Archive | July 2021

‘How I Got To Greece’

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‘How I Got To Greece’
(31 Jul 2021)

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(2019 06 09) Slimand Me (Thassos -February 1973) 50091091_2252905174984063_633501676090687488_n*
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Dear Reader:

A social media ‘Memory’ came to me a few days ago and repeated the next day.  Maybe it was telling me something important – to remember this ‘Memory’ from last year that originated from five decades ago.

I enjoy these memories.  I can’t believe that my two years at Greece began 50 years ago this year – 1971.  What a wild year that had been that led to my father, Slim, and me to travel to Greece.

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My 9th Grade at Brophy Jesuit boy’s school was a disaster.  Gee, no kidding!  I did NOT belong at a boy’s school.  But there was no way that my father would allow me to socially Transition to attend the corresponding Saint Francis Xavier Jesuit girl’s school – not beginning high school at 9th Grade, certainly not transferring there for 10th Grade; no, not five decades ago.  I’d already lost several years during Catholic Church elementary school.  How many more years of high school would I be captive attending Brophy?  I knew that I was stuck, frustrating as it was, to attend Brophy for my entire four years of high school if nothing changed.

Little was I about to realise that change was coming.  A very rough and tumultuous change, at that.  A change for the better in the long run that I never saw coming.

My father and I had that messy event on the Thursday afternoon before the first Saturday of February 1971. You remember, but I’ll re-tell for anyone new here.

First. Why do I describe it as the Thursday before the first Saturday of February 1971?  That is how I remember it.  No matter how many times I go into an Internet calendar and find that Thursday’s date, my mind is fixed as it is; I can’t change my memory to remembering something different..

You see, the first Saturday of February was the city’s annual Western parade – Parada del Sol.  My Boy Scout troop sold programs along the parade route.  That was how I spent my day that first Saturday of February 1971, selling parade programs with the memories of the events of the prior Thursday and Friday freshly fixed in my mind.

It was just my father, Slim, and me at home; my parents had been divorced years earlier, my sister Kathy moved out to live with her mother during her 9th Grade school year (during my 7th Grade school year).  Kathy kept many items at our home for her weekend visitations, including some of her clothes.

I came home from school and usually changed from my formal boy’s school clothes into my sister’s casual clothes.  I had no concern about my father; he certainly knew what I was doing because he’d frequently beat me any time I dared wear Kathy’s clothes in his presence.

For example, I remember one morning getting ready for school, I put on Kathy’s moccasins to wear that day rather than the usual shoes.  Moccasins – unisex, hardly particularly effeminate in style.  I hoped that my father would not notice.  Yet my father threw a fit that I dare consider wearing Kathy’s moccasins anywhere, especially to school.

So I would make sure to change before my father arrived home from his job as a Middle School mathematics teacher and from his university courses where he was studying for his Masters Degree in Mathematics.

My father’s arrival home seeing me while I wore Kathy’s clothes was really of minimal concern.  My bed time was usually during the 10pm hour because I woke up about 7am to get ready for school.  My father rarely arrived home while I was still awake, I was asleep wearing my boy’s pyjamas by the time he usually arrived home – 10.30pm or later.

That one day, that fateful Thursday, my father was sure to catch me, to punish me as severely as he could, to end my childhood Transition, one way or another.  He arrived home unexpectedly at 4pm when I was beginning to do my homework.

I was naive, with no reason to watch for my father, it was not his form for him to arrive home so early.  I was usually doing my homework first-thing, before I took a break to prepare my supper.  I also could have been in our backyard playing with Slim that afternoon.  In that case, I never would have seen what was coming.

I was in the kitchen at that time on that day, for whatever purpose.  I happened to look out the front kitchen window.  I saw my father’s truck.  There was my father, I saw him walking to the kitchen door.

I made a mad dash to my bedroom to change clothes, fearing another argument, more yelling, another beating, if my father caught me.  Too late.  I only got half changed.  Dear Ol’ Dad looked at me with one of his coldest stares.  But no beating, at least not then.

The home was eerily silent.

Our evening dinner was silent.

I washed the dishes in silence.

I did my homework at my bedroom desk in silence – I don’t recall specifically, but likely that I did not even play my radio in my bedroom.

I dared not use the living room tray and watch TV where I usually did homework.

My father came into my bedroom about 9pm. He broke the silence in the house. He yelled at me insultingly:

– ‘Why do you want to be a girl?’

I replied in fear:

– ‘I AM a girl!’

Then he hit me.  Hard.  The worst beating ever.  He taunted me to scream; I screamed in agony.  Remember what was on my mind.  My family murdered Frank, my mother’s younger brother, a few months earlier during his Transition.  I feared that I was next.

My father stopt.  Maybe a sense of reality came upon him.  How would he explain my death?

Friday morning was quiet.

Friday at school was not good.  The Assistant Principal summoned me to his office that afternoon.  The Jesuit priest told me that my father called him earlier in the day to report that I assaulted him that Thursday night.  My father apparently wanted to take control of whatever would have happened if I reported him to the school authorities – if I told the priest that it is my father who is my assailant, that my father was the one who nearly killed me that previous night.

Remember.  There were no such things as Domestic Abuse laws, no legal protection for any minor child subjected to physical or mental harm.  There was no authority where I could report my father’s abuse, no shelter where I could go for my safety.  Being a Transsexual child?  HA!

My father came home from work Friday afternoon.  The mood was tense.  I had no idea what was coming next.  He made his announcement that he went to the university’s employment and career office and submitted two applications for jobs overseas:  a teaching job at Afghanistan and another teaching job at Greece.

By April 1971, Pinewood hired my father to be their high school mathematics teacher for two years.

I did NOT want to go, but I had no choice.  My father had sole custody of me following the divorce of my parents; what he demanded was final.

We used the next months preparing for our move – he applied for our passports and travel visas, we got our shots, I painted the house to prepare it for sale.

By June 1971, we were packed and nearly ready.  There was a ‘monsoon’ storm for my last night at home.  I stayed with my then-Bestie Jeff for the last week or so.  Here’s where I get to mention Jeff and our running gag since 3rd Grade:

– ‘Mmm, mmm, that was delicious!  I wonder what it was?’

