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And the fact that it was almost impossible to convict anyone unless he confessed to such a crime in court meant that police just kept a watchful eye on gay bars and events, and Germany ended up becoming home to a vibrant gay community. Historian Robert Beachy argues that, ironically, the law spurred scientific interest in the study of sexual preferences, and that research tended to encourage a more scientific understanding of human sexuality, which further allowed the idea of gay rights to flourish.
Branded by the Pink Triangle
Hitler saw gay men as a threat to his campaign to purify Germany, especially because their partnerships could not bear children who would grow the Aryan race he wanted to cultivate. During that period, gay-friendly bars and clubs started being shut down, authorities burned the books at a major research institution devoted to the study of sexuality, and gay fraternal organizations were shuttered. A Nazi revision of the law took effect in September of , outlawing anything as simple as men looking at or touching one another in a sexually suggestive way, and enabled authorities to arrest people even if they had only heard rumors that people had been engaging in such behavior.
Many were castrated.
Branded by the Pink Triangle by K. Setterington | The Deakin Review of Children's Literature
Some were used as guinea pigs in various medical experiments to find a cure for typhus fever and a cure for homosexuality, the latter of which led the SS to inject them with testosterone to see if it would make them straight. The Nazi law stayed in place until a West German law decriminalized gay relationships among men over The first reference to pink triangles in TIME also appeared that year, in a story about gay-rights activists in Miami who attached the symbols to their clothes as a show of solidarity while protesting a vote to repeal a law protecting gay people from housing discrimination.
And while the Miami effort did not succeed , the activists did succeed in bringing national attention to the way they had reclaimed the pink triangle as a symbol of solidarity. More recently, pink triangles have been visible during gay rights demonstrations worldwide that were sparked by reports that gay men were being persecuted in Chechnya. Raids, arrests, prison sentences and expulsions became the daily reality.
When the concentration camps were built, homosexuals were imprisoned along with Jews and any other groups the Nazis wanted to suppress. The pink triangle sewn onto prison uniforms became the symbol of the persecution of homosexuals, a persecution that would continue for many years after the war. A mix of historical research, first-person accounts and individual stories brings this time to life for young readers.
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Stories of bravery in the face of inhuman cruelty, friendship found in the depths of despair in the camps and the perseverance of the human spirit will educate and inspire. Age Range: 13 - 17 Years About the Author Ken Setterington is a retired librarian, a storyteller, an author and a children's-book reviewer.
He is the author of the picture book Mom and Mum are Getting Married! He lives with his partner in Toronto. See All Customer Reviews.
Shop Teen Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview Before the rise of the Nazi party, Germany, especially Berlin, was one of the most tolerant places for homosexuals in the world.
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