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#EndHomophobia
LGBTQI+ ARE NO HUMANS
Until they are included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
#EndHomophobia
HOMOPHOBIC VIOLENCE IS STILL A REALITY
People are imprisoned, beaten, tortured and even killed - just because of their sexual orientation or gender identification. This mostly happens because many countries still have homophobic laws and a culture against LGBTQI+ freedom.
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RAINBOW RAILROAD HELPS LGBT PEOPLE ESCAPE PERSECUTION AND VIOLENCE. NOW YOU CAN, TOO.
Rainbow Railroad received hundreds of requests for help every year from people in countries where LGBTQI+ are open targets of violence. Rainbow Railroad focuses their efforts on assisting LGBTQI+ people facing physical violence, imprisonment, or even death. They have been successful in helping individuals from the Caribbean, Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.
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THE DETAILED VIEW ON HOMOPHOBIA.
#EndHomophobia
WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PINK TRIANGLE ISSUE IN THE INTERVIEW WITH BARBARA GLÜCK, DIRECTOR OF CONCENTRATION CAMP MEMORIAL MAUTHAUSEN AND JULIAN WIEHL, EDITOR OF THE VANGARDIST.
barbara glück
DR. DR. Barbara Glück about her work at the concentration camp memorial.
"Mauthausen is a place for the present."
Dr. Dr. Barbara Glück has been the director of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp Memorial since 2005. She understood our request right away and gave it her support. While the volunteers were on site at the memorial to take part in our film, I had the chance to speak with her, and our interview developed into a fascinating dialogue.
Director Glück, 2018 is the 80th anniversary of Mauthausen. What does this number represent?
On 8 August 1938, just 80 years ago, the first prisoners were brought to Mauthausen. But Mauthausen didn’t just fall from the sky. There is a history before that moment, one which led to the construction of the camp system. What happened 80 years ago cannot be taken aside from this other history and looked at separately. There was a process that led to it, and such processes can also happen today. That’s what we want to convey.
And since when has Mauthausen been a memorial site?
The memorial has existed since 1949. The camp was liberated by the US Army, and from the summer of 1945, the former camp was under the administration of the Soviets. In 1947, its grounds were handed over to the Republic of Austria by the Soviet High Command. Under one condition: Austria must erect a memorial here. Two years later, the memorial site was opened, and survivors of the camp accepted it the most readily. They would welcome visitors and lead tours. We now face the challenge of how to design the site so that, also without the active involvement of former prisoners, coming generations can also take something from it.
Such as?
Seeing what can happen when a society becomes completely numbed and fails. Of course we know the value of human rights, but do we stand by those rights when we need to? How can it be that in the middle of a so-called civilized society, millions of people were murdered? When groups of visitors, often school groups, ask themselves these questions and begin to draw parallels to the circumstances of today, questions such as “How can it be that people are still being displaced, tortured, and abused?” That’s when we meet our goal. We reach it when visitors go home with more questions than they came with.
How do you see the issue of homophobia in relation to the concentration camp memorial? Has it also been an issue in your work?
Homophobia is a particularly tragic example of how Mauthausen and the history it stands for did not begin in 1938 or end in 1945. The persecution of homosexuals in the Nazi era and in postwar Austria cannot be equated with each other. But even after 1945, homosexuality was a criminal offence in Austria. This was until 1971, and only in 2005 were gay people officially recognized as a victim group. After the liberation of the camp, many homosexuals had to live with a doubled trauma. They knew they were in violation of the law and in fact living “illegally”. And this also forbade them to speak of the imprisonment and torture they went through.
What do you think of the Pink Triangle campaign?
You [Vangardist] deliberately chose to come to a difficult place, one that presents the project with a double tragedy. That is remarkably courageous, especially as homosexuals were only, as just mentioned, given recognition as a victim group in 2005. Still today, people are being hunted down, tortured and murdered. The crimes of National Socialism were possible because too many people chose to avert their eyes to what was happening. One of the key lessons of the past is to not look the other way, and today, individuals and activists like you are explicitly choosing to instead take a closer look. One history cannot be equated with another, thus the situation then cannot be equated with now. But we can select individual aspects to point out where events can be compared and where they threaten to develop in similar ways. The persecution of homosexuals is a good example of this because it began long before 1938 and still, unfortunately, persists today. This isn’t an isolated topic. There are larger themes of exclusion, prejudice, ignorance and, above all, looking the other way when other people, for whatever reason, are being persecuted. We have a Charter of Human Rights, signed by nearly every country in the world, and these rights can never be demanded often enough!
Can a person heal from hate?
I hope so. I believe in the good in people and I also believe that people can change. Otherwise I would have stopped doing this work a long time ago.
Find more information about what happened at the concentration camp Mauthausen:
www.mauthausen-memorial.org
julian wiehl
Julian wiehl, editor of the vangardist, on why homophobia is still a topic.
“Why we need to make homophobia history.”
Did you know that during the Nazi era 15,000 people were sent to concentration camps for same-sex love? Did you know that these people were labelled with a pink triangle and were even considered by other camp inmates as being inferior? Did you know that they often didn’t even survive three days in the camps? And did you know that some of those who survived remained imprisoned after the concentration camps were liberated because homosexuality – in both the Federal Republic of Germany and in Austria – was a prosecutable offense until the 1990s?
If this is all new information to you and you now want to take comfort in the fact that these stories remain a thing of the past, then I will, unfortunately, have to keep alarming you. Although civil partnerships and marriage for same-sex partners have become a reality in more and more countries, this is in many ways overshadowed by the truth that right now, in 2018, homosexuality is banned by law in over 70 countries, and in eight of these, is even punishable by death.
But even laws that grant legal protections cannot protect against hostility. In Vienna, generally considered to be a very tolerant city, 79 percent of homosexual respondents to a survey reported having experienced public hostility for their sexual orientation at least once – 20 percent of whom were even subjected to physical violence.
Homophobia is on the rise again worldwide. This is also true in supposedly liberal society. But we don’t hear much about it. At most, homophobic incidents might make the local media, but only in its usual chronicling of violent crimes. Such things only become international news when they are particularly horrific. In Brazil, on average, a person is killed for their homosexuality every 16 hours. In Ecuador, there are over 200 “re-education clinics” where lesbian women are imprisoned, brainwashed, force-fed and sedated by staff who submit them to “corrective” rape. In Chechnya within the last year, over 100 people suffered days of brutal torture in detainment before being outed and released by the authorities, only for them to then be in danger of honour killings by their own families.
As you can see, many things happen that we’re simply never aware of. This is exactly the reason that led us to the Pink Triangle Campaign. We want to put the issue of homophobia back into the media again and by doing so point out the scope of the problem. In the Nazi era, public solidarity was life-threatening. In liberal countries today, we are free to stand behind any people who need our help. That’s why our action isn’t limited to the queer community but is deliberately aimed to inspire an alliance that includes the wider society.
Share the campaign, show solidarity and talk to the people around you. Homophobia isn’t insurmountable and we’ve already made progress against it. But there are so many people out there who need our help, and their lives often depend on just a few factors – factors we can positively influence.
Make Homophobia History
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