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Tue Jan 28, 2020, 01:20 AM

The heinous crimes of the Nazis against thousands of queer people must never, ever be forgotten

It is 75 years today since Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated, which signalled the beginning of the end of one of the most horrifying chapters in modern history: the Holocaust.

Every year on this day, the world remembers the millions of people who lost their lives during the Holocaust. Up to 17 million people were exterminated under the Nazi regime, with six million Jews included in that number.

The Holocaust was, at its core, a wide-scale and violent persecution of minority groups – and LGBT+ people were not exempt. Between 1933 and 1945, an estimated 100,000 men were arrested for homosexuality in Nazi Germany. 50,000 were sentenced for their “crimes” and an estimated 5,000-15,000 gay men were sent to concentration camps.


In the United States, LGBT+ people, Jewish people and Black people are the most targeted groups. 2018 was the “worst year ever for anti-semitic killings in the United States”, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism (CSHE) at California State University San Bernardino.


Unfortunately, when the allies liberated the concentration camps, many of the gay people who were imprisoned were not set free. Instead they were transferred to prisons, then under the control of the Allied forces. Same-sex sexual activity between men remained illegal in East and West Germany until 1968 and 1969 respectively.


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