(https://youtu.be/qa00nDGNyLM)

I doubt Jeff is reading this.  But I put that URL to a phonograph record that we frequently listened to.  It’s here for its historical value, in case Jeff finds this narrative.

Meanwhile, my father finished with the sale of our home and putting our belongings into storage while I stayed with Jeff and his family.

My father and I flew to New Jersey to visit for a few weeks at his older sister’s home.  We had a small birthday party for me in July 1971.  My father was first to depart for Europe on our way to Greece.  He flew to Portugal and Spain on his way to Italy.

I spent time recording Cousin Donna’s albums onto audio cassette tapes to take to Greece.  I had no idea whether or not Greece had American style Rock music.  Cousin Donna and I went to the Ten Years After / Edgar Winter White Trash concert at Gaelic Park, New York City, in early August 1971. 

I flew to Rome a few days after the concert to meet my father there.  We ate real Italian pizza and spaghetti, we saw many historical sites – I especially remember the Coliseum and The Vatican.  You remember what my father did at the Vatican:

‘My Teen Years’
(https://slimandme.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/my-teen-years/).

My father bought our Fiat 124 Sedan at Rome.  We drove from Rome to Thessaloniki in August 1971.

Our first meal at Greece was at a rural roadside Taverna – ‘noodles’ and meatballs.  Yummy!

And that is how we got to Greece.

But consider my Fates travelling an alternate path.  What if my father didn’t come home early that day?  Or any other day?  Would we ever have moved to Greece?  To Afghanistan?  What about the timing?  Maybe another international school, another year?  What about the possibility that I was forced to attend Brophy for all four years of high school?  Of no opportunity to Transition to Xavier, or any other high school?  Or maybe my father did come to accept my inevitability?  No more yelling, no more arguments, no more beatings, at least allowing me to Transition at home.  This shows how each of our lives balance precariously, tilting towards one direction or another, each possible thread of the fabric of our lives unknown to us – whether our threads weave into our tapestry or unravel into a tangled heap on the floor.

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My father and I came to an uncertain truce during those two years at Greece.  I would agree to take advantage of the educational opportunities and our travels throughout Greece and Europe, no more Feminine Protesting tantrums.  My father would refrain from yelling at me, beating me.  He allowed me to grow my hair as long as girl’s long hair, to express my Female self identity in that one way.  It was the beginning of my father being obligated to acknowledge that he had to give way to Sharon – eventually.

Our first residence was at Harilao – a second floor apartment above the ground floor home of the family who owned the property.  I befriended their daughter, she and I are of the same age.  She taught to me my first things to know about living at her country.  We shared our enjoyment of American Rock music.

Living conditions were not good for me.  My bedroom faced the street – constant heavy traffic on a major road from Thessaloniki to the suburbs of Pylaia, Panorama, and Hortiatis.  Add to that, the local baker walked the neighbourhood streets first thing at the crack of dawn – he rang his bell and yelled out to the residents to buy his bread.  I could not get any sleep – with neither the continual traffic nor the baker.

Within our first month, my father and I moved to the Anatolia College campus – we settled at our Compton Hall apartment where we lived during our first year at Greece.  Mount Olympos was the view from my bedroom window.  Can you beat that!

We were ready for Slim to come join us.

I made friends with many of the Greek students of Anatolia College, especially during meals at either of the two cafeteria.  We sat together – they wanted to learn about America, to learn to speak English, I wanted to learn about Greece, to learn to speak Greek.

Yum!  All that original home-cooked Greek food.  I miss that, too.  And I miss the occasional Saturday evening movies – one of the Anatolia College teachers had a collection of old silent American movies that he would show on Saturday nights at the cafeteria.

(1973 06 xx) Maggana - Dad-Grigori and othersPinewood offered a promotion to my father – to be teacher and Principal at their Dasahori campus for our second school year at Greece.  My father, Slim, and I moved to Maggana, a nearby village to Dasahori, by August 1972.  I made friends with our landlord’s family at Maggana and with school-mates at Dasahori.  Another memorable year.

Grigori, second from the left, was our Maggana town miller and our landlord.  Zoe, fourth from the right was our landlady.  Their daughters were Effie (second from the right) and Stavroula (fifth from the right).  That’s my father, third from the left.  You can see a nudge of one of Grigori’s grinding wheels behind our Fiat 124 Sedan at the right.  That doorway led to his grain grinders, to the left is a door to his warehouse.  My father, Slim, and I lived upstairs.

(1973 06 xx) Maggana - Town SquareHere’s a view of the Maggana town building with Grigori’s property in the background.  Note the banner declaring Greek Democracy.

We travelled throughout Greece and Europe during our two years.  Pinewood twice selected me to represent the school as a delegate to the International Model United Nations conference at den Haag, Nederlands.  These were experiences that I would have missed by staying home and attending Jesuit school.  I think that I made a good trade.

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When we lived at home stateside before Greece, my primary option presenting female in any manner was wearing Kathy’s clothes and that brought my father’s wrath.  Sure, my hair at Catholic elementary school could be a little long for a boy, but only so far.  Long hair was not possible when I attended Brophy Jesuit high school, military hair cuts were required.

My father forbid me from bringing any of Kathy’s clothes with me to Greece; he packed all my travel luggage to make that a certainty.  Wearing female attire at home at Greece was never an option, nor when we returned stateside two years later.  Yet it was during those two years at Greece and afterwards that I would come to present my Female self far more, and more openly, than had we stayed home.

Perhaps my father began to hurt a little, to realise that his ‘son’ Nickie / Nick was fading away.  Thank you, Dad, for your sacrifice.

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So …

Here’s another part of this saga.

Some Pinewood school-mates befriended me, others did not.

Ευχαριστώ πόλη to my friends from Pinewood, those who did become my life-long friends.

Betty was one of my 10th Grade class-mates.  She posted this to her social media last year:

– ‘One thing this whole pandemic has taught me is that we have one life to live. This is not a practice run for the future, this is it! The material things we invest in are left behind only to be discarded. Memories are important to me. I’m going to start a “reunion of friends”. The idea is to see who reads a post without a picture. If no one reads my post, this will be a very short experiment. But if you are reading this message, make a comment using a single word about how we met. After that, copy this message on your wall and I will also leave you a word.’

