On a fateful day in May 1941, in Nazi-occupied Strasbourg, seventeen-year- old Pierre Seel was summoned by the Gestapo. This was the beginning of his journey through the horrors of a concentration camp. For nearly forty years, Seel kept this secret in order to hide his homosexuality. Eventually he decided to speak out, bearing witness to an aspect of the Holocaust rarely seen. This edition, with a new foreword from gay-literature historian Gregory Woods, is an extraordinary firsthand account of the Nazi roundup and the deportation of homosexuals.
The first, and still the best known, testimony by a gay survivor of the Nazi concentration camps translated into English, this harrowing autobiography opened new doors onto the understanding of homosexuality and the Holocaust when it was first published in 1980 by Gay Men's Press. THE MEN WITH THE PINK TRIANGLE has been translated into several languages, with a second edition published in 1994 by Alyson Books. Heger's book also inspired the 1979 play Bent by Martin Sherman which was filmed as the 1997 movie of the same name, directed by Sean Mathias.
Author: Richard Plant
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
Release Date: 2011-04-01
Genre: Social Science
This is the first comprehensive book in English on the fate of the homosexuals in Nazi Germany. The author, a German refugee, examines the climate and conditions that gave rise to a vicious campaign against Germany's gays, as directed by Himmler and his SS--persecution that resulted in tens of thousands of arrests and thousands of deaths. In this Nazi crusade, homosexual prisoners were confined to death camps where, forced to wear pink triangles, they constituted the lowest rung in the camp hierarchy. The horror of camp life is described through diaries, previously untranslated documents, and interviews with and letters from survivors, revealing how the anti-homosexual campaign was conducted, the crackpot homophobic fantasies that fueled it, the men who made it possible, and those who were its victims, this chilling book sheds light on a corner of twentieth-century history that has been hidden in the shadows much too long.
That a Jew living in Nazi Berlin survived the Holocaust at all is surprising. That he was a homosexual and a teenage leader in the resistance and yet survived is amazing. But that he endured the ongoing horror with an open heart, with love and without vitriol, and has written about it so beautifully is truly miraculous. This is Gad Beck's story.
Author: Karyn L. Freedman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2014-04-21
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
In this powerful memoir, philosopher Karyn L. Freedman travels back to a Paris night in 1990 when she was twenty-two and, in one violent hour, her life was changed forever by a brutal rape. One Hour in Paris takes the reader on a harrowing yet inspirational journey through suffering and recovery both personal and global. We follow Freedman from an apartment in Paris to a French courtroom, then from a trauma center in Toronto to a rape clinic in Africa. At a time when as many as one in three women in the world have been victims of sexual assault and when many women are still ashamed to come forward, Freedman’s book is a moving and essential look at how survivors cope and persevere. At once deeply intimate and terrifyingly universal, One Hour in Paris weaves together Freedman’s personal experience with the latest philosophical, neuroscientific, and psychological insights on what it means to live in a body that has been traumatized. Using her background as a philosopher, she looks at the history of psychological trauma and draws on recent theories of posttraumatic stress disorder and neuroplasticity to show how recovery from horrific experiences is possible. Through frank discussions of sex and intimacy, she explores the consequences of sexual violence for love and relationships, and she illustrates the steep personal cost of sexual violence and the obstacles faced by individual survivors in its aftermath. Freedman’s book is an urgent call to face this fundamental social problem head-on, arguing that we cannot continue to ignore the fact that sexual violence against women is rooted in gender inequalities that exist worldwide—and must be addressed. One Hour in Paris is essential reading for survivors of sexual violence as well as an invaluable resource for therapists, mental health professionals, and family members and friends of victims.
Berlin 1942. Lilly Wust, twenty-nine, married, four children, led a life as did millions of German women. But then she met the twenty-one-year-old Felice Schragenheim. It was love almost at first sight. Aimée (Lilly) and Jaguar (Felice) started forging plans for the future. They composed poems and love letters to each other, and wrote their own marriage contract. When Jaguar admitted to her lover that she was Jewish, this dangerous secret drew the two women even closer to each other. But their luck didn't last. On August 21, 1944, Jaguar was arrested and deported. At the age of eighty, Lilly Wust told her story to Erica Fischer, who turned it into a poignant testimony. After the book appeared in 1994 she was contacted by additional contemporaries of Aimée and Jaguar who offered new material that has been integrated into the present edition. The book, translated into twenty languages, and the film based on it—directed by Max Färberböck, with Juliane Köhler and Maria Schrader in the leading roles—have made Aimée and Jaguar's story known around the world.
