Comments

  1. Achtung!! Auf Deutsch Bitte says

    Paragraph 175? Isn’t that one of the planks the Republicans are running on? I wonder if it was difficult for them to translate from the German?

  2. Matt26 says

    Holocaust was an act against mankind. I truly hope no gay will never go through what gays like mr Brazda, a true hero, went. But sadly, the mankind is turning (once again) because economical problems to political far right and ultranationalism, I am not sure.

  3. Andrew says

    The Republicans are using the entire Nazi play book starting with the burning of the Reichstag (world trade center). Its classic fear mongering to gain more and more power so they can get richer and richer.

  4. Hunter says

    Dear Towleroad Editor:
    I love the blog, but I must ask – on what planet do people spell the name of the predecessor country of the Czech Republic and Slovakia as “Tcheckoslovaquia”?

  5. Gregoire says

    There are few human beings left on the planet whose stories are more important and more poignant today than his. Sadly his biography is only available in French.

    We rightly shutter at violence to gays and lesbians today, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what this man lived through. Still, he lived openly and found happiness when he could.

    Everybody should forward this story on to friends and be thankful we live when we do today.

  6. TampaZeke says

    Hunter, that is the French spelling of Czechoslovakia. The interview was done by a French crew.

    Rudolf, you are BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING!

    Thank you so much for sharing your story of tragedy and triumph with us. You are a part of our history that should never be forgotten.

    Unfortunately most pink triangles weren’t as lucky as you were. Most died in captivity or were transferred from the concentration camps to civilian prisons upon the Ally liberation.

  7. Michael says

    If you haven’t already made the connection, this is precisely why Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act are important to repeal. Laws that take away the lives and civil rights of Gay and Lesbian people are not new, and continue today. Mr. Brazda has survived all these years for a reason – lest we forget.

  8. shae says

    awww!! what a sweet lil old man, im so glad for him that he had a good life! People only need to look at gays like him to see that we are just like straight people, we want to find love and spend the rest of our life with that person and grow old together….warms my heart.

  9. pete says

    Does anyone know of an Oral History Project for gay people? It would be fascinating.

    I love the closing shot of the guys on a bike together & the notation that they were a couple until Edouard’s passing in 2003.

    A very touching story.

  10. says

    This man is the last gay holocaust survivor. All the others are dead.

    After the War all of them were again imprisoned or punished again in some way. This was the only group of holocaust survivors this happened to.

    It is a part of history which is in danger of being forgotten. We need to learn from the memory projects of Jewish people to make sure our young people know this history.

    Why? It is relevant to now. Ugandan MP David Bahati wants to ‘kill every gay person’. Bahati is not alone in his genocidal impulse.

  11. Bill says

    Two years ago I asked if someone would do an interview with him. I’m glad other gay people realized the importance of getting his story out to the public and found him.

  12. Hank says

    Germany was the birthplace of the gay movement in the 1880s. The Weimar Republic before the rise of Nazism was in many ways a very tolerant and open society. One of the dangers of forgetting our history, and imagining that being gay was just invented 40 years ago, is that we can become complacent, and can falsely assume that things always only get better, or that history only moves in one direction. And this might cause us to take current threats less seriously than they warrant.

  13. John says

    Even then, you had the phenomenon of short-sighted, selfish gays doing themselves in. Many Germans – gays included – supported the Nazis initially. These people, caught up in the patriotic fervor of Hitler’s message, joined the SA in droves. And they were under the mistaken impression that, as members of the “master race,” they’d be left alone once he took power. They were victims, in a sense, but they were also instrumental in their own demise. Swept up in militant racism, naivety, and outright stupidity, they elected a man who would send them to die in concentration camps alongside the very people they wanted to discriminate against.

  14. Jim in St Louis says

    Very touching and moving story- He is such a cutie! I just want to give him a kiss on the top of his little old head.

    But the previous comments are so out of wack (sp?) I sometimes think they are posting ironically or just for shock effect.

    One more time for those who may have forgotten: Hitler and the Nazi party were products of the LEFT, they sprang directly from the socialist, progressive movement.

