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International Association of Lesbian and Gay Children of Holocaust Survivors

In order to remember and honor those who started the Homosexual Rights Movement over 100 years ago in Europe, we are calling upon gay and lesbian organizations to study and commemorate the movement which was terminated by the Nazis. Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, not only started an Institute to study sexuality in 1897, but petitioned the Weimar Republic's Reichstag to repeal Paragraph 175, their "Sodomy Laws". This was almost accomplished in 1933, when Hitler came to power, and as one of his first acts, he closed homosexual bars, and meeting places and in May 1933 the Nazis vandalized the Institute and threw the contents into the famous book burnings in Berlin.

A short award winning documentary made by Natasha Pagel-Aprill,
about Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, featuring Rick Landman and Robert Beachy.

The following book gives an excellent rendition of Germany's early LGBT Movement and history.
Gay Berlin by Robert Beachy

There have been so many inquiries about the Life of Magnus Hirschfeld, that I included various links to sites about his life and gay/lesbian history. For more information, click below (and use your "BACK" button to return to this site).


From: Rex Wockner >Subject: WOCKNER/INT'L NEWS #229

A planned sidewalk at the future chancellor's office in Berlin will be named after sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, believed by many to be the world's first gay activist.

In 1897, Hirschfeld founded Berlin's Scientific-Humanitarian Committee. According to historian David Bianco, the group lobbied legislators, published journals and magazines, and counseled gays and lesbians dealing with issues of discrimination and coming out. The committee was smashed by the Nazis when they came to power and Hirschfeld's 35 years of work was burned.

To mark the 75th Anniversary of the May 10, 1933 destruction of Dr. Hirschfeld's Institute, Berlin named a section of the Spree River after him.


This section will start to list names of people who were killed or committed suicide due to their sexuality. It is very sketchy at this point, but I hope that another groups (such as the Anti-Violence Project) will make an entire website on honoring those who were killed due to their sexuality or gender. This is an attempt to show why such a list is needed.
Try at Or you can click here and then use the "BACK" key to return to this website.

Click to see the another website keeping a more detailed list of names.

  • Allen Schindler, the gay sailor murdered in a men's room by his shipmates

  • Matthew Shepard - (age 21) 1998 Wyoming, was beaten to death.

  • Harvey Milk - San Francisco, 1979, was shot at City Hall.
  • Brandon Teena

  • Alan Turing - comitted suicide after being exposed as being gay. He was considered an early pioneer in the computer field.

  • Josh Belluardo (age 13)who was called a faggot by his murderer who also said, "gay people deserve to die" when he beat Josh to death (Canton Georgia 1998).

  • "Marsha P. Johnson" whose body in 1992 was found near the Christopher Street pier in NYC.

  • Donald Scott Fuller (a/k/a Lauryn Page)was stabbed to death in Austin Texas on January 8, 1999. He was 18 years old and often wore make-up and dressed as a woman. The police have not yet decided if this was a hate crime.

  • Billy Jack Gaither who was beaten to death and then set on fire on February 19, 1999 in Coosa County, Alabama.

  • Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn New York.
    Sheepshead Bay Holocaust Memorial Park


    Sheepshead Bay Holocaust Memorial Park Sheepshead Bay Holocaust Memorial Park Sheepshead Bay Holocaust Memorial Park

  • Boston, Mass.
  • Cologne, Germany ("Totgeschlagen-Totgeschweigen")
  • Hamburg, Germany (Neumgamme Concentration Camp)
  • Frankfort, Germany
  • Matthausen, Austria (was the first monument)
  • Dachau, Germany
  • Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Nollendorf Train Station, Berlin, Germany

  • New York City, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah [CBST], the world's largest gay and lesbian synagogue, has chosen a work of art by the artist Noreen Dean Dresser. Unveiling of memorial was in May 1999. A picture of this memorial is shown earlier on this webpage.
  • Bolgnia
  • Anchorage, Alaska: (It is not necessarily just for gays killed during the Holocaust... but I thought it of interest to include)There is a gay memorial monument in the US. It is located in the Municipal Cemetery (corner of E. 6th Avenue & Fairbanks Street) in Anchorage, Alaska > and was dedicated on May 23, 1999. The monument is made of gray granite with a pink granite triangle inset into the upper-left corner. The inscription reads: "Your Spirit Lives on, in Love, Peace and Pride". The monument was given to the Anchorage gay community through the love and generosity of Dan Cook AKA Empress XVIII Cherresse, H.I.M. Peggy Murphy, and Emperor VII.
  • tel Tel Aviv, Israel. In addition to an exhibit at Yad V'Shem in Jerusalem, a monument honoring the homosexual men and women who were persecuted due to their sexual orientation and perished during the Holocaust is to be established in Meir Garden in Tel Aviv, according to Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.