This was my reply at her Comment section:

– ‘We didn’t really know each other due to being in different social circles during 10th Grade.

To be honest, I doubt that you remember me.  I welcome you to correct me.’

I waited to see if Betty took a browse here, if my old pictures as Nick helpt her remember.  I extended my hand of friendship to her to no responce.

Now, Betty, do you remember me?

You’re in not small company.

So far, a small few of my Pinewood school-mates during my 10th Grade came through as Friends.  Some did not really know Nick, but were eager to meet and welcome Sharon.  Ευχαριστώ πόλη!

Several other Pinewood school-mates submitted their ‘Friend Request’ to me Sharon; I accepted.  I never heard from them again during this past year.  No doubt, they realised that Sharon was Nick; these ‘Friend Requests’ came from former school-mates who chose to not befriend me Nick fifty years ago, there’s no point pretending the past, there’s no point befriending me Sharon fifty years later.

Dasahori school-mates from my 11th Grade are the best, though one particular school-mate refuses.  Maybe someday her sister will be able to convince her of my desire for friendship.

One year later and I continue to agree with Betty’s statements in her post.

I honestly would like that many more of my past Besties, friends, school-mates, acquaintances could have been better.  Time has told that they never were meant to be other than what they became.

The people who would have been in my reference in Betty’s post still have not corresponded with me following our initiating exchange.  With some certainty, they chose not to proceed, likely because they did discover who Sharon was those five decades ago – they only knew me as a troubled teen named Nick.  They did not include me in their circle of friends then, they have no reason to include me in their circle of friends now.  They know nothing of Sharon.  I accept my fate.

So, I remain happy and humbly blessed for the current people in my life – my Bestie and several others.  I’m reluctant to name names for fear of missing someone.  My Bestie and I enjoy chocolate ice cream, watching music videos, talking, hoping to solve the world’s problems.  My cyber friends and I enjoy frequent and regular exchanges of texts, pictures, videos, and other Internet goodies; sometimes not so frequent and regular, but still meaningful, that’s better than ‘family’.  My problem is being extremely Introvert and HSP, which explains why I rarely ever initiate contact – my fear of intruding into someone’s privacy.

Ευχαριστώ πόλη.

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Please take note of the specific and the random memes and screen print images that may be attached to this article, that I present throughout this web-site.  They add to the essence of this post.

Thank you to the Resources who contribute to this page.  Acknowledgement and credit goes to those who create their social media content, essays, and images.

Additional Resources:

1.

Google Maps ‘Satellite View’ recent street view of Maggana.  Note the changes.

(https://www.google.com/maps/@40.943581,24.870961,3a,37.5y,115.68h,84t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sa4hvhrakPvA3mC28zV76IQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656)

2.

A father and his Trans child in conflict.

(https://youtu.be/ZtIfQZeleWA)

‘Sunsilk Hair Talk’

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(1970 06 00) Slim at Crater Lake (sitting) 62108991_353447288645822_7445126293500198912_n*
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‘Pink Triangle – NEVER FORGET!’

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‘Pink Triangle – NEVER FORGET!’
(27 Jul 2021)
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(2019 06 09) Slimand Me (Thassos -February 1973) 50091091_2252905174984063_633501676090687488_n

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Dear Reader:

NEVER FORGET!

Always remember the people who endured the Shoah Holocaust – those who lived through it, those who perished.

 As The Allies came upon Hitler’s death camps during the conclusion of World War II, they cleared the prisoners of each of these death camps.  The Allies liberation of the inmates of Hitler’s death camps included:  Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roma, Communists, Socialists, Unionists, Disabled, Twins, Mentally ill.  They were all set free to return home, difficult as that would be during post-WW2 Europe.

But Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Marshall, and the entire Allied Command ordered that all Homosexual and Trans prisoners remain held captive inside each of these NAZI death camps – to remain imprisoned for rest of their lives.  Homosexual and Trans prisoners continued to perish at Eisenhower’s orders, same as they did under Hitler’s orders.

These were Hitler’s Three Stages to Genocide for his Final Solution:

 – You have no Rights
 – You have no Rights to live amongst us
 – You have no Rights to live.

Eisenhower and his Allied Command were as complicit in Hitler’s Final Solution and Genocide as Hitler and every NAZI.

Wearing either that Black or that Pink Triangle was the most fatal and deadly of all the emblems that Hitler assigned to the targets of his Final Solution.

The German LGBT Community were Hitler’s first and easiest targets by 1932 because they were German society’s easiest target.  Not even Hitler’s Gay generals of his inner circle were immune from assassination.

So it is today.  Crooked Drumpf ideologues throughout the nation continue to target Our Trans Community because we are the easiest targets of their Amerika.

NEVER FORGET!

 – Sharon 

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(https://www.facebook.com/CraigandBarbaraWeinerHRRC/posts/557620525688993)

The Craig and Barbara Weiner Holocaust Reflection and Resource Center
July 26, 2021 tcSpoeo15 Srhnosorersdc ·

We must all bear witness to the Holocaust and #NeverForget

The first Nazi camp liberated by US forces was Ohrdruf, a subcamp of Buchenwald. On April 4, 1945, the US 4th Armored Division and 89th Infantry Division of the Third US Army came face to face with the horrors of Nazi brutality. When American soldiers entered the camp, they discovered the decomposing remains of hundreds of murdered prisoners, some covered with lime and others partially incinerated. They also encountered the camp’s surviving prisoners, beaten, starving, emaciated, and in dire need of medical attention. The horrific nature of their discovery led General Dwight D. Eisenhower to visit the camp on April 12, along with Generals George S. Patton and Omar Bradley. After his visit, Eisenhower cabled General George C. Marshall describing his trip to Ohrdruf:

“The things I saw beggar description….The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said that he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda’.”

Eisenhower wanted the world to know about the atrocities committed by the Nazis. A few days later he again cabled Marshall with a request to bring members of Congress and journalists to the newly liberated camps so that they could convey the horrible truth about Nazi atrocities to the American public. Within days, congressmen and journalists began arriving to bear witness to Nazi crimes in the camps.

