Tag Archives: liberation
Dailymail - The last surviving person to be sent to a Nazi concentration camp because of his homosexuality has died in France aged 98, campaigners said today.
Rudolf Brazda died peacefully in his sleep yesterday at the old people’s home in Bantzenheim, eastern France when had lived in recent years, Germany’s Lesbian and Gay Association, or LSVD, said.
Mr Brazda was born in 1913 and grew up in the eastern German town of Meuselwitz. There he repeatedly clashed with Nazi authorities over his homosexuality before being sent to the Buchenwald camp.
Nazi Germany declared homosexuality an aberration that threatened the German race. An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 gay men were deported to concentration camps where few survived.
After Mr Brazda was sent to the concentration camp in August 1942 he was held there until its liberation by U.S. forces in 1945.
Following the war he moved to Alsace, the eastern French region that borders Germany, and lived there until his death.
When a memorial to the Nazis’ gay victims was unveiled in Berlin in 2008, the LSVD said it knew of no more surviving ex-prisoners.
They believed that the last surviving prisoner had died three years previously.
But the group said today that after the memorial was unveiled, they were contacted by Mr Brazda, who visited the memorial at its invitation. He became an honorary member of the group.
Mr Brazda was awarded France’s Legion of Honour in April this year as his plight during the war was commended by campaigners.
‘Rudolf passed on peacefully in his sleep at dawn on August 3′ at an old people’s hospital in Bantzenheim, eastern France, said Philippe Couillet, a friend and associate of the deceased.
French local officials said that Brazda will be buried next Monday in Mulhouse in eastern France.
Tens of thousands of people were convicted under Nazi Germany’s laws that made homosexual acts a crime.
Those who were sent to concentration camps had to wear a pink triangle on their prison clothes that identified them as homosexual.
Berlin’s openly gay mayor, Klaus Wowereit, who met Brazda in 2008, said he learned with regret of his death.
‘He is an example of how important the work of remembrance is for our future,’ Wowereit said.
‘Fewer and fewer people can give information about repression under the Nazi dictatorship authentically and from their own experience.’
Nazi concentration camps were set up across Germany by the party’s leader, Adolf Hitler. Jews, political prisoners, criminals gypsies and the mentally ill were also among those sent to the camps.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2022429/Former-homosexual-concentration-camp-prisoner-Rudolf-Brazda-dies-aged-98.html#ixzz1U5VQWhzF