edi for fifty years until Edi's death in 2003. It was only in 2008 that his story first came to light. He was conspicuously absent from the launch of his biography this week in Berlin. Says Zinn: "After a heavy fall last week, he should be back up next week."

In spite of his old age, and health permitting, Brazda is determined to continue speaking out about his past, in the hope that younger generations remain vigilant in the face of present days behaviour and thought currents similar to those which led to the persecutions endured by homosexuals during the Nazi era.

> Google translation of the chapter 'Detention Leipzig'
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  1. Please find an exclusive video interview of Rudolf Brazda on Yagg: http://tv.yagg.com/2010/09/23/triangles-roses-le-dernier-survivant-connu-de-la-deportation-homosexuelle-temoigne/

  2. This part of history must never, never fade and always be remembered!


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