Click Here to see other Memorials to the Homosexual Persecution During the Holocaust

Los Angeles Times, Page 1 Column One: January 19, 1999 Article

The LA Times covered a story about how the Disabled Rights Advocates are also trying to have the story of what happened to the disabled community included in Holocaust Memorials and Museums. The person got the idea from hearing a NPR radio show over the controversy of including what happened to the homosexual community during the Nazi Era in the "Museum of Jewish Heritage - A living Tribute to the Holocaust" in Battery Park City, New York, NY. The article specifically mentions our Association and our endeavors to tell the entire history of the Holocaust.

There are also several museums that contain exhibits that mention what happened to the homosexual community during the Naz Era. This list is also in formation:
  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Washington D.C.
  • Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Tribute to the Holocaust - New York City
  • Schwules Museum - Germany
  • Sachenhausen
  • Museum of Tolerance - Los Angeles
  • Yad V'shem in Jerusalem, Israel
  • Jewish Museum - Holland (has a gay exhibit)
  • Imperial War Museum - planned for 2000

    Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 This is taken from

    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.


    If you want to watch an excellent short documentary by From Yesterday For Tomorrow,
    a Scottish non-profit, on Nazi Persecution of the Homosexuals: click below:

    1. Magnus Hirschfeld – (May 14, 1868 - May 14, 1935) - In 1897, Hirschfeld founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee. The group aimed to undertake research to defend the rights of homosexuals and to repeal Paragraph 175, the section of the German penal code that since 1871 had criminalized homosexuality. The bill was brought before the Reichstag in 1898, but was only supported by a minority from the Social Democratic Party of Germany. The bill continued to come before parliament, and eventually began to make progress in the 1920s before the takeover of the Nazi party obliterated any hopes for reform. When the Nazis took power they destroyed the Institut and burned down the library on May 6, 1933. The press-library pictures and archival newsreel film of Nazi book-burnings seen today are usually pictures of Hirschfeld's library ablaze. At the time of the book burning, Hirschfeld was away from Germany on a world speaking tour. Hirschfeld never returned to Germany. He died of a heart attack on his 67th birthday in 1935 in Nice, where he is buried.

    2. The Beer Hall Putsch was a failed coup d'état that occurred on November 9, 1923, when the Nazi party's leader Adolf Hitler, the popular World War I General Erich Ludendorff, and other leaders of the Kampfbund, unsuccessfully tried to gain power in Munich, Bavaria, and Germany.

    3. On the morning of January 30, 1933, in Hindenburg's office, Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor.

    4. Elections were scheduled for early March, but on February 27, 1933, the Reichstag building was set on fire. The Reichstag Fire Decree of 28 February which suspended basic rights, including habeas corpus and made Hitler the Fuehrer.

    5. Opening of Dachau Concentration Camp in March 1933.

    6. Closing of the Eldorado homosexual club in Berlin on March 5, 1933.

    7. Berlin Book Burning Bonfires – May 10, 1933 including Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Sciences records after it was closed on May 6, 1933.

    8. In 1934, a special Gestapo (Secret State Police) division on homosexuals was set up. One of its first acts was to order the police "pink lists" from all over Germany The police had been compiling these lists of suspected homosexual men since 1900.

    9. The forced sterilizations of the disabled population began in January 1934, and altogether an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 people were sterilized under the law.

    10. The Night of the Long Knives (German: Nacht der langen Messer or "Operation Hummingbird") was a purge that took place in Nazi Germany between June 30 and July 2, 1934, when the Nazi regime executed at least 85 people for political reasons. Most of those killed were members of the "Storm Troopers" (SA) (German: Sturmabteilung), a Nazi paramilitary organization. Adolf Hitler moved against the SA and its leader, Ernst Röhm, who was a known homosexual. Hitler named Victor Lutze to replace Röhm as head of the SA. Hitler ordered him to put an end to "homosexuality, debauchery, drunkenness, and high living" in the SA.

