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The Men with the Pink Triangle: The True Life-and-Death Story of Homosexuals in the Nazi Death Camps Paperback – Large Print, January 21, 2013


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Paperback, Large Print, January 21, 2013
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: ReadHowYouWant (January 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1459608399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1459608399
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 9.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,444,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It has only been since the mid-1970s that any attention has been paid to the persecution and interment of gay men by the Nazis during the Third Reich. Since that time, books such as Richard Plant's The Pink Triangle (and Martin Sherman's play Bent) have illuminated this nearly lost history. Heinz Heger's first-person account, The Men with the Pink Triangle, was one of the first books on the topic and remains one of the most important.

In 1939, Heger, a Viennese university student, was arrested and sentenced to prison for being a "degenerate." Within weeks he was transported to Sachsenhausen, a concentration camp in East Germany, and forced to wear a pink triangle to show that his crime was homosexuality. He remained there, under horrific conditions, until the end of the war in 1945. The power of The Men with the Pink Triangle comes from Heger's sparse prose and his ability to recall--and communicate--the smallest resonant details. The pain and squalor of everyday camp life--the constant filth, the continuous presence of death, and the unimaginable cruelty of those in command--are all here. But Heger's story would be unbearable were it not for the simple courage he and others used to survive and, having survived, that he bore witness. This book is harrowing but necessary reading for everyone concerned about gay history, human rights, or social justice. --Michael Bronski --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Gay survivors of Nazi concentration camps recount their experiences.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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I'd recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the Holocaust and/or gay history.
Lis
This is a very good story of one survivors experience during the war and the brutal treatment by the SS.
Brandon Kent Erekson
I read this short book in one sitting and was so moved I had to re-read it again the next evening.
D. Todd Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By gac1003 on December 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
A sodomy law had been on the German law books since 1871, a law known simply as Paragraph 175. Only a few people were ever sentenced under this obscure law until June of 1935 when, after the rise of Hitler and Nazism, the Nuremberg laws were enacted and the consequences of Paragraph 175 strengthened. Where once before, you had to be caught in the act of same sex relations, now simply receiving a letter or the spreading of idle gossip would have you sent to a concentration camp.
"The Men with the Pink Triangle" is one anonymous man's account of the harshness and cruelty faced by gay men at the hands of the SS and the ruling Nazi party, as well as by the other prisoners -- criminals, politicals, emigrants -- who viewed "filthy queers" as lower than the rest of them. They were distinguished by the large, pink triangles sown onto their prison outfits, making them easy targets for taunts and punishments. Also, homosexuals labored through the worst of the work details and "volunteered" for medical experimentation, which usually resulted in their deaths.
Some advantages also appeared for gay men. The "Capos" who were in charge of the prisoner barracks, often made lovers of some of the prisoners, giving them some protection and better rations and clothing. As is says in the book: "Homosexual behavior between two 'normal' men is considered an emergency outlet, while the same thing between two gay men, who both feel deeply for one another, is something 'filthy' and repulsive." The anonymous man used this to his advantage and survived the camps and the threat of being sent to the front lines.
Ths is a moving and powerful story about survival and about the right to be who you are, during one of the darkest times in world history. Highly recommended.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Richard Harrold on June 4, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A tremendously moving and easy to read book, The Men With the Pink Triangle provides the reader with not only descriptions of the horrific treatment suffered by gays in the Nazi camps, but also provides insight into the intra-camp politics among the prisoners. The anonymous narrator provides details on how the "capos" and the criminal prisoners operated, and how one could "survive" one's incarceration as long as one was willing to accept the camp heirarchy.
But by far, the descriptions of the brutality of the SS troops in the camps is the most rivitting. The terse language of the narrative increases the decriptions' impact. There's no intellectualizing this abuse in this tome. Unfortunately, we need more books like this one. But I'm afraid many of those gays who survived the camps are still unwilling to speak, and that is largely because of how they were treated after the camps were "liberated." The Nazis were brutal in their treatment, but you knew where they stood because the Nazis didn't hide their contempt. Bureaucrats today, however, are much more sinister.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
I figure we teach school kids about the Jews suffering in the Holocaust, and the blacks struggle for Civil Rights. It would make sense that kids learn the dangers of homophobic bigotry, by reading this book. It will open your eyes! The same anti-gay stereotypes then, are the same ones now.
This book is about a gay man who survived the Pink Triangle, and took him over 25 years to tell his story, as their were still many anti-gay laws on the books there. This man never wanted any public or economic gains from telling his story. In fact the Nazis had more contempt for the gays than they did the 'inferior racial groups' they persecuted.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
Heinz Heger's book has become the definitive story of life as a 'pink triangle' in a concentration camp. Sadly this is partly because the Nazi's deliberate policy of murder of this group ensured few survived and also due to the understandable fear of those who did survive to tell their story. If you have read Primo Levi you should read this. It is more immediate than Levi's writings, and there is less analysis, making it all the more horrifying. He simply tells what happened, mentioning only his amazement at the hypocrisy and cruelty exhibited by his German captors. The only other book that comes near to it is 'Liberation Was For Others', by Pierre Seel, an autobiographical tale of life in Schirmeck-Vorbruch. Seel continues his story to the post-war period, pointing out that for homosexuals suffering did not end in 1945.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By George Dalzell on August 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Heinz Hegel's thin volume brims with the haunting facts surrounding the persecution of gays under Nazi Germany's Section 175 ruling against homosexuality. Hegel provides the shocking historical context which few of us were taught in school, that people even suspected of same gender love relationships were tortured and killed by the Nazi regime in concentration camps in the 1930s and 40s.
This is a stirring testament of survival against all odds, peppered with humor, not overbearing in tone or content. It is also a fascinating quick read.
While the reader can celebrate the fact that Hegel survived imprisonment in Nazi camps from '39-45, he closes the book by reminding us that "the progress of humanity" has passed by the minority to which he belonged. As of 1970, when Hegel's book was written, it was still illegal for people of the same gender to form love relationships in his native Austria. Furthermore, gays remain the only minority persecuted in Nazi camps omitted from remuneration by the German government.
Even more shocking is the fact that the Nazis' desire to "cure" homosexuality, now balked at and dismissed by any credible mental health professional, is advocated in this day and age in the personage of the "shock jock," physiologist Laura Schlessinger (aka "Dr. Laura"). You would think that Ms. Schlessinger, an orthodox Jew, would learn from history.
Perhaps others will through Hegel's masterpiece.
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