Rudolf Brazda, Last Gay Nazi Death Camp Survivor, Dies At 98
BY ON TOP MAGAZINE STAFF
PUBLISHED: AUGUST 04, 2011
Rudolf Brazda, the last known gay Nazi death camp survivor, died at 98 in France on Wednesday, the AFP reported.
Brazda died at a hospital in Bantzenheim, France in his sleep, Philippe Couillet, a friend and associate of Brazda, told the European news service.
At the age of 29, Brazda was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp in August 1942. He remained in the camp until 1945, when the camp was liberated by allied troops.
Being gay was a crime under Nazi Germany's laws, and tens of thousands of people were convicted and sent to concentration camps. Prisoners had to wear a downward-pointing pink triangle on their jackets that identified them as gay or lesbian.
The pink triangle – which was originally intended as a badge of shame – has since been turned upside down and reclaimed as a symbol of gay pride.
Brazda moved to Alsace after the war and lived there the remainder of his life. His partner of over 30 years, Edi, died in 2003. (A video interview with English subtitles is embedded in the right panel of this page.)
In April, the French government awarded Brazda the Legion of Honor. He is expected to be buried next Monday in Mulhouse, France.