    12. On September 1, 1935, a harsher, amended, and broadened version of § 175 of the Criminal Code, originally framed in 1871, to close what were seen as loopholes in the current law, went into effect, punishing a broad range of "lewd and lascivious" behavior between men. A law was passed requiring the sterilization of all homosexuals, schizophrenics, epileptics, drug addicts, hysterics, and those born blind or malformed. By 1935, 56,000 people were thus "treated." In actual practice, the homosexuals were literally castrated rather than sterilized. In 1935 all local police departments were required to submit to the Gestapo lists of suspected homosexuals; shortly there were 20,000 names on the index. The campaign against homosexuality was escalated by the introduction of the "Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour." Until 1935, the only punishable offence had been anal intercourse; under the new § 175a, ten possible "acts" were punishable, including a kiss, an embrace, even homosexual fantasies! One man, for instance, was successfully prosecuted on the grounds that he had observed a couple making love in a park and watched only the man.

    13. Nurnberg Laws- Protect the Sanctity of Marriage - September 15, 1935

    14. On October 26, 1936, Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler created a Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion: a sub-department of the Gestapo. The linking of homosexuality and abortion reflected the Nazi regimes population policies to promote a higher birthrate of its "Aryan" population. On this subject Himmler spoke in Bad Tölz on February 18, 1937, before a group of high-ranking SS officers on the dangers both homosexuality and abortion posed to the German birthrate.

    15. Sachsenhausen opened in 1936. More homosexuals were interned for the new Paragraph 175 expansion and sent to camps like Sachsenhausen.

    16. Under the revised Paragraph 175 and the creation of Special Office II S, the number of prosecutions increased sharply, peaking in the years 1937-1939. Half of all convictions for homosexual activity under the Nazi regime occurred during these years. Concern was only for Aryans or if one of the people were Aryan. Non-Aryans were not the target. Camps were used to “toughen” up effeminate men.

    17. November 7, 1938, Killing of Ernst Vom Rath, German Embassy Diplomat in Paris, and a known homosexual, by Herschel Feibel Grynszpan (Grünspan) (born March 28, 1921, died between 1943 and 1945) a Polish Jew living in Paris whose parents were deported out of Hannover and a possible homosexual. No proof, but claims that they had an affair. But the killing of Vom Rath was the pretext for Kristallnacht.

    18. Kristallnacht – November 9, 1938 – The traditional starting point for the Holocaust when 20,000 Jewish men (18 years and older) were arrested and sent to concentration camps and synagogues were burnt and Jewish businesses were destroyed. Pink Triangle homosexuals were already in the camps for years.

    19. WWII – Poland invaded on September 1, 1939.

    20. In October 1939, Hitler himself initiated a decree which empowered physicians to grant a "mercy death" to "patients considered incurable according to the best available human judgment of their state of health." its aim was to exterminate the mentally ill and the handicapped, thus "cleansing" the "Aryan" race of persons considered genetically defective and a financial burden to society.

    21. During the war, volunteering to go to the eastern front was a way of homosexuals getting out of going to the camps.

    22. July 12, 1940 - Himmler orders that all homosexuals sentenced under § 175, "who have seduced more than one partner", should be taken into "preventive detention" after they are released from prison". In reality that means they are sent to a concentration camp. Those incarcerated there for § 175 offences are forced to wear a pink triangle in order to make them identifiable.

    23. November 15, 1941 - In a Decree of the Führer for the Cleansing of the SS (Secret State Police) and the police force, Hitler orders the death penalty for homosexual activity by members of the SS and Police. USA joins the Allies in WWII- December 7, 1941.

    24. 1944- The Danish SS-Doctor Carl Vaernet carried out medical experiments on homosexuals in Buchenwald concentration camp. He wanted to "cure" homosexuals by implanting artificial hormone glands in the region of the upper leg.

    25. End of War in May 1945 and West Germany keeps Paragraph 175 on the books until 1969, so homosexuals were afraid to ask for restitution for fear of re-arrests since Paragraph 175 was considered a pre-Nazi law and if there was any term left to the sentence, the homosexual could be sent to prison to serve the remaining time.

    Link to other timelines about what happened to the homosexual community during the Nazi era.

    To Connect to the Website of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission click here

    To read a copy of the Proposal for a Cy Pres Allocation for Homosexual Victims of the Nazis, click here.

    MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS OF THE PINK TRIANGLE COALITION: Agudah (Association of Gay Men, Lesbians, and Bisexuals in Israel)
    European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association
    Homosexuelle Initiative Vienna
    International Association of Lesbian and Gay Children of Holocaust Survivors
    International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
    Lesben- und Schwulenverband Deutschland
    Magnus Hirschfeld Gesellschaft
    Mémorial de la Déportation Homosexuelle
    Pink Cross, Switzerland
    World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Jews

    Historical Reference From ILGA EuroLetter 59:


    By Kurt Krickler

    At a two-day meeting held in Berlin, 21-22 February 1998, the "Pink Triangle Coalition - An International Coalition for Co-ordinating Affairs Related to the Nazi Persecution of Gay Men and Lesbians" was informally established by representatives of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), the World Congress of Gay and Lesbian Jewish Organisations (WCGLJO), ILGA-Europe, Pink Cross (Switzerland), and Homosexuelle Initiative (HOSI) Wien (Austria). Several German scientists and researchers also attended the meeting but no representative from "Schwulenverband in Deutschland", the national German gay organisation, which will also be invited to join the Coalition, as will be the International Organisation of Lesbian/Gay Children of Survivors. There are no plans for the time being, however, to make the Coalition into a formal organisation.

