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The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals
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The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  843 ratings  ·  46 reviews
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 pr
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 15th 1988 by Holt Paperbacks (first published 1986)
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  843 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
This was one of the harder reads for me over the Holocaust because it had more of a personal twinge to it than the other books that I have read. The book focuses primarily on the plight of homosexual men during the holocaust. We are aware of the fact that numerous jewish individuals died during this event, but most people are not aware of the other 5 million people that died. There is a mix of various other classes of individuals that died during this horrendous event of our history. One of thes ...more
May 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Under the Nazi regime, homosexual men were confined to death camps where they were forced to wear pink triangles as a symbol of their crime. They were at the bottom of the camp hierarchy, brutalized and abused past the point of human endurance. In this book, the horror of life in the Nazi's concentration camps is revealed through diaries, interviews with, and letters from survivors.

Every school child learns that the Nazis tried to exterminate the Jews. Few are told of the other segments of "unde
Jimbo Pantas
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Although they were no longer compelled to wear the stigmatic pink triangle, they felt marked for life. And like so many victims of the Third Reich, most gays never recovered emotionally from the Nazi boomtowns of hell.
-Richard Plant

Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Gives a new perspective to the Nazi's reign through the lenses of a smaller, oft reviewed group. It brings focus that many groups were targeted for ridiculous reasons.
Kirsten Dyck
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent and readable history, and covers a little-known aspect of the Third Reich. Highly recommended.
Scott George McCombe
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgb-t, world-history
Only in recent years has there been any recognition of the horrific suffering endured by gay men at the hands of German National Socialism. Part of the explanation for this is evidently due to the suffering of the Jewish people, the sheer scale of which dwarfed other targets of Nazi hatred. But, as much has been written about other groups persecuted by the Nazis, a more significant reason is obviously due to the attitude which prevailed in the decades following the war which more or less held th ...more
Mar 20, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, history
An illuminating study of an oft-overlooked class of "undesirables" during the Nazi era, but its admirable efforts to redress this under-examined subject are undermined by the book's episodic organization and by its superficial analysis, which is based mainly on anecdotal accounts and lacks much "real" data.
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well worth reading if you want to know about the plight of homosexuals by the hands of the Third Reich. If Richard Plant was still around I'd thank him for writing this book, but he is no longer with us because I didn't really know all that much about what my persecuted brothers (and sisters!) faced during WW2. Lest we forget.

I don't really. know how to review this book, but here are some quotes I recorded.

'On every corner, peddlers offered trinkets nobody wanted; street singers and itinerant m
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it
This book attempts to answer the question of why the Nazi regime declared war on gay men. At this task, I think, it succeeds.

However, it felt detached from the horrors. It wasn’t moving and horrifying like Heinz Heger’s “The Men With the Pink Triangle” was—instead, it chooses to analyze the perpetrators of the horrors Heger describes.

I found the epilogue, where the author describes meeting with victims who cannot or will not speak more of the horrors they encountered, to be the most compelling p
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's always hard to rate books about horrible events, but I have to say this book felt timely and important. While the author didn't always have the statistics to back up his and his interviewee's impressions (especially when comparing the situation of different groups within the camps), he provides the reader with the information he had gathered by 1986, and that information was incredibly impactful. Related to the publication date, the author does use terms that would be considered outdated no ...more
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Starts out with the politics and agendas of those in power in Nazi Germany, then documents the struggles of victims of concentration camps and ends with searches for lost companions.

Heartbreaking search for lost companions during the rise of the Third Reich and the war. Explores the policies and politics leading to extermination of homosexual men in concentration camps. And, finally on the liberation of the death camps, additional imprisonment by Allied forces.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Read during college as a reference for a history paper.
Jenine Young
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
this is not a subject that is covered much, so I found this very informative. the author decided many books about the specific conditions and how people survived are written about extensively so covered the specifics of gays and generally avoided the biographies that fill most books about the Holocaust. very informative.
Julia Bruce
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
this book is a hard read book to read, the language can be confuseing and it is hard to get into but once you do it is fantasticly interesting, plant goes into great detail and it can be amazing that this is nonfiction! I recamend this book if you are interested in a new view on wwII or if you are interested in LGBT* history and culture.
Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It's appalling how little has been written about the fate of homosexuals under the Third Reich. This book, along with Heinz Heger's "The Men with the Pink Triangle" are the only two books I've ever seen that attempt to document and tell the stories that have been for so long overlooked. This is due in part to the lack of documents, but also due to the fact that so few survivors were willing or able to speak on their experiences. After the liberation of the camps, homosexuals were still treated a ...more
Jun 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, non-fiction, wwii
I have had this book and another, "The Men in the Pink Triangle" on my to-read list for a long time, so when I saw it on sale for $1 of course I bought it.

