“The Men with the Pink Triangle: The True Life-and-Death Story of Homosexuals in the Nazi Death Camps”– living in hell

Heger, Heinz. “The Men with the Pink Triangle”, Alyson 1980. 1994.

Living in Hell

Amos Lassen

In looking for information about the treatment of gays in Nazi Germany, I remembered a book I had read years ago and decided it was tie for a rereading. For many years Heinz Heger’s “The Men with the Pink Triangle” was all we had dealing with the subject of gays during the Holocaust and was and still is considered a classic despite its small size of 118 pages.

Until quite recently history has not looked at the persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany and the subsequent rise of the gay movement there. Like other groups gays were considered to be “undesirable” and they were persecuted by the Third Reich. This book is an account of what went on

“The Men with the Pink Triangle” is but an introduction to that horrible period of history when so many lost their lives at the hands of the greatest depot to have ever lived. Here is the true story of an Austrian who did not break his silence until 1971 when he confided in the author of this volume. Few Holocaust survivors were willing to describe what they went through and those that did come forward waited many years to do so. This is the story of Frederich Paul von-Groszheim, a man who was arrested and interred on three different occasions for crimes against nature and state. He managed to survive but he waited more than 50 years to tell his story. The author of the book, Heinz Heger was arrested himself for being a “degenerate’. Gays were forced to wear the pink triangle to show that their crime was homosexuality and they were imprisoned under the most terrible of condtions. What is missing in the book is due to either loss of memory or the desire not to remember. They lived in filth and the constant presence of death and suffered cruelty that cannot be imagined.

Even with the loss of memory this account is rich in horrible detail and you want to just yell at the top of your lungs when you read this. I came to realize that we were created with an attraction for the same sex and not the Nazis nor society can change that and that even some f the Nazis were forced to suppress their own same-sex feelings for “the good of the Fuhrer”.

The Nazis were determined to eradicate us along with the Jews from the face of the earth. Heger gives us an overview of the entire situation along with an in=depth study of the treatment of gays. This is a harrowing story but beautifully written as it tells the tale of the darkest period ever known by man.

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