    The main purpose of the Coalition is to represent the gay and lesbian interests and concerns vis-Ö-vis the two recently established funds, e.g., the "Swiss Fund for Needy Victims of the Holocaust/Shoah" and the "International Fund for Needy Victims of Nazi Persecution" set up in the context of the London Conference on Nazi Gold in December 1997 by the British Government and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. While the Swiss Fund is fed by monies (275 million CHF) provided by the Swiss Government and Swiss banks (not to confuse with the funds in "ownerless accounts" in Swiss banks), the International Fund will be fed by money given by donor countries which can also have a say how to use their donations.

    ILGA-Europe member Pink Cross is represented in the respective body of the Swiss Fund, established in February 1997. Pink Cross is also dealing with applications from gay men (and hopefully lesbians) because individual claims cannot be made directly to the Fund but only through one of the organisations representing victim groups. Until today, five gay men persecuted by the Nazis have filed applications to the Swiss Fund via Pink Cross. All five have been granted financial assistance, e.g., 2,000 CHF each, which is not really a huge sum.

    It was, however, not so easy to establish a gay/lesbian representation at the "International Fund". Therefore, there have already been contacts between WCGLJO, IGLHRC, ILGA-Europe and Pink Cross in late summer 1997 in order to establish an international coalition, and this "Coalition", which had no name yet at that time, approached the London Conference on Nazi Gold in the beginning of December 1997. WCGLJO and "Coalition" representative Jack Gilbert, however, was refused to attend the London Conference. Therefore, the persecution of gays and lesbians in the Nazi era was completely ignored by the conference. That's why the Coalition has prepared a Paper - titled "Nazi Persecution of Gay Men and Lesbians" - to be included in the Final Report of the London Conference on Nazi Gold. In order to have it included, this Paper had to be submitted by another NGO that attended the meeting. This was done by the European Jewish Congress.

    Another issue with the International Fund is to get the Pink Triangle Coalition on the Annex B List of Recognised NGOs for the purposes of the fund as established in London. The purpose is twofold: 1. to support "needy" victims individually, and 2. to support education about the Holocaust/Shoah. Each donor country will designate how they wish their contribution to be distributed but only to the NGOs on this list. The Coalition will now have to convince at least one donor country to request the Coalition to be added to this Annex B List. And for that, the Coalition must convince this country that it is in a position to distribute monies under those two criteria. To complicate things, Pink Cross is already on this list but, of course, the Coalition is striving to get on the list as such.

    In this context, ILGA-Europe is looking for needy victims of the Nazi regime, "needy" meaning that they leave below or just at poverty line in their country. There are great chances that their applications will be accepted at both Funds. Additionally, we invite ILGA-Europe members to come forward with proposals for educational projects on the Holocaust/Shoah (exhibitions, seminars, lectures, commemorative sites, etc.) which could be submitted especially to the International Fund.

    More information is available from Kurt Krickler, HOSI Wien, Novaragasse 40, A-1020 Vienna; Tel./Fax: +43-1-5451310; e-mail:

    >===================================================== Sydney Levy

    Research and Advocacy Director International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission 1360 Mission St, Ste 200 San Francisco, CA 94103 USA Phone: +1-415-255-8680 Fax: +1-415-255-8662 Email: Check out our website at

    *The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission* is a non-profit humanitarian organization that monitors, documents, and mobilizes urgent responses to human rights violations against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, the transgendered, and people with HIV and AIDS worldwide.

    Julie Dorf Executive Director International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission 1360 Mission Street, Suite 200 San Francisco, CA 94103 USA

    Tel. +1-415-255-8680 Fax +1-415-255-8662 email: Check out our website at

    The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) is a US-based, non-profit, non-governmental organization that protects and advances the fundamental human rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgendered people, people living with HIV or AIDS, and other sexual minorities throughout the world. Established in 1990, IGLHRC responds to human rights violations on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and HIV sero-status through documentation, advocacy, coalition building, public education, technical assistance and internal development.

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