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The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals Paperback – February 15, 1988

4.0 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A powerful and painful account.” ―Martin Gilbert, author of The Holocaust

“A valuable contribution . . . the lesson that The Pink Triangle elicits from the Holocaust is the realization that we are still haunted by the specters of the Third Reich.” ―San Francisco Chronicle

“A strong book, not easy to put down . . . Mr. Plant writes convincingly, keeps clear of sentiment, and lays bare a particularly fearful corner of mid-twentieth century inhumanity.” ―The Economist

About the Author

Richard Plant was born in Frankfurt and was a graduate of the University of Basel, where he earned his Ph.D. Since emigrating to the United States in 1938, he has contributed numerous articles to many publications, and teaches at the New School for Social Research in New York City.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; Revised ed. edition (February 15, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805006001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805006001
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #433,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It's obvious that Richard Plant did his research before writing this book, there's a severe lack of information on this particular topic floating around out there. As I did a report entitled "Homosexuals in the Holocaust: The Forgotten Victims of the Third Reich," I found this to be the most complete book on the obscure topic. It may make for dull Sunday afternoon reading, but for all my intents and purposes, it was excellently detailed and precise.
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Format: Paperback
Richard Plant in his book THE PINK TRIANGLE describes the political and social atmosphere in Germany before and during WWII. Under the Nazi regime, soldiers were obliged to swear personal loyalty to Hitler, not to the German state (p.64). Already in 1933 "Heil Hitler" was imposed as a verbal greeting throughout schools, police, military etc. Hitler declared: "I am responsible for the fate of the German people, I became the supreme judge of the German nation...After victory, Poland would be a slave state. Its upper classes and Jews were to be wiped out. Only peasants, granted a minimal education, would be allowed to exist in order to provide their German masters with food. " Theodore Eicke organized brutality courses for the SS. The crimes committed, and the crimes planned, were so unspeakably monstrous that the human mind fails to apprehend their full dimensions. Nazi general Karl Wolff, Himmler's right hand-man, worked with steel-cold precision to set up the network of boxcars used to "resettle" the Jews of Poland and herd them like cattle to their death.

Reichsfuhrer SS, Heinrich Himmler considered homosexuals, "as useless as hens which don't lay eggs." They were socio-sexual propagation misfits." He prescribed the death penalty for any SS member guilty of homosexual actions. Homosexuality was to be diagnosed as a contagious disease. Felix Kersten, a Finish physiotherapist who had serves as Himmler's personal physician and confidant, told Himmler: "homosexuality is often a medical problem, related to glandular malfunction (a contemporary version of contemporary German psychiatry)" Himmler retorted: "We must exterminate these people root and branch. Just think how many children will never be born because of this." To permit homosexuality to flourish, the German nation would be weakened.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this book gave a sense of pride to know that those that came before me suffered the injustice of murder and slave labor in the camps. the memorial that was build for those that were murdered in the camps im proud to be a gay man today and I thank them that suffered so I can be free of persecution and live in the land of the free and home of the brave may they rest in peace and may god bless all who die in the camps and at the hands of the Nazis.
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Format: Hardcover
Plant gives incredible detail into the lives of those in charge of the persecution of homosexuals by the Nazis in World War II. In addition to a behind the scenes look into Nazi operations, including biographies of SS Himmler and Roehm, Hitler's top officials, Plant puts it all in the context of what gay Berlin/Germany was like at the time and leading up to WWII. Overall, this book is quite informative and eye opening, but a little dry. I expected to see shocking photos and gut wrenching first hand accounts of tragedy, etc but simply found a historical account that would be helpful as a textbook. I would recommend this for anyone interested in the subject matter, but not necessarily as free reading.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It has been many years since I had read this book for the first time and I found it very interesting and very sad as I did the first time I had read it. I had read this book in the late 1980's when it first came out, it had been a ground breaking book about a forgotten group of people that were persecuted in the concentration camps of Germany, and in some ways the general public in the conquered territories of the Third Reich. This group was of course, the wearer of the pink triangle, in other words, the homosexual population of Germany.

What had struck me this time while reading it was how little things have changed. The author had written back then how little is said about the plight of people who were branded homosexual, and it seems that this is still a subject rarely broached today in books written about World War II. While there is a handful of books written about this subject, it obviously comes no where close to the amount of material written about the atrocities committed against the Jews, gypsies, clericals, and Jehovah Witnesses. These atrocities at the hands of the SS and other police agencies were horrific and widespread in all captured Nazi territories. No one seemed to come to the defense of homosexuals, not even their families. This was a tragedy to read about.

While this is a complex social issue to this day, it seems that society has forgotten the people who suffered horribly, and the subject needs more indepth coverage then this rather brief book. This is a good start, but I am sure there are many stories that are yet to be told. The fact that the author could only find a few poeple that would speak on the record about what they experienced, (with changed names), speaks volumes about how homosexuallity was viewed in the post war period.
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