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The Men with the Pink Triangle: The True Life-and-Death Story of Homosexuals in the Nazi Death Camps

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It has only been since the mid-1970s that any attention has been paid to the persecution and interment of gay men by the Nazis during the Third Reich. Since that time, books such as Richard Plant's The Pink Triangle (and Martin Sherman's play Bent) have illuminated this nearly lost history. Heinz Heger's first-person account, The Men with the Pink Triangle, was one of the first books on the topic and remains one of the most important.

In 1939, Heger, a Viennese university student, was arrested and sentenced to prison for being a "degenerate." Within weeks he was transported to Sachsenhausen, a concentration camp in East Germany, and forced to wear a pink triangle to show that his crime was homosexuality. He remained there, under horrific conditions, until the end of the war in 1945. The power of The Men with the Pink Triangle comes from Heger's sparse prose and his ability to recall--and communicate--the smallest resonant details. The pain and squalor of everyday camp life--the constant filth, the continuous presence of death, and the unimaginable cruelty of those in command--are all here. But Heger's story would be unbearable were it not for the simple courage he and others used to survive and, having survived, that he bore witness. This book is harrowing but necessary reading for everyone concerned about gay history, human rights, or social justice. --Michael Bronski

120 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1972

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About the author

Heinz Heger

3 books12 followers
Heinz Heger was the penname of Josef Kohout, the gay Austrian survivor of a Nazi concentration camp, who later wrote the account "The Men with the Pink Triangle: The True Life-and-Death Story of Homosexuals in the Nazi Death Camps." The original title is "Der Mann mit dem rosa Winkel."

To learn more about the Nazi concentration camp survivor who died in 1994, please read the article by Kurt Krickler found at http://www.ausdemleben.at/heger.pdf. It is in the German language.

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