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3 Comments

Sharon Nichols
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Hitler’s death camps were cleared of the prisoners – Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roma, Communists, Socialists, Unionists, Disabled were all set free.
But Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Marshall, and the entire Allied Command ordered that all Homosexual and Trans prisoners remain held captive inside each of these death camps. Homosexual and Trans prisoners continued to perish at Eisenhower’s orders.
NEVER FORGET!
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· Reply · 11m · Edited

Craig R. Weiner
In reading the Newsweek article, it serves to emphasize the lack of education on this horrific history that we have in our country compared to the schools in Europe which emphasize Holocaust education. It is precisely this type of education that teaches us and our students the dangers of hate and prejudice. For those who question the number of Jews that were murdered during the Holocaust, they can simply visit the Book of Names at the Auschwitz museum in Poland and hand count the over 4.2 million names of victims names that are already listed …one name at a time.
We must remember that the Holocaust is the most heavily documented genocide in human history.
In fact, in reading about the growth of hate groups, I again blame inadequate education about the importance of standing up against ALL forms of hate. This subject needs to be taught more broadly and more proactively in our schools, as well as at home. We must teach our young people how dangerous hate can be. Just ask ourselves these questions : “What good can come from hate ? Is there anything that can be productive in a civilized society that stems from hate ?” Obviously we all know the answers. Whether it was Afro Germans that were sterilized or castrated by the Nazis, or the Gypsies or Jehovah Witnesses that were murdered, or the handicapped and less fortunate that were put to death, or the millions of Jews that were murdered in gas chambers, by bullets or through starvation…….It ALL comes from hate and if we are not careful as a society to be more proactive in teaching our future generations about these dangers associated with hate, our children and grandchildren will be in real danger of history repeating itself. Let’s leave our grandchildren a more peaceful world, a world where respect, understanding, empathy and compassion are dominant rather than “judgment”. If we can do this together, be sure that your grandchildren will be forever grateful and will live happy and fulfilling lives which they will in turn pass on to your great grandchildren.
· Reply · 13h · Edited

Mara Lerner Robbins
1/3 of Americans do not believe 6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. We must educate our children so that this mass genocide is never forgotten and never happens again. https://www.newsweek.com/one-third-americans-dont-believe…
One-third of Americans don’t believe 6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust
NEWSWEEK.COM
One-third of Americans don’t believe 6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust
· Reply · 15h · Edited

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(https://www.facebook.com/CraigandBarbaraWeinerHRRC/posts/548380573279655)

The Craig and Barbara Weiner Holocaust Reflection and Resource Center
July 12, 2021 ·

At the tail end of WW2…

The Holocaust in Hungary was the final act of mass murder of a Jewish community by Nazi Germany during the 1941-45 genocide of the European Jews. Until the spring of 1944, Hungary was home to the only major Jewish community still largely intact in Central Europe. In May 1944, the deportation of Hungary’s Jews to Auschwitz began. In only eight weeks, some 440,000 Jews were deported on 145 trains, most of them to Auschwitz, where around 80 percent were gassed upon arrival. By the end of the Holocaust, some 565,000 Hungarian Jews had been murdered. At the height of deportations, 4 trains carrying 3,000 people each left every single day. Deportations were halted in July.

Pictured below (1) a transport of Hungarian Jews line up on the ramp for selection at Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center in German-occupied Poland, May 1944; (2) Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland, Jews waiting in a grove near gas chamber #4 prior to their murder, May 1944 . ~ Yad Vashem photo archives

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Remember.

The NAZI book-burnings were of the books from Dr. Hirschfeld’s library of Transgender research and of his patients because they were books of ‘other immoral influences’, as Hitler decreed by fiat.

(https://www.facebook.com/CraigandBarbaraWeinerHRRC/posts/508270323957347)

The Craig and Barbara Weiner Holocaust Reflection and Resource Center
May 10, 2021 ·

#OTD 1933

On May 10, 1933, university students across Germany burned over 25,000 “un-German” books in Berlin’s Opera Square. Students threw books stolen from public and university libraries onto bonfires, and celebrated with elaborate ceremonies, parades, music, speeches and “fire oaths,”. The students sought to purify German culture and literature of “foreign,” especially Jewish, and other immoral influences.

1 Comment

Mara Lerner Robbins
The censorship is truly terrifying.
· Reply · 11w
The Craig and Barbara Wein

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(https://legacyprojectchicago.org/milestone/pink-triangle)

The Pink Triangle
1933 – 1945

Gays in the Holocaust

Before the Nazi era, Berlin had been home to a vibrant gay and lesbian culture. At the conclusion of World War II, the Allies came upon Nazi concentration camps and other sites of atrocity to find thousands upon thousands of people – suffering terribly, emaciated, near death – whom the SS had incarcerated because they were Jewish, Roma or Sinti, dissenting Lutheran and Catholic Clergy, mentally or physically disabled, homosexuals, political dissidents … the list of groups which offended Adolf Hitler was a long one. While great effort was made to repatriate most victims of Nazi brutality, the homosexual survivors were not “liberated.” At the recommendation of British and American lawyers, the men who had been arrested under Germany’s anti-homosexual ‘Paragraph 175’ statute – identified by the pink triangles many were forced to wear – were to be re-imprisoned. The enforcement of anti-homosexuality laws across the U.S. and Europe, meant that many gay survivors of Nazism faced continued persecution, arrest, and detention long after Hitler was defeated. For decades, most of these men were unable to relate the saga of their torture at the hands of the Nazis for fear of outing themselves to a hostile society. No celebrations. No tearful reunions. No commiseration with friends. No community of survivors with which to share their stories. The German government did not recognize or grant reparations to gay survivors of Nazism until 2002, by which time almost all had died. The Pink Triangle was adopted by the modern LGBTQ Rights Movement in the 1970s and became emblematic of life and death during the 1980s and 90s when the male homosexual population once again faced mass death – this time by AIDS and the judgmental indifference that condemned them to a “deserved” fate. Once a hallmark of Hitler’s cruelty and madness, the Pink Triangle is now both a universal symbol of LGBTQ Pride and an international declaration of “NEVER AGAIN!”

