INFOTRUE Educational Experiences, by Rick Landman
Home | About | Tours | Shows | Speaking Engagements | Articles | History | BLOG | Contact

International Association of Lesbian and Gay Children of Holocaust Survivors
12 Lessons I Learned from the Holocaust


      LAST SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT: June 7, 2008 at 2 pm.
      TOPIC: Persecution of the Homosexual Community during the Nazi era--- a historical look through a personal family lens.
      At the New York City Public Library - International Resource Center
      Flushing Library, 41-17 Main Street, 3rd Floor, Flushing NY 11355
      Near the Number 7 subway line to the Flushing stop.


175 SALON.COM review of PARAGRAPH 175 by Michael Sragow and an interview with the Directors/Producers, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman.
PARAGRAPH 175: A Public Forum Sunday, September 24 5:00 to 7:00 pm
HERE Performance Space 145 Sixth Avenue (corner Broome), NYC This event is free and open to the public.
There will be a small reception at 4:30 pm. Info: 212.633.4281 Presented by Amnesty OUTfront and Telling Pictures/Reflective Image

New York City Still Refuses to place a marker in the City Owned Holocaust Memorial Park at Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn, for the homosexual or disabled victims of the Nazi Era.


HOMOSEXUAL MEMORIAL
New York's Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, the world's largest lesbian and gay synagogue had a competition to find the most appropriate piece of artwork to commemorate the Nazi persecution of homosexuals during the Third Reich. The winning submission was created by Noreen Dean Dresser. When the synagogue completes its renovation, it will be hung in the sanctuary for all to view.


The submission which was chosen to be the Memorial was by Noreen Dean Dresser. It consists of a piece of art which is (40" x 60") on a long rectangular canvas of museum quality. "Shows the transformation of the badge system of triangles to reveal the multi-meanings. Taking the yellow badge for Jews and the pink badge for Homosexuals, they are intertwined into an atmospheric skyscape. A bright pink line edges the triangle that pierces the blue night bottom half of the artwork. This triangular atmospheric sky pulls the space from the temporal to suggested eternal light. Meanwhile, the blue field below holds the specific temporal pine box as open grave. The piece used pipe with hair, railroad tie, earth from Jerusalem, Auschwitz and Sachenhausen, injection needle, coal and stones. A uniform scrap with number and pink badge wraps around the RR nail. A sky of darkness and rain is at the bottom of a grave opening."


ARTWORK FROM MEMBERS

Click here to see artwork by our members




UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM'S GAY AND LESBIAN CAMPAIGN PASSES $1 MILLION MARK

In its first year, the Museum's fund-raising campaign in the gay and lesbian community has raised more than one million dollars to establish an endowment for the study of what happened to homosexuals during the Holocaust. The Rath Foundation of Janesvilles, Wisconsin has now offered to match the next $400,000 in donations. To donate please write to the USHMM, Gay and Lesbian Campaign, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW, Washington DC 20024-2150 or call (202) 488-6165.




Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 This is taken from www.cnn.com

Gay Holocaust Victims to Be Honored in First Official Ceremony



BERLIN (AP) -- Holocaust memorial day services at the former Sachsenhausen concentration camp will remember homosexual victims of the Nazis, the first official commemoration of the estimated 10,000 gays persecuted during World War II.

Wednesday's program, which includes a wreath-laying ceremony and lectures, is designed to honor a group organizers say has long been overlooked because of prejudice against homosexuals.

"There were different groups of victims, but all were victims and all should be commemorated in the same way. There should be no discrimination between groups of Nazi victims," said Horst Seferens, spokesman for the memorial at the former Sachsenhausen camp.

Sachsenhausen had about 1,000 homosexual inmates, more than other concentration camps because of its proximity to Berlin, which had a thriving gay culture in the 1920s, Seferens said. By the 1930s, the slightest glance or kiss between men was enough to warrant incarceration in a Nazi camp.

Identified by pink triangles on their uniforms, gay prisoners were isolated in separate housing and subjected to particularly hard labor. Many were forced to toil in the Nazi's brick making factory at the camp under the slogan "hard work will make you masculine."

Occasionally, Nazi camp officials allowed gay musicians to perform for other prisoners, Seferens said, one reason that Thursday's ceremonies will include a concert by a Berlin gay men's choir.

Less is known about gays than other Nazi victims, in part because the continuing stigma against homosexuals makes gay concentration camp survivors reluctant to speak publicly about their experiences, said Seferens. "They don't attend these memorials, and I doubt they ever will," he said. The harsh Nazi law criminalizing homosexuality remained on the books in Germany long after the war.