  15. mstrozfckslv@yahoo.com says

    sad ROFLMAO

    Jim uhm no

    Hitler and the nazis along with musolini in italy were fascist, they rose to power after replacing the liberal democratic weimar republic. Liberal democratic, and as u can see from Rudolf’s own testimony he was able to live his gay life openly ………….then via the world wide great depression coupled with the rise of ultra nationalism and conservative rebellion against liberalism in germany

    Hitler and the nazis staged the burning of the reichstag, blaming it on foreigners and Jews

    While the USA went the liberal New Deal route via FDR to come out of the depression germany through ultra nationalism, fear mongering, religiosity (catholic and lutheran priests blessed the SS daily = there r pics!!! and Hitler spoke many times about His savior and lord leading him to destroy the liberal, the Jew, etc) they
    went the route of fascism which is very conservative and the setting up and running of the state for the benefit of corporations (that is how musolini himself a fascist publicly defined fascism)

    The concentration camp focus on the end reult= death leaves out a huge section/ horror of what was going on. In that at first children and old were killed at one kind of camp while the strong healthy youthful adults like Rudolf were sent to WORK CAMPS that were run producing products for Germany’s big Biz interests on the cheap / slave labor. When a worker at these camps became sick and unable to work they either died of their sickness or were killed on the spot or shipped to one of the specifically killing camps. Imagine being separated from ur family and they killed off while u are forced to build engines etc for the profit of ur captors / murderers of ur family or even making the gas nozels used in the gas chambers of the non work camps knowing full well that if u start coughing due to work camp conditions ur going to be killed to.

    The use of the word socialist in the nazi slogan was not referring to liberal democratic socialism, it was referring to the social strength and unity of ultranationalist GERMAN ARYAN ONLY fascism conservative bs.

    One can not be a fascist and a socialist at the same time , they r diametricaly opposed to each other. Hitler and the Nazis were a Fascist regieme

  16. mstrozfckslv@yahoo.com says

    PS, a bit of history on the Liberal democratic Weimar republic pre the rise of the nazis

    It was very liberal for its time….. taxing big biz, homosexuality out in the open, Jews Marrying Non Jewish Germans, the arts supported and proliferating, etc

    The Nazis were an extreme reaction by big biz in germany and conservative forces to the liberalism of the Weimar republic

    Much like the Bush family and many big biz types were trying to rebel here in the USA against liberalsim and FDR by trying to stage a coup to overthrow FDR and set up a fascist state modeled off of facist germany. They failed due to a military general they had approached to help them turning stool pigeon and blabing it all to the FDR administration

    Reality, history, truthiness have a liberal bias and are not friends of conservatives

  17. scientitian says

    Jim, the complete opposite is true, and any well-researched, legitimate history of the Third Reich will strongly attest to this. The Nazis were fervent anti-socialists, and gained much success because of their anti-leftist, totalitarian response to what was perceived as a cultural and political takeover by Marxists. They widely appealed to big business in Germany during their rise to power, secretly promising to outlaw unions and deregulate labor in return for financial and political support. They of course did this once in power, but also ejected any industry leaders that did not toe the Nazi line and conform to their anti-socialist, anti-liberal agenda.

  18. says

    Thank you Andy for running this piece. Gay prisoners were forced to serve out the remainder of their sentences by the Allies after they were liberated from the camps. I’m not sure how this lovely man escaped that fate.
    I am currently working on a book that is based on a pair of young lovers at the rise of Hitler and what happens to them. I’m going to Berlin to do some research on one particular area…Sachsenhausen concentration camp outside Berlin where the majority of gays were sent. There they were forced to run and walk along a brick walkway wearing new german combat boots to see what would happen to the boots with conintued use….many died.

  19. Jim in St Louis says

    Perhaps it is unrealistic to try and put the nazi meme into either the “right” or the “left” box. The whole era is so unique that maybe its false to draw a exact comparison to the politics of today.