Pink Triangle/Gays-in-the-Holocaust Memorial

Plaque Sponsor:

Paul Highfield, Ronald Puskarits, Edward Seslowsky, Paul DeSousa, Patrick F. Torres, Myron Mix, Bill Wade, Laura Angelucci and Jennifer Baker, Daniel K. West, Barb Silnes and Tina Chabak

Lesson Plan

Demography

Era/Epoch
Cold War (1945-1991)
Great Depression (1929-1939)
Information Age (1970-present)
World War II (1939-1945)

Commemorations & Honors

AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT UP) Logo Created With Inverted Pink Triangle and Slogan “SILENCE = DEATH” by 6 Gay Activists in New York City (1987)

Pink Triangle Plaque Installed at the Dachau Memorial Museum Commemorating the Suffering of Gay Inmates (1995)

Pink Triangle Basis of Design for Homomonument in Amsterdam, the Gay and Lesbian Holocaust Memorial in Sydney, the Pink Triangle Park in the Castro Neighborhood of San Francisco and the Pink Triangle on Twin Peaks Displayed Every Year During San Francisco

Pink Triangle Memorial Erected in Tel Aviv Israel

Monument Honoring Gay People Killed by the Nazi’s Erected in Berlin Germany

Resources

Related People

Pierre Seel

Related Images

The Pink Triangle Bronze Casting Source Image
The Pink Triangle- Gays in the Holocaust
Pink Triangle Affixed to Gay Men’s Clothes in a Nazi Concentration Camp
Nazi Concentration Camp Triangle Classification Flyer
1980’s “Silence = Death” AIDS Protest Pin from Gran Fury/Act-UP
Gay Men Awaiting Nazi Judgment
Gay Man with the Pink Triangle

Related Videos

The Pink Triangle Explained

Euronews Report on the Last Gay Holocaust Survivor and Itinerary of a Pink Triangle

AFP News Report on the Pink Triangle Monument Erected in 2014 in Tel Aviv Israel

USC Shoah Foundation Interview With Gay Holocaust Survivor Stefan Kosinski

AP Report on the Berlin Germany Monument Honoring Gay People Killed by the NAZIs

US Holocaust Memorial Museum Documenting Nazi Persecution of Gays: Josef Kohout…

Related Resources

Grau, Gunter. Hidden Holocaust? Gay and Lesbian Persecution in Germany 1933-45. London: Cassel, 1995.

Heger, Heinz. Men with the Pink Triangle: The True, Life-and-Death Story of Homosexuals in the Nazi Death Camps. David Fernbach, trans. Boston: Alyson Press, 1980.

Jensen, Erik N. “The Pink Triangle and Political Consciousness: Gays, Lesbians, and the Memory of Nazi Persecution.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 11 (January/April 2002): 319-49.

Kogon, Eugen. The Theory and Practice of Hell. Heinz Norden, trans. New York: Berkley Books, 1998.

Plant, Richard. The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War against Homosexuals. New York: Henry Holt, 1986.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_triangle

http://www.pink-triangle.org/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/rudolf-brazda-last-known-survivor-of-the-pink-triangle-gay-inmates-of-nazi-concentration-camps-2334053.html

http://www.ushmm.org/information/exhibitions/online-features/special-focus/nazi-persecution-of-homosexuals

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paragraph_175_(film)

https://time.com/5295476/gay-pride-pink-triangle-history/

https://www.thepinktriangle.com/history/symbol.html

https://www.thepinktriangle.com/

https://www.history.com/news/pink-triangle-nazi-concentration-camps

https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/the-men-with-the-pink-triangle

Authorship

Original Description Author
Victor Salvo
Description Edited By
Owen Keehnen
Description Vetted, Edited, and Certified By
Dr. Danny M. Cohen Ph.D. | Northwestern University
The Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission
Copyright Holder
The Legacy Project
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Corbis Images
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Carrie Maxwell

Copyright © 2020 The Legacy Project

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(https://www.thepinktriangle.com/history/symbol.html)

The Pink Triangle, San Francisco Pride Official Event

The Pink Triangle | history | symbol

German concentration camp prisoner markings

The pink triangle was used by the Nazis in concentration camps to identify and shame homosexuals. This symbol, which was used to label and shame, has been embraced by the gay community as a symbol of pride.

However, in the 1930s & 1940s there was nothing celebratory about the pink triangle. Gays were forced to wear the pink triangle on their breast pockets in the concentration camps to identify them as homosexual to set them apart from other prisoners.

Triangles of various colors were used to identify each category of “undesirable”: yellow for Jews, brown of Gypsies, red for political prisoners, green for criminals, black for anti-socials, purple for Jehovah’s Witnesses, blue for immigrants, and pink for homosexuals.

The pink triangles were slightly larger than the other colored triangles so that guards could identify them from a distance. It is said that those who wore the pink triangles were singled out by the guards to receive the harshest treatment, and when the guards were finished with them, some of the other inmates would harm them as well.

At the end of the war, when the concentration camps were finally liberated, virtually all of the prisoners were released except those who wore the pink triangle. Many of those with a pink triangle on their pocket were put back in prison and their nightmare continued.

One of the groups that was targeted for extermination by the Nazis continues to be under attack to this day, not just verbally but physically, all over the world: homosexuals. The fact that gays were put in German concentration camps is not known by many. The stories of the survivors reveal an unimaginable cruelty and suffering. It is the same kind of senseless, irrational hatred that still haunts Gays, Jews, Blacks, and other minorities today.

The Taliban in Afghanistan required non-Muslims to wear identifying badges on their clothing, just as the Nazis required their “undesirables” to wear identifying logos so long ago. History repeats itself.

The list of systematic, deliberate and well-orchestrated exterminations is a long one. The Armenian Genocide of 1915 – 1918 in the Ottoman Turkish Empire, the Holocaust, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia and the Sudan, and numerous other genocidal campaigns are testament of the world’s complacency.

It seems the lessons of the Holocaust and the Pink Triangle have been lost on many. Because “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it” we continue to display the Pink Triangle atop Twin Peaks. It is important to keep alive the memory of the Holocaust victims and to remind everyone of the consequences of unchecked hatred.

