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Rudolf Brazda, Last Known 'Pink Triangle' Holocaust Survivor, Has Died at 98


Rudolf Brazda, the last known survivor of the 'Pink Triangles', deported by the Nazis for homosexuality, has died at the age of 98, AFP reports:

"Rudolf was sleeping peacefully in his sleep at dawn on August 3, he resided since last June in a hospital for the dependent elderly in Bantry (Haut-Rhin)," according to his entourage. The funeral of the man of Czech origin naturalized French in 1960 will be held Monday in Mulhouse, said the funeral.

"In accordance with his will, his remains will be cremated and his ashes placed alongside those of his life partner of more than 50 years, Edward Mayer, who died in 2003 in Mulhouse," add friends.

The French website Yagg wrote in October:

"The son of Tcheckoslovaquian immigrants in Germany, Rudolf Brazda was 20 when Hitler rose to power. He had lived his homosexuality freely and openly until the law penalizing homosexuality, the notorious “Paragraph 175″, was toughened by the Nazi regime. On August 8, 1942, after having gone to prison twice, he was sent to the concentration camp of Buchenwald, where he was given the number 7952, and a pink triangle. Even though Buchenwald wasn’t an extermination camp, an estimated 56.000 prisoners (out of the 238.000 who were incarcerated) died in the camp, either because they were executed or from exhaustion or illness."

Watch Brazda's October 2010 interview, telling his story, AFTER THE JUMP...

May he rest in peace.

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  1. RIP Mr Brazda. Take a moment to learn of Mr. Brazda in his video posted here. His young life of nearly 80 years ago is similar to the freedoms we as gay people have today and the voices of the religious zealots today echo those of Hitlers yesterday. We need to always stand up for our right to exist.

    Posted by: anonymous | Aug 4, 2011 8:03:04 AM

  2. Rest in Peace.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 4, 2011 8:34:45 AM

  3. I saw a reference a few months back to a book that he wrote but have been unable to fund the reference or the book. If anyone has any leads please let me know. His journey was remarkable. RIP.

    Posted by: Ted | Aug 4, 2011 9:15:11 AM

  4. A true hero who's spirit of dignity and determination should live on in all of us.

    Posted by: dk | Aug 4, 2011 9:22:43 AM

  5. Ted, according to the article at the link the book has not (yet?) been translated into English. The translated title is "I Had Always Been Blessed with Good Fortune: Rudolf Brazda - a Homosexual's Survival in the Third Reich.",1518,772667,00.html

    FWIW, there's another book, "I, Pierre Seel, deported homosexual : a memoir of Nazi terror" which has been translated.

    Though it's hard to apply the word luck to a Concentration Camp survivor, if he had been "liberated" instead of hiding until the Nazis deserted the camp he quite possibly would have been put in prison. What many people don't realize is that after the war Paragraph 175 was still on the books, homosexuality was still illegal, and many prisoners who were in camps for that "criminal act" weren't set free, they were sent to prison from the camps.

    Posted by: Codswallop | Aug 4, 2011 9:26:19 AM

  6. 98 seems too old for the last survivor. There should be someone younger around. Born in 1913, he would have been 32 when the war ended.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 4, 2011 9:32:15 AM

  7. One amazing thing about Rudolph's story is that after being put in prison twice then sent to a concentration camp he didn't go back into the closet out of fear, he found someone to love. People who are in the closet today should think about that. If anyone ever had an excuse to be "in the closet" it's him, but instead he asserted his right to love and happiness.

    Posted by: Codswallop | Aug 4, 2011 9:34:48 AM

  8. Rest in much deserved Peace Mr. Brazda. Your courage, determination and refusal to bend in the face of the most extreme prejudice and persecution imaginable will be an eternal inspiration.

    I send you much, much metta and many merits.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 4, 2011 10:07:25 AM

  9. .

    Posted by: K | Aug 4, 2011 10:38:41 AM

  10. Beautiful Man. Beautiful Story. Rest in Peace Mr. Brazda. You made a huge difference in our world!

    Posted by: Jonster | Aug 4, 2011 10:40:11 AM

  11. Thank you for your courage and honesty Mr Brazda.

    And thank you Andy for sharing this important news. He's much more worthy of your and our attention than Kevin Barba.

    Posted by: Marc C | Aug 4, 2011 11:19:04 AM

  12. Wow, no way man, dude will be missed.

    Posted by: VokMoo | Aug 4, 2011 11:56:08 AM

  13. May I suggest we observe 60 seconds of silence at noon local time on Monday, 54 seconds in memory of the estimated 54,000 Pink Triangle men, 6 seconds for those in Ghana, Uganda, Iran, and other places who are living under threat of their lives? It is important to remember and essential not to forget.

    Posted by: revchicoucc | Aug 4, 2011 12:03:38 PM

  14. We were lucky to have his testimony at all because - to answer your question @anon - the gays were the lowest of the low and suffered the highest death rates in the work camps. This is why there is so little testimony and why he is almost certainly the last survivor.

    Posted by: paul canning | Aug 4, 2011 2:49:33 PM

  15. I am with you revchicoucc 60 seconds of silence at noon Monday in reflection of those lost is little to ask for for all that was lost. Rest in Peace Rudolf Brazda and thank you for sharing your story with the world.

    Posted by: Jeff | Aug 4, 2011 3:40:07 PM

  16. Mr. Brazda, I believe you are reunited with your long love of 50 years, so I know you are happy. May you both revel in each others love and rest in peace.

    Posted by: John Simpson | Aug 4, 2011 3:49:40 PM

  17. @Anonymous: Don't you dare to compare the horrors of the Nazi-Regime to our lives today! You should visit one of the Nazi Camps to get the full view about the whole situation. You will figure out that not only homosexuals were the victims but everybody the government didn't like - almost everybody. In today's world we can be thankful for dignity of man also for gays. Remember, what ever applies for gays in terms of dignity applies for other people too (no matter if they are Christians, work mates, family members, etc. who don't all understand gay people). We as a gay community need to learn to respect other people too and I am sure that we will find more respect in the process - even though it is a long road.

    Rest in peace, Mr. Brazda! You were a fine brave man!

    Posted by: JM | Aug 5, 2011 3:19:50 AM

  18. I just realize that the comment I am referring too has been taken off. Good job admin!

    Posted by: JM | Aug 5, 2011 3:21:17 AM

  19. Civilocity is a form of government where the people watch the ruler entirely amongst their reign.

    Civilocity makes sure the leader of a country never again has the ability to cover up genocide or obstruction or any other sort of unlawful behavior.

    Civilocity is the abolishment of genocide

    Why don’t we abolish genocide,

    Genocide is happening advocate civilocity

    ehhh lets not nobody cares

    We’re writers writing about genocide not the way to stop genocide

    Posted by: Nathaniel I. Wenger | Aug 7, 2011 11:09:36 AM

  20. What meritorious comments, all; what we know, and have to continue to tell the young, as he did: it is still happening, it can happen, it will happen again. The best revenge is a good life.

    Posted by: Chevytexas | Aug 9, 2011 9:30:42 PM

  21. RIP, Rudolf. Thank you for your courage and bravery.

    Posted by: gogole | May 30, 2012 10:59:06 AM

  22. RIP Mr. Brazda. Oh how I wish we could have shared a cup of joe and I would have given you my undivided attention. You must have so many horrible nightmares from the horrific time the Nazi's showed you and others. But I know you were reunited with your one true love when you took that excursion to the next level of life and learning. You shall be missed but never forgotten. Ciao, Peter

    Posted by: peter mastracchio | Aug 1, 2013 4:08:05 PM

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