    But how many of Hitler’s “25 points” are today in the Democratic platform?
    Universal Health care- check
    Redistribution of wealth- check
    A federal control of Education- check
    Undefined limits on federal power- check
    Control of the press (fairness doctrine)-check
    Capital gains taxation- check
    Expansion of social security-check
    Identity politics based on a person’s race- double check

    The Nazi’s hated the communists so much not because they had different goals- but because they were in competition for the same idological footprint. The soviets wanted to be international and the nazis had this racist, “german above all” fetish, but they were two sides of the same coin.

    I think I know why the left is so adamant to deny their heritage, Of course no one should be calling them fascist today- they are no where near that. But every experiment in statist policy has been tried in the last 100 years and failed. Socialism, Communism, Nazism, etc. So of course they want to distance themselves from that.

    I know what its like boys — I’m a states rights person myself, and I can’t even get that stated before some half wit comes back with “so are you pro-slavery and pro-Jim Crow?” and I have to explain carefully how those perversions are not valid in my support of states rights.

    I’m wandering from the point– sorry- but its worth noting that Hitler was fine with the gays, and even the head of the SA was notorious for being queer- up until the point that he no longer needed them- then out came the long knives.

    And if anyone is still reading this I’ll let you draw your own 2010 comparison to that.

  20. ratbastard says

    The concept of concentration camps, sterilization of ‘undesirables’, racial purity, euthanasia of the disabled, old, retarded …… the German Nazis DID NOT invent this ideology. The Germans only carried out the logical conclusion of what was a very popular mostly Anglo-American centric movement called Eugenics. Many famous people championed eugenics in the early 20th century, including many of the atrocities the Nazis eventually carried out. In fact, during the war crimes trials after the war, many German defendants used the widespread pre-war acceptance of the eugenics movement in America and elsewhere as a defense.

    google eugenics if you’re unaware of this movement and what still stands for.

  21. ratbastard says

    This may upset some people but the abortion rights movement and groups such as planned parenthood are modern extensions / reincarnations of the earlier eugenics movements. The name eugenics was deliberately banished by it’s followers after the war (for obvious reasons) and they went about sanitizing the movement. But it still exists as what I wrote above in addition to groups and ideologies such as extreme environmentalists and animal rights advocates, among others. They can usually be easily spotted by their contempt for human beings while championing other animals, the environment [humans bad], the encouragement of abortion as often as possible, there are many other examples.

    …I do not oppose birth control at all or abortion under certain conditions [I don’t think it should be encouraged as a form of birth control or 3rd trimester and partial birth except under extreme circumstances]. But I recognize many of the true believer radicals behind the birth control and abortion rights movement were and are eugenicist.

  22. ratbastard says

    A lot of BS posted on the Nazis. They indeed were socialist and cousins of the communists. To say they were capitalists is a massive lie. Nazism / Fascism was and is a consolidation of state and business interests with plenty of socialists ideals thrown in. The best modern day example of Nazism / Fascism would be the ‘communist’ People’s Republic of China.

  23. ratbastard says

    Actually, I should honestly say the U.S. is in many ways in 2010 a quasi-fascist nation. We indeed have a seemless consolidation of state and big corporate interests / Wall St. The liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans are both actively engaged in promoting this fascist system, including Obama.

  24. says

    Sorry, but anyone who takes the opportunity to turn a poignant thread about a last pink triangle survivor into a grossly historically inaccurate diatribe linking the current Democratic platform to Nazism is officially Bonkers, tea party fringe Bonkers. Reading some of these comments is like watching a Daily Show bit that has gone hideously off the rails. Has Glenn Beck planted a chip in your brains?

  25. ratbastard says

    Gee Ernie, I was only responding to all the other posts connecting Nazis with a specific contemporary political group and ideology. I’ve pointed out this is a fallacy to the extent both major political parties are actively engaged in promoting a quasi-fascist American state. Perfectly true. Nazism, fascism are also socialist and kissing cousins of communist. Perfectly true. I pointed out what the Nazis did to this gentleman was promoted, even promulgated to a degree, by a well known and popular ideological and political movement [Anglo-American centric] that peaked in the early 20th century, but still exists, under a different name,today. Full circle. How is this off topic, Ernie?

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