The Pink Triangle display is also intended as an instrument to initiate discourse about hate crimes. We want to help prevent others from experiencing the results of hatred that Matthew Shepard, Allen Schindler, Brandon Teena, and countless others have been subjected to. If we can help prevent additional crimes like those committed against them, we will have been successful in our attempt to inform the public.

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Website started by Katie Hickox and David Helton; current design and implementaton by Michael ‘Mickey’ Sattler.

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(https://www.history.com/news/pink-triangle-nazi-concentration-camps)

UPDATED:JUL 9, 2019
ORIGINAL:JUN 3, 2019
The Pink Triangle: From Nazi Label to Symbol of Gay Pride
MATT MULLEN

Radu Bighian/Getty Images

Pink triangles were originally used in concentration camps to identify gay prisoners.

Before the pink triangle became a worldwide symbol of gay power and pride, it was intended as a badge of shame. In Nazi Germany, a downward-pointing pink triangle was sewn onto the shirts of gay men in concentration camps—to identify and further dehumanize them. It wasn’t until the 1970s that activists would reclaim the symbol as one of liberation.

Homosexuality was technically made illegal in Germany in 1871, but it was rarely enforced until the Nazi Party took power in 1933. As part of their mission to racially and culturally “purify” Germany, the Nazis arrested thousands of LGBT individuals, mostly gay men, whom they viewed as degenerate.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum estimates 100,000 gay men were arrested and between 5,000 and 15,000 were placed in concentration camps. Just as Jews were forced to identify themselves with yellow stars, gay men in concentration camps had to wear a large pink triangle. (Brown triangles were used for Romani people, red for political prisoners, green for criminals, blue for immigrants, purple for Jehovah’s Witnesses and black for “asocial” people, including prostitutes and lesbians.)

Homosexual prisoners at the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, Germany, wearing pink triangles on their uniforms on December 19, 1938.
Corbis/Getty Images

At the camps, gay men were treated especially harshly, by guards and fellow prisoners alike. “There was no solidarity for the homosexual prisoners; they belonged to the lowest caste,” Pierre Seel, a gay Holocaust survivor, wrote in his memoir I, Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual: A Memoir of Nazi Terror.

An estimated 65 percent of gay men in concentration camps died between 1933 and 1945. Even after World War II, both East and West Germany upheld the country’s anti-gay law, and many gays remained incarcerated until the early 1970s. (The law was not officially repealed until 1994.)

The early 1970s was also when the gay rights movement began to emerge in Germany. In 1972, The Men with the Pink Triangle, the first autobiography of a gay concentration camp survivor, was published. The next year, post-war Germany’s first gay rights organization, Homosexuelle Aktion Westberlin (HAW), reclaimed the pink triangle as a symbol of liberation.

“At its core, the pink triangle represented a piece of our German history that still needed to be dealt with,” Peter Hedenström, one of HAW’s founding members said in 2014.

Memorial plaques for homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Wehrmacht deserters are placed where once stood one of the demolished barracks in Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar, Germany.
Horacio Villalobos/Corbis/Getty Images

Afterwards, it began cropping up in other LGBT circles around the world. In 1986, six New York City activists created a poster with the words SILENCE = DEATH and a bright pink upward-facing triangle, meant to call attention to the AIDs crisis that was decimating populations of gay men across the country. The poster was soon adopted by the organization ACT UP and became a lasting symbol of the AIDS advocacy movement.

The triangle continues to figure prominently in imaging for various LGBT organizations and events. Since the 1990s, signs bearing a pink triangle enclosed in a green circle have been used as a symbol identifying “safe spaces” for queer people. There are pink triangle memorials in San Francisco and Sydney, which honor LGBT victims of the Holocaust. In 2018, for Pride Month, Nike released a collection of shoes featuring pink triangles.

Although the pink triangle has been reclaimed as an empowering symbol, it is ultimately a reminder to never forget the past—and to recognize the persecution LGBT people still face around the world.

TAGS
LGBT HISTORY
PRIDE

MATT MULLEN

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(https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1891991021101754&id=100008726227817)

(https://www.facebook.com/holocaustmuseum/posts/10155805043647677)

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
July 23, 2018 ·

Today in 1942, the Nazi regime began gassing operations at the Treblinka killing center. Treblinka was part of a network of killing centers built to murder millions of Jews in German-occupied Poland.

The killing process at Treblinka was a cruel exercise in deception. Upon arrival, prisoners were told they had entered a transit camp. They had to give up their valuables, undress completely, and have their heads shaved. Then, they were forced to run down a tunnel into rooms labeled as showers. The rooms were gas chambers. Prisoners who were unable to run were brought to a sham Red Cross tent under the pretense of receiving medical care, then shot.

Between 870,000 and 925,000 Jews were killed in Treblinka from July 1942 through November 1943, when the center was dismantled. Learn more:

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/treblinka

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Treblinka
ENCYCLOPEDIA.USHMM.ORG
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United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
TREBLINKA

<p>Train station near the <a href=”/narrative/3819″>Treblinka</a> killing center. This photo was found in an album belonging to camp commandant Kurt Franz. Poland, 1942-1943.</p>

To carry out the mass murder of Europe’s Jews, the SS established killing centers devoted exclusively or primarily to the destruction of human beings in gas chambers. Treblinka was among these killing centers. It was one of three killing centers linked to Operation Reinhard, the SS plan to murder almost two million Jews living in the German-administered territory of occupied Poland, called the General Government. View This Term in the Glossary

KEY FACTS

1
In November 1941, SS and German police authorities in the General Government View This Term in the Glossary established a forced-labor camp for Jews, known as Treblinka (later referred to as Treblinka I).

2
The killing center, referred to as Treblinka II, was constructed in the summer of 1942. It was the third killing center, after Belzec and Sobibor, established by Operation Reinhard authorities.

3
By the time the Treblinka killing center was dismantled in the fall of 1943, the camp personnel had murdered an estimated 925,000 Jews, as well as an unknown number of Poles, Roma, View This Term in the Glossary and Soviet POWs.

TAGS
killing centers
Treblinka
Operation Reinhard
uprisings
occupied Poland
English

Treblinka became one of three killing centers created as part of Operation Reinhard (also known as Aktion Reinhard or Einsatz Reinhard). It was first established as a forced-labor camp.