This is one of the first books that catalogued the treatment of gay men by Nazi Germany. The book breaks down the prevailing sentiment pre-Nazi, discusses Ernst Roehm and the night of the long knives, gives a biographical sketch of Himmler, and goes into the persecution and camp conditions of men sentenced under paragraph 175.

Unfortunately at
Sean Hastings
Nov 24, 2013 rated it liked it
I was hoping this was gong to be a bit more detailed than it actually was. It did read as someone's doctoral thesis at times and a lot of the information was rehashed again and again. Plant does not really go in to detail of the actual treatment of the prisoners other to say that we know what happened and that there was no need to relive the gory details of the persecution of gay men in the concentration camps but I found this to be part of the reason why I wanted to read his book in the first p ...more
Dec 11, 2011 rated it liked it
This is an important, and unfortunately too little known, aspect of the Nazi regime - the incarceration and execution of gay men. However, if I was going to recommend a book on the topic, I think I would recommend The Men with the Pink Triangle: The True Life-and-Death Story of Homosexuals in the Nazi Death Camps over this book.

While this book is a little longer, I felt that The Men with the Pink Triangle was actually more informative on what life was like for gay men under the Nazi regime. Thi
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
An incredible and gripping account of the Holocaust that I never would have thought of or known about until I read this book. It has such an incredible combination of emotion, personal account and voice, and history in it--I would highly recommend it to anyone, both in and out of the queer community, and I plan to lend it out to a bunch of my friends after I've told them about the book.

I would be really interested to read about lesbianism during the Holocaust...though it is obvious that they we
Diane Schneider
May 02, 2014 rated it liked it
A good attempt at a comprehensive look at the treatment of homosexuals in Nazi Germany. The inclusion of the author's personal story of the persecution of homosexuals is especially poignant. Unfortunately, as the author notes, the book suffers from the fact that evidence is hard to come by. Despite that, the book is still an important read, especially with regard to our country's current political attitude toward homosexuality. As the author says, "The specters begin to come to life whenever fan ...more
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
We all are aware of the horrors perpetrated by Hitler and his cronies so to say I was surprised by anything I read in this book wouldn't be true. However I was a little caught off guard to learn that after the camps were liberated the gay population were transferred to other prisons to complete their sentences. They were the only segment of the camp population that did not receive any reparations by the new German government.
It makes you wonder what is wrong with people and why is there so much
Jan 18, 2014 rated it liked it
An interesting book on one of the lesser known targets of the Third Reich. Plant’s story focuses more on the policies and laws under Hitler’s regime, rather than the experiences of the prisoners of the camp. While the book is a fantastic resource especially since it was one of the first books to really address the subject, I would have preferred to read something with a bit of a human side to it as well.
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The only book on this subject.
Richard Plant writes from the perspective of a gay German whose grandfather was a Rabbi. Richard left Germany for America in 1938.
Richard has extensively researched the subject, knows his facts & writes well, so has thus written a must read book..
I have read this book at least twice & would recommend it to anyone interested in this period of German history.
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reading-for-uni
This is a very short, concise history of homosexual persecution by nazis. Something I really appreciate about this is the fact that Plant feels no need to go into massive depth about the horrific details, citing that most histories have well covered them. He is simply filling in a piece of a larger history, and I think that this book does a very good job of that.
Luke Brennan
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
A bit light on detail and doesn't always let the facts speak for themselves.

The facts alone are more than enough without unnecessary and unwelcome personal opinions from theauthor.

Otherwise, situates the subject very well in context and shows how what motivated the nazis here was actually wanting to build a perverse utopia based on ever so slightly erroneous beliefs.
Apr 21, 2015 added it
The most moving parts of this book are the prologue and epilogue. The scholarship is sandwiched in between heart-rending personal reflections on the author's life before the war and, upon his return visit to Germany to conduct research for this book.
Aaron S
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book chronicles a neglected piece of World War II history and it is handled sensitively in a well-written manner. With rich historical insight and personal reflection and commentary by Richard Plant; The Pink Triangle is incredibly heartbreaking and harrowing and it demands your attention.
Natina El
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
A little rushed , but I'm glad it wasn't as vulgar as other camp stories . I learned a few things ...and believe now more than ever that history is an ever repeating cycle. Maybe a few differences but foundations stay the same
Apr 19, 2012 rated it liked it
It's basically a history book you'd read in school, not a first hand account from a survivor. It deals more with dates and people than experiences and personal reflection. I would skip it and read "The Men With The Pink Triangle" instead.
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