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Branded by the Pink Triangle Paperback – April 15, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Stories from the Holocaust are universally heartbreaking and horrifying, and this one is no different. The pink triangle was used by the Nazis to identify homosexual prisoners in the concentration camps, and here Setterington shows how it has been adopted by the gay movement as a symbol of strength and pride. He describes how German society's relatively tolerant attitudes of the 1920s grew less so as Hitler and the Nazis came into power and began a quest to purify the "Aryan race." By weaving the individual experiences into a broader account of the treatment and persecution of homosexuals by the Nazi regime, the author provides a compelling and evocative narrative. Culling first-person accounts from concentration camp survivors, he is able to paint a picture of the fear and harassment (and for some, ultimately death) that these individuals and their families endured. The writing is succinct but detailed enough to satisfy researchers. Period photographs, a lengthy time line, and an extensive bibliography round out the strengths of this thoughtful, informative work.-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Though homosexuality had been illegal in Germany since 1871, Berlin was widely regarded as the gay capital of Europe in the early twentieth century, when attitudes toward homosexuals were generally relaxed. All that changed with the rise of Nazism in the 1930s. Persecution of gays became the order of the day, and, with the creation of concentration camps, many were remanded to this living death, forced to wear pink triangles on their clothing to identify them as being homosexual. No one knows how many gays died in the camps, but the mortality rate is estimated to have been as high as 60 percent. Setterington, a librarian, has written an informative, well-researched, and well-documented history of the brutal treatment of homosexuals at the hands of the Nazis, humanizing his account with stories of survivors who have written about their experiences. He also includes an overview of the distressing condition of being gay in postwar Germany and, finally, brings the story up to date with a hopeful chapter titled, “It Gets Better.” Setterington’s is a significant contribution to LGBT history and one that deserves a wide readership. Grades 7-12. --Michael Cart

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 16 years
  • Grade Level: 8 - 10
  • Lexile Measure: 1110L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Second Story Press (April 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1926920961
  • ISBN-13: 978-1926920962
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #378,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Willner on April 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
More and more more books are written about the holocaust every year but usually about one person;s experience.
This book told the story of gays in that era of whom we knew very little. It told of how gays lived before the war
and then told more than one story. It mentioned different people's stories in various parts of Europe during the war
and what happened to them after the war. Recommended for anyone interested in history, in holocaust history,
in particular.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Craig Rowland on June 16, 2014
Format: Paperback
Branded by the Pink Triangle by Ken Setterington tells the story of the Nazi persecution of gay men. Setterington weaves survivors' stories in a chronological history wherein they told about, at first, the harassment they suffered at clubs and bars, to the eventual deportation to concentration camps where all gay men had to wear a pink fabric triangle sewn onto their striped uniform. Branded also deals with the atrocities committed against gay men and the horrific conditions they endured in the concentration camps. This book had been classified by Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication as juvenile literature. I cannot disagree more with such a classification. In fact, my own library system has six copies of this book, and they are in the adult collection.

I raise a very weighty topic when I argue when is the appropriate time to tell children about the atrocities committed by the Nazis against Jews and gays. Without question, this history cannot be denied and must continue to be told. My reservation is that Setterington has ostensibly written a book for children yet the content within is so graphic I cannot imagine any child reading this on his own and not feeling wholly traumatized afterward. The cover, font size and plentiful illustrations all point to a junior format of a book. In fact, all five of Setterington's other books owned by the Mississauga Library System have been placed in the Children's Department, so I do not feel as if Branded was an exception, but rather that Setterington fully intended for children to read this. However I do wonder about the five pages of endnotes, and why they were in a work of juvenile nonfiction, and thus why Library and Archives Canada felt to classify it as such.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By austin_the on March 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This topic of this book was something I hadn't ever even heard of so that's why it was so interesting.
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