In November 1941, under the auspices of the SS and Police Leader for the Warsaw District in the General Government, View This Term in the Glossary SS and police authorities established a forced-labor camp for Jews, known as Treblinka. This camp was later referred to as Treblinka I. It also served the SS and police authorities as a labor education camp for non-Jewish Poles whom the Germans perceived to have violated labor discipline. Both Polish and Jewish inmates, imprisoned in separate compounds, were deployed as forced labor. The majority of the forced laborers worked in a nearby gravel pit.

In July 1942, the authorities of Operation Reinhard completed the construction of a killing center, referred to as Treblinka II. Treblinka II was intended for the extermination of Warsaw’s Jews and located in the Warsaw District of the General Government. View This Term in the Glossary However, because it was part of Operation Reinhard, it was administered by Odilo Globocnik. Globocnik was the SS and Police Leader of the Lublin District.

When Treblinka II commenced operations, the two other Operation Reinhard killing centers, were already in operation. These killing centers were Belzec and Sobibor.

The Location and Topography of Treblinka II
This photo was found in an album belonging to camp commandant Kurt Franz. [LCID: 35274]
This photo was found in an album belonging to camp commandant Kurt Franz. Poland, 1942-1943.

Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz

Treblinka labor camp and killing center were established during the German occupation of Poland in World War II. They were located in the Warsaw District of the General Government View This Term in the Glossary (Generalgouvernement).

The labor camp was known as Treblinka I. It was constructed around a gravel pit that had been worked before the war and was located about 3.5 miles from the Treblinka village railway station. While this was a sparsely populated area, it was in close proximity to an important railway junction in a larger village called Malkinia Gorna. The Malkinia Gorna railway junction was located about mid-way on the approximately 100-mile rail line between Warsaw and Bialystok. Its location provided good rail connections between districts of the General Government View This Term in the Glossary and the cities of Warsaw, Lublin, Radom, and Bialystok.

Operation Reinhard authorities chose the site for the Treblinka killing center in this remote area. Treblinka II was opened approximately a mile south of the labor camp. It was located near the village of Wolka Okraglik along another railway line, the Malkinia-Siedlce connection. The Germans improved the rail connections between these various points by building a rail spur that led from the labor camp to the killing center and that also connected to the Malkinia station.

The site of the killing center was heavily wooded and hidden from view. It was laid out in a trapezoid covering an area of 1,312 by 1,968 feet (an area equivalent to almost 34 soccer fields). Pine branches woven into the eight-foot tall barbed-wire fence and trees planted around the perimeter served as camouflage, blocking any view into the camp from the outside. Watchtowers 26 feet high (almost 2.5 stories) were placed along the fence and at each of the four corners.

The killing center was divided into three parts: the reception area, the living area, and the killing area. The living area contained housing for German staff and the guard unit. It also contained administrative offices, a clinic, storerooms, and workshops. One section contained barracks that housed those Jewish prisoners selected from incoming transports to provide forced labor. This forced labor was intended to support the camp’s function: mass murder.

Deportations to Treblinka
Scene during the deportation of Jews from Thrace to the Treblinka killing center. [LCID: 79616]
Deportation of Jews from Thrace to Treblinka
Scene during the deportation of Jews from Thrace to the Treblinka killing center. Lom, Bulgaria, March 1943.

Central Zionist Archives

Deportations to Treblinka came mainly from the ghettos of the Warsaw and Radom districts in the General Government. View This Term in the Glossary Between late July and September 1942, the Germans deported around 265,000 Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka. Between August and November 1942, SS and police authorities deported around 346,000 Jews to Treblinka II from the Radom District. From October 1942 until February 1943, the Germans deported to the Treblinka killing center more than 110,000 Jews from the Bialystok District, a section of German-occupied Poland that was attached administratively to German East Prussia. Treblinka also received transports of at least 33,300 Jews from the Lublin District.

German SS and police authorities deported Jews to Treblinka from the Bulgarian-occupied zones in Thrace and Macedonia. They also deported some 8,000 Jews from Theresienstadt in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Other small groups of Jews of undetermined numbers were killed at Treblinka II. The Germans deported these groups from Germany, Austria, France, and Slovakia via various transit locations in the General Government. View This Term in the Glossary In addition, an undetermined number of Roma (Gypsies) and Poles were killed at Treblinka II.

Deportations to Treblinka continued until the spring of 1943. Most prominent among the deportations were the approximately 7,000 Jews transported from the Warsaw ghetto after its liquidation following the Warsaw ghetto uprising. A few isolated transports arrived after May 1943.

The Staff of Treblinka I and II

The authorities at the killing center, Treblinka II, consisted of a staff of between 25 and 35 German SS and police officials. As with the other Operation Reinhard killing centers, the majority of German camp officials belonged to the T4 (“euthanasia”) organization.

The first commandant of Treblinka II was Dr. Irmfried Eberl, a physician. Eberl had gassed patients as medical director of the Brandenburg and Bernburg “euthanasia” facilities. However, his poor management of Treblinka led to his dismissal on August 26, 1942, just six weeks after he arrived. His replacement, SS Captain Franz Stangl, was transferred from the Sobibor killing center. Stangl was a former policeman in the Criminal Police (Kripo). He had previously served as deputy office manager at the Hartheim and Bernburg “euthanasia” killing centers. On August 23, 1943, following the prisoner revolt at Treblinka, Kurt Franz succeeded Stangl as commandant. Franz was previously a cook at the Hartheim, Brandenburg, Grafeneck, and Sonnenstein “euthanasia” centers, as well as at the Belzec killing center. He remained commandant at Treblinka II until its liquidation in November 1943.

SS Captain Theodor van Eupen was the commandant of Treblinka I, the labor camp, from 1941 through 1944. Unlike Treblinka II, which was part of Operation Reinhard, the commandant of Treblinka I did not report to the Operation Reinhard and T4 authorities. Rather, Treblinka I’s commandant was subordinate to the SS and Police Leader in Warsaw. Under the leadership of German authorities stood a police auxiliary guard unit of between 90 and 150 men. All of these men were either former Soviet prisoners of war (POWs) of various nationalities or Ukrainian civilians selected or recruited for this purpose. Members of the guard unit were trained at a special facility of the SS and Police Leader in Lublin, the Trawniki training camp.