Since the institution of Holocaust Memorial day three years ago, Sachsenhausen has planned programs honoring the so-called "forgotten" victims of the Nazis. Last year's theme was Jehovah's Witnesses.

Members of Berlin's gay community welcomed the program as a first step toward homosexuals receiving the same acknowledgment as other victims -- including financial compensation given to Jews and others.

Under pressure to compensate World War II slave laborers, Germany's new center-left government vowed in October also to set up a fund for the "forgotten victims" -- including gays.

> ------------------------ gayjews@shamash.org -----------------------+ > Hosted by Shamash: The Jewish Internet Consortium http://shamash.org > ------------------------ gayjews@shamash.org -----------------------=



RICHARD PLANT DIES


Richard Plant, the author of "The Pink Triangle" died on March 2, 1998 at the age of 87. His book, which covered the experience of homosexuals during the Third Reich was one of the earliest to bring attention to the issue.


The international hunt for Danish Nazi doctor Carl Peter Vaernet is over.
If you want more information about this story, please go to the website for OUTRAGE at http://www.OutRage.cygnet.co.uk/vaerDenm.htm

The well-known gay activist and news-stuntman Peter Tatchell of OutRage! in England has written letters to the Danish PM Nyrup Rasmussen and Argentinian PM Carlos Menem about the fate of Vaernet.

IHWO has now found a relative in Argentina, the grandson of Carl Vaernet, who has told that both his father and grandfather are dead, and that allthough the gruesome past of Vaernet has been a complete shock for him, he will graceously find details and the cemetary of Vaernet.

Now the fate of the most notorious KZ doctor experimenting on gays is known, the question remains about who helped him flee to Argentine in 1947 and what has been undertaken by the government (and the press) in the last 50 years to get the Danish Mengele home for a war-criminal trial?



CONTROVERSY IN GERMANY... Can Reform Judaism Make a Come-Back or will the Orthodox branch of Judaism be the only option for today's Jews?


While the issue of plurality is being discussed in Israel, the same concept is being overlooked in Germany. It is interesting to note, that for hundreds of years before Hitler, Germany was the home and birthplace of Reform Judaism. After the war, most of the Jews who settled in Germany (many coming directly from Concentration Camps or Displaced People Camps) were Orthodox. Today, many of the new Jewish immigrants from Russia and Eastern Europe are secular. This leaves a rather complex community which is complicated by the fact that Germany is one of the few countries with a religious tax. All people must give 9% of their income to their official religious affiliation. The government has approved Catholics, Protestants and Jews (no Muslims or Jehovah Witnesses or Scientologists)as the only official religions, and leaves the way the money is spent up to the local communities.

So the Jews get taxed and the money goes to the Orthodox community, because there is no Reform or Conservative Movement in Germany. They are trying to build one, but no funds are available. Can you imagine trying to build a congregation, while having to give 9% of your income to a synagogue that you do not belong to? The struggle is just beginning, but support must be given to help all Jews in Germany be able to practice their Judaism as they want. It is ironic that the birthplace of the Reform Movement, must now fight to even be acknowledged. For further information, please feel free to email me.


DANA INTERNATIONAL - Israel's First Transexual to Represent Israel in European Song Contest


There is much controversey about whether Dana International will be able to represent Israel even though she won the country's contest. Pressure from the Religious Right-Wing is already mounting. For further information about this click below:
Click on this to read more about Dana International

The Movie BENT...Was Released


The Movie BENT is now out at theaters across the country. A "must see" for anyone interested in the topic of homosexual persecution during the Third Reich. It is similar to the Broadway production, just much more realistic. It is a tough movie to watch because it does such a good job at portraying the era of the early Nazi period before Kristallnacht.
If you want to know more about this movie, just click on the word below to jump to the MGM webpage for:

BENT





HOLOCAUST MUSEUM CONTROVERSY IN NEW YORK CITY


chart



The new museum in Battery Park City called the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is now being sued by 18 rabbis and 2 Roman Catholics. They are trying to prevent the opening from occuring. They are upset that some exhibits include that there were homosexual victims. This chart and along with a time line is what the complainants are upset about. It was reported in Jewish Week that "David Zweibel, general counsel for Agudath Israel of America called the lawsuit's claims somewhere between baffling and highly offensive, and said it does not reflect the consensus of the Orthodox community." We have sent a letter of support and I gave an interview to the National Public Radio station on this topic. Rabbi Yehudah Levin has a problem in commemorating the value of people who "misbehaved" in bed, as he put it, along with the people who died in the name of G-d. The magazine "The Advocate" has devoted a feature article to this issue called "The Triangle is Taken Out of the Star". It is in the December 1997 issue... Or read it yourself...








