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Opinion: History often has ignored the Nazis’ persecution of these women


This June, though, we need to take care of not only gays but all members of the LGBTQ family – find stories that can unite us instead of dividing us.

One of the most obvious manifestations of this emphasis on gay men’s experiences. Pink triangle, LGBTQ is a sign of freedom everywhere. The Pink Triangle is famous for pointing to one of the most brutal events in the centuries-long history of gay persecution: the Nazis forced gay men to wear them in concentration camps. In the decades following World War II, the Pink Triangle offered a powerful way for gay activists in Germany and the United States to defend their rights. After all, who will deny the rights of the victims of Nazism?
But the kind of freedom that the Pink Triangle stands for has often been external. Male activists and historians for decades Insisted That homosexuals were not victims of national socialism. They usually point. Reality Although homosexual men were severely punished by Nazi law, homosexuality of women was never explicitly condemned. Similarly, Germans persecuted for gender inequality are often marginalized.
Moreover, these groups were also frequent. Pushed out After the war Gay liberation movements. Homosexuals and trans people often Established Homosexual men have their own organizations after experiencing abuse and transphobia. In the past, the oppression of gay men was a way of focusing on their needs in the present.
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In recent decades, a growing number of activists and historians have traced the neglected history of gay persecution in Nazi Germany. Her work shows that even in the absence of a law criminalizing homosexuality, the Nazi government persecuted gay women because they were gay.

Take, for example Waltrade Hawk, Who was born in 1922 after World War I to a German woman and a professional soldier who was a man of color. Because Hawk was not considered white, and because she was born out of wedlock, she was out of the murderous, ethnic state created by the Nazis in 1933.
After Germany started World War II, Hawk Was assigned Working on a farm as part of a combat effort. She did not enjoy the ordeal and told the farmer for whom she had been assigned the maximum. In return, the farmer advised that he should stay at home. Hawk did so but was soon arrested for negligence and sentenced to three months in prison.
Nazi state, racially homosexualCommunity of peopleIn addition to a formal penal system, the extra-judicial world of concentration camps relied on both. Extreme forms of persecution were encountered. Concluding The killing of 6 million Jews and millions of other victims across Europe.
Once Hawk fell into the Nazi penal system, bureaucrats scrutinized his record, paving the way for him in the camps. These bureaucrats pointed out that he was not white and suggested that he needed to learn the value of work. She became one of the thousands of Germans imprisoned by the Nazi government for not working.Work with shameComplicating matters, the Nazis came to know that he was gay. take notes In an official form, she was a “lesbian.”
Opinion: With LGBTQ + rights at risk, we will not be erased.

In the eyes of fascist authorities, these various actions and identities were proof that Hawke did not belong to the “community of the people.” In her words, she was a victim of “moral turpitude.”

Thus, the Nazis called it a “socialA wide range of persecutions have been created to catch anyone who does not agree with their views. He also recommended that she be transferred to a concentration camp. As soon as his prison term expired, the police sent him to jail. Ravensbrück, The largest women’s concentration camp in Germany. He was later taken away. AuschwitzWhere he was assassinated in March 1943. His identity as a homosexual, a man of color, and a “shy of work” personality was at the root of his persecution.
Hawke was by no means the only homosexual who was persecuted by the Nazis. Some suffered less brutal persecution, such as Keith Abel, who ran a small sanatorium outside Berlin. When he has numerous relationships with other women Came forward In 1942 – he was accused of stalking at least five other women in a small village – Abels was stripped of his membership in the Nazi Party and barred from running his own hospital. The party tribunal investigating her condemned her “unusual sexual behavior”, saying it was “a significant threat to marriage and a woman’s natural temperament for motherhood”.
Other lesbian women were also imprisoned or killed. Historian Claudia Shopman Is written as an example about Problem Margaret Rosenberg and Eli Samula. The two Berlin public transport workers were accused in 1940 of seducing their female colleagues and thus interfering with their ability to function. The two were held as political prisoners in Ravensburg, with “gay” signs next to their names. Samula died there on July 8, 1943, while Rosenberg was liberated by US forces in 1945.
Similarly Heine Sherman And Mary Panjar Were Jewish women imprisoned in Ravensburg in 1940? Once there, the two were examined under the “Autonomy” program, which sent millions of Germans to their deaths, beginning in 1939. Both Sherman and Panjar were selected to supply gas to the nearby Bernberg Sanatorium.
In his note, Manic Commented That everyone was Jewish and gay. About Panjer, he wrote, “Married to a full-fledged Jew. Very active (‘Frisky’) homosexual. Constantly visiting ‘homosexual institutions’ and exchanging love in the establishment.” Such incidents are described by prominent historian Anna Hajkova. ArguesHarassment of lesbian women was often intertwined in nature, the result of overlapping actions and identities.
Even as scholars have begun to tell more of these stories, they remain controversial. Daughter of Holocaust survivor Hájková was taken to court. To prevent it from publishing unsubstantiated claims in 2020 that the surviving woman had an affair with a concentration camp guard. Although the German court ruled that Hájková could continue his work, he He was also fined And using the name of the survivor is prohibited. This case has had a profound effect on the research of LGBTQ victims of the Holocaust.
Yet, it is a history that refuses to be silent. A month ago, a group of activists, historians and mourners Plural To dedicate an orb in the memory of homosexual victims of the Holocaust in Ravensbrück. The monument – and the history it represents – is not only a reminder of the plight of lesbian women, but also of the fact that the oppression of the bizarre by the Nazis was not clearly shared. Was It was part and parcel of the intertwining system of anti-Semitism, bigotry, racism, homophobia and transphobia, which gripped millions of victims.

In this Pride Month, we must remember the history of persecution, as well as the injustices that LGBTQ people face around the world – and here at home.



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