Mass Murder

Distant view of smoke from the Treblinka killing center, set on fire by prisoners during a revolt. [LCID: 35277]
Smoke from the Treblinka killing center
Distant view of smoke from the Treblinka killing center, set on fire by prisoners during a revolt. This scene was photographed by a railway worker. Treblinka, Poland, August 2, 1943.

Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz

Incoming trains of about 50 or 60 cars bound for the killing center first stopped at the Malkinia railway station. Twenty cars at a time were detached from the train and brought into the killing center. The guards ordered the victims to disembark in the reception area, which contained the railway siding and platform. One building erected on the platform was disguised as a small railway station, complete with a wooden clock and fictive rail terminal signs and railway schedules.

German SS and police personnel announced that the deportees had arrived at a transit camp. View This Term in the Glossary Deportees were required to hand over all valuables. The reception area contained a fenced-in “deportation square” with two barracks in which deportees—with men separated from women and children—had to undress. It also contained large storerooms. This is where the possessions relinquished by victims were sorted and stored. Next, the goods were shipped to Germany via Lublin.

A camouflaged, fenced-in path led from the reception area to the gas chamber entrance, located in the killing area. This was known as the “tube” [“Schlauch”]. Victims were forced to run naked along this path to the gas chambers, deceptively labeled as showers. Once the chamber doors were sealed, a large diesel engine installed outside the building pumped in carbon monoxide exhaust. All those inside were killed.

Sonderkommando at Treblinka II

The Sonderkommando (special detachment) was a group of Jewish prisoners selected to remain alive as forced laborers. Members of this group worked in the killing area. They removed bodies from the gas chambers and initially buried them in mass graves. In October 1942, camp personnel deployed Jewish forced laborers to exhume these mass graves. The forced laborers were ordered to burn the bodies on open-air “ovens” made from rail track. This was in keeping with the efforts of the Sonderkommando 1005, tasked with excavating and destroying evidence of Nazi mass murder in the German-occupied east. German personnel and the Trawniki-trained auxiliaries periodically murdered the members of detachments of Jewish laborers and replaced them with persons from newly arriving transports.

Sonderkommando prisoners selected as forced laborers worked in the administration-reception area of the camp. They were tasked with forcing the new arrivals to detrain, disrobe, and relinquish their valuables. They were also forced to drive their fellow Jews into the “tube” which led to the gas chambers. Prisoners then sorted the victims’ possessions in preparation for transport to Germany. In addition, they cleaned out freight cars for the next deportation. Victims who were too weak or ill to reach the gas chambers on their own were told they would receive medical attention. Members of the Sonderkommando carried them to a camouflaged area, which was disguised as a small clinic using a Red Cross flag. There, SS Corporal Willi Mentz shot the victims in an open pit. Previously, Mentz had performed agricultural work at the Grafeneck and Hadamar “euthanasia” facilities.

Resistance and Revolt in Treblinka
Three participants in the Treblinka uprising who escaped and survived the war. [LCID: 66111]
Three participants in the Treblinka uprising who escaped and survived the war. Photograph taken in Warsaw, Poland, 1945.

Pictured from left to right are: Abraham Kolski, Lachman and Brenner. After participating in the Treblinka uprising, they escaped from the camp and found temporary refuge in the nearby forest. Afterwards they hid with a Christian family until liberation.

US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Sylvia Kramarski Kolski

View Archival DetailsJewish inmates organized a resistance group in early 1943. When camp operations neared completion, the prisoners feared they would be killed and the camp dismantled. During the late spring and summer of 1943, the resistance leaders decided to revolt. On August 2, 1943, prisoners quietly seized weapons from the camp armory. However, they were discovered before they could take over the camp. Hundreds of prisoners stormed the main gate in an attempt to escape. Many were killed by machine-gun fire. More than 300 did escape—though two-thirds of them were eventually tracked down and killed by German SS and police, as well as by military units. Surviving prisoners were forced to dismantle the camp. They were supervised by German SS and police personnel, who were acting upon orders from Odilo Globocnik. After completion of this job, the German SS and police authorities shot the prisoners.

The End of the Treblinka Camps

German officials ordered that Treblinka II be dismantled in the fall of 1943.

From late July 1942 through September 1943, the camp personnel murdered an estimated 925,000 Jews at the Treblinka killing center. They also killed an unknown number of Poles, Roma, View This Term in the Glossary and Soviet POWs. Treblinka I, the forced-labor camp, operated until late July 1944. While the killing center was in operation, some of the arriving Jews were selected and transferred to Treblinka I. Those Jews too weak to work at Treblinka I were periodically sent to Treblinka II to be killed.

During late July 1944, with Soviet troops moving into the area, camp authorities and Trawniki guards shot the 300-700 remaining Jewish prisoners. The camp was hastily dismantled and evacuated. All traces of it were destroyed. Lupine flowers were sown on the grounds, and an ethnic German farmer was installed on the property to camouflage the reality of what had occurred at this site.

Soviet Red Army View This Term in the Glossary troops overran the site of both labor camp and killing center during the last week of July 1944.

Last Edited: Mar 3, 2021
Author(s): United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC

SEE ALSO

Treblinka: Key Dates
ARTICLE
Treblinka: Key Dates
MEDIA ESSAY
Treblinka: Maps
MEDIA ESSAY
Treblinka – Photographs
MEDIA ESSAY
Treblinka – ID Card/Oral History
Jewish Uprisings in Ghettos and Camps, 1941–44
ARTICLE
Jewish Uprisings in Ghettos and Camps, 1941–44
GLOSSARY TERMS
General Government
Red Army
Roma
Transit camp

SERIES: KILLING CENTERS

FURTHER READING

Arad, Yitzhak. Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1987).

Glazar, Richard. Trap with a Green Fence: Survival in Treblinka, trans. Roslyn Theobald (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1995).

Sereny, Gitta. Into that Darkness: An Examination of Conscience (New York: Vintage Books, 1983).

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(https://youtu.be/kj-wGkcyTL8)

Documenting Nazi Persecution of Gays: The Josef Kohout/Wilhelm Kroepfl Collection

Josef Kohout, more widely known as Heinