MAITLAND — The Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center, which has been the target of recent harassment by anti-Semitic protestors, is turning its focus on another group that became victimized by the Nazis during the Holocaust: homosexuals.
This month, the Holocaust Center in Maitland ha launched an ongoing dialogue of stories by people who became tragic victims of the Nazi era, whose stories may not be as well known to the general public. This is a follow-up to an exhibition that the Center hosted last year, titled Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals. As the Center pointed out, now they want a dialogue about how prejudice and hate impacts different community groups within our culture.
What Was the Center’s Nazi Persecution Exhibit?
“This time last year, we would have had the opportunity to display an exhibit titled Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945 from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,” the Center noted. “The 30-panel display tells stories of the lives of gay men, the impact of Paragraph 175, how police targeted gay men, the story of labor and concentration camps, and life after the war.”
However, the unprecedented lockdowns from the Covid-19 pandemic prevented this exhibit from going forward, although as the Center noted, “This relevant aspect of the Holocaust’s history cannot be denied and should not be forgotten. Because of this, we would like to share a few stories this month from the lesser-known victims during the Nazi era.”
The Nazis targeted a lot of different groups, including Jews, Communists, political opponents, Roma, and gay people. While Jews were forced by the Nazis to wear Yellow Stars, homosexuals who were sent to concentration camps were made to wear Pink Triangles. This was considered a badge of shame for prisoners wearing the downward-pointing, pink triangles sewn onto their uniforms.
What Changed After World War II Ended?
Why Did The Holocaust Center Start This Dialogue?
The antisemitic group didn’t go away quietly, though. They parked across the street and used signs and megaphones to continue to spread their propaganda and hateful rhetoric.
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the book When I Woke Up, You Were All Dead. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.