Rudolf Brazda, 1913-2011

Rudolf Brazda, the last known living “pink triangle” survivor of Nazi concentration camps, died on August 3 at the age of 98. He spent three years in Buchenwald.  He once commented that his oppressors “were never able to destroy me. I am not ashamed.”

Born in Germany to Czech parents, after liberation from the camp, he lived in the Alsace region of France, including 52 years with his partner, who passed away in 2002.

The photo of Mr. Brazda on this post was taken in 2008 at the dedication of a Berlin memorial to the gay (and presumed/perceived gay) victims and survivors of the Third Reich. In April of this year, he was awarded the French Legion d’Honneur for promoting awareness of the deportation of homosexuals during WWII.

Meanwhile, a few days after Brazda’s death, GOP Presidential candidate Guv. Good Hair prayed at an event sponsored by a hate group that says gays were responsible for the Holocaust.

[LAT & SF Sentinel]

Damn, another amazing unheralded hero of WWII died at the age of 98 – Nancy Wake, the Kiwi/Aussie “White Mouse” spy, who was a leader of the Resistance.

Trained by British intelligence in espionage and sabotage, Wake helped to arm and lead 7,000 Resistance fighters in weakening German defenses before the D-Day invasion in the last months of the war.

While distributing weapons, money and code books in Nazi-occupied France, she evaded capture many times and reached the top of the Gestapo’s wanted list.

@SanFranLefty: She was an inspiring, absolute bad ass.

@rptrcub: Agreed, but I’ve read conflicting things about how much the Resistance actually resisted. Plus, D-Day was nearly a year before the end of the war, not “the last months”.

@flypaper: Try to see Army of Shadows directed by Melville. It’s very good on that subject. The resistance fighters overwhelmed by a sense of futility; the incredible stress of their lives; the fearful odds; the lies and brutality: it’s really good and is available on Netflix.

@SanFranLefty: What totally does me in is the fact that it wasn’t unusual for gay men who survived the camps to be sent to prison instead of being liberated since they remained criminals.

There’s a recentish documentary about Brazda in which he recounts his early years which were startlingly free and easy so far as sex and love were concerned. That all changed when the Nazis took power.

random thought at 3am….what did jewish gays wear? the pink triangle or the yellow star of david? both? did one trump the other?
in any case, i bet they were first in line.

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