GAY HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS TO GET SWISS MONEY

SUMMARY: Gay holocaust survivors are eligible to receive assistance from a Swiss fund for Holocaust victims - particularly those Gays for whom the end of World War II didn't put an end to their persecution. The Government of Switzerland has created a Fund with the aim of giving financial assistance to victims of Nazi persecution. There will be made no distinction between different groups of victims, i.e. Jews, Homosexuals, Roma and Sinti. The Fund is aimed at giving assistance to needy persons who have been persecuted on grounds of race, religion, political opinion or others or who have in other ways become victims of the Nazi Holocaust. The very general criteria so far fixed are: Persons who have not yet received any effective material assistance, who are of old age, and who are double victims (i.e. who have suffered oppression even after World War II), and who live in most precarious material conditions. The Swiss Government fund will move quickly to make its first disbursement to assist victims of the Nazi Holocaust, including those interned for being gay. The Fund's chairman Dr. Rolf Bloch announced July 7 that the executive board voted at its first meeting to immediately give 17 million Swiss francs ($11.6 million US) - 10% of its original capital - to the neediest victims. While most of the funds will go toJewish survivors, 2 million francs will go to gays and other victimized groups. The capital for the memorial Fund was donated by Swiss banks and businesses in the wake of reports that they had profited from Nazi looting and from holding the funds of Nazi victims. Although the Swiss have used the phrase "double victims" to refer to Eastern European survivors who missed out on compensation received by many of their Western counterparts after the war and who suffered oppression even after World War II, 'gay' Holocaust survivors were literally double victims in that they were still considered criminals in post-war Germany as well as in other countries. As a result, most gay survivors of concentration camps and other forms of persecution (imprisonment, forced castration, transfer to a delinquent bataillion like the vicious "Strafbataillon Dirlewanger") - and a significantly smaller percentage of gays did survive compared to other groups, it is believed - tried to hide their sexual orientation to avoid imprisonment after their liberation. Only half a dozen have publicly identified themselves even now. Nonetheless, the Berne-based National Gay League of Switzerland Pink Cross has been actively lobbying for gay, bisexual, lesbian, and transgendered Holocaust victims and their relatives to obtain their fair share of Swiss assistance. While estimates of how many gay men died in Nazi concentration camps range as high as one million, a more generally accepted figure among scholars is 10,000 to 15,000 gays. (The stringent anti-gay laws were targeted at men; those lesbians who were incarcerated were more likely to fall under the general label "social deviant.") Requests for disbursments should be submitted to the Fund not by individuals but by organizations defending the interests of victims. If necessary, requests emanating from individuals could be submitted to the Fund through Pink Cross - National Gay League of Switzerland. The contact person is Beat Wagner (former Chairman of Pink Cross - National Gay League of Switzerland and Member of the Advisory Board to the Swiss Fund for Victims of the Holocaust). You may contact Beat Wager by e-mail: bwagner@sgtagblatt.ch tel. (+41) 1 262 41 84 (home) (+41) 71 27 27 519 (office) fax (+41) 71 27 27 476 (office) The Fund's address is: Fund for Victims of the Holocaust c/o Federal Department of Finance CH - 3003 Berne, Switzerland

According to the AUFBAU, America's Only German-Jewish Newspaper at 2121 Broadway, NY. NY. 10023 in an article entitled, "Swiss Fund Authorized to Pay Holocaust Survivors Very Soon" (October 10, 1997 page 11)..."Between ten and twelve percent of the fund will be set aside to help non-Jewish victims of the war, such as Gypsies and homosexuals." The articles starts with "The World Jewish Restitution Organization has authorized the first payment of $12 million from Switzerland's Holocaust Memorial Fund, paving the way for Eastern European Holocaust survivors to begin receiving restitution as early as this month."


ggj
. . . . .
OTHER
WEBPAGES
OF INTEREST
Inclusive Kristallnacht
Homosexuals and the Third Reich 1
Homosexuals and the Nazi Era 2
Jewish Christian Relations in New York
Jewish Christian Relations in New York
Landman Family Stories
Kristallnacht
Torah Returns to Munich
Oettinger Family
. . . . .
Publishing Book
German Tour
#1 Nice Jewish Boy turns German #2 Gay and Proud #3 Lesson of the Holocaust
. . . . .
INFOTRUE Educational Experiences, by Rick Landman
Home | About | Tours | Shows | Speaking Engagements | Articles | History | BLOG | Contact