Author: Primo Levi
Publisher: Verso Books
Release Date: 2015-03-03
Among the first written accounts of the concentration camps—a major literary and historical discovery. While in a Russian-administered holding camp in Katowice, Poland, in 1945, Primo Levi was asked to provide a report on living conditions in Auschwitz. Published the following year, it was subsequently forgotten and remained unknown to a wider public. Dating from the weeks and months immediately after the war, Auschwitz Report details the authors’ harrowing deportation to Auschwitz, and how those who disembarked from the train were selected for work or extermination. As well as being a searing narrative of everyday life in the camp, and the organization and working of the gas chambers, it constitutes Levi’s first lucid attempts to come to terms with the raw horror of events that would drive him to create some of the greatest works of twentieth-century literature and testimony. Auschwitz Report is a major literary and historical discovery. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Robert Beachy
Release Date: 2014-11-18
Genre: Social Science
An unprecedented examination of the ways in which the uninhibited urban sexuality, sexual experimentation, and medical advances of pre-Weimar Berlin created and molded our modern understanding of sexual orientation and gay identity. Known already in the 1850s for the friendly company of its “warm brothers” (German slang for men who love other men), Berlin, before the turn of the twentieth century, became a place where scholars, activists, and medical professionals could explore and begin to educate both themselves and Europe about new and emerging sexual identities. From Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, a German activist described by some as the first openly gay man, to the world of Berlin’s vast homosexual subcultures, to a major sex scandal that enraptured the daily newspapers and shook the court of Emperor William II—and on through some of the very first sex reassignment surgeries—Robert Beachy uncovers the long-forgotten events and characters that continue to shape and influence the way we think of sexuality today. Chapter by chapter Beachy’s scholarship illuminates forgotten firsts, including the life and work of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, first to claim (in 1896) that same-sex desire is an immutable, biologically determined characteristic, and founder of the Institute for Sexual Science. Though raided and closed down by the Nazis in 1933, the institute served as, among other things, “a veritable incubator for the science of tran-sexuality,” scene of one of the world’s first sex reassignment surgeries. Fascinating, surprising, and informative—Gay Berlin is certain to be counted as a foundational cultural examination of human sexuality. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Lutz Van Dijk
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company (BYR)
Release Date: 2014-10-21
When the Nazis overran Poland in the fall of 1939, fifteen-year-old Stefan K.'s father was sent off to a German labor camp. Now, in the tense days of occupation, Stefan scrambles to help take care of his family. Yet when his brother, Mikolai, takes him out after curfew to celebrate his sixteenth birthday, Stefan makes a life-changing discovery: he yearns for men the way his brother does for women. As he juggles his time between his day job at a bakery and his evening work in the theater, Stefan becomes more aware of his desires. And then he meets Willi, his one true love. Everything about Stefan's love affair with Willi is damned. They are both men. Willi is an Austrian airman, a Nazi soldier. Stefan's brother is actively fighting the Germans in the Polish Resistance. Yet Stefan and Willi's love sees no boundaries of nation, race, or gender. It is too strong to deny. And too passionate to survive. When the Gestapo discovers their affair, not only their love but their lives are in great danger. Based on the true story of Stefan K., who has written a letter to readers at the end of the book Damned Strong Love is a novel that shows the power and importance of love even as it describes the terrible price of intolerance and hatred. Stefan and Willi's love was damned, but it was strong; Lutz van Dijk's powerful and humane novel is their legacy.
Author: Martin Sherman
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
Release Date: 1998
(Applause Books). Martin Sherman's worldwide hit play Bent took London by storm in 1979 when it was first performed by the Royal Court Theatre, with Ian McKellen as Max (a character written with the actor in mind). The play itself caused an uproar. "It educated the world," Sherman explains. "People knew about how the Third Reich treated Jews and, to some extent, gypsies and political prisoners. But very little had come out about their treatment of homosexuals." Gays were arrested and interned at work camps prior to the genocide of Jews, gypsies, and handicapped, and continued to be imprisoned even after the fall of the Third Reich and liberation of the camps. The play Bent highlights the reason why - a largely ignored German law, Paragraph 175, making homosexuality a criminal offense, which Hitler reactivated and strengthened during his rise to power.
Author: Clayton J. Whisnant
Publisher: Harrington Park Press, LLC
Release Date: 2016-06-28
Germany in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries witnessed key developments in LGBT history, including the growth of the world's first homosexual organizations and gay and lesbian magazines, as well as an influential community of German sexologists and psychoanalysts. Queer Identities and Politics in Germany describes these events in detail, from vibrant gay social scenes to the Nazi persecution that sent many LGBT people to concentration camps. Clayton J. Whisnant recounts the emergence of various queer identities in Germany from 1880 to 1945 and the political strategies pursued by early homosexual activists. Drawing on recent English and German-language scholarship, he enriches the debate over whether science contributed to social progress or persecution during this period, and he offers new information on the Nazis' preoccupation with homosexuality. The book's epilogue locates remnants of the pre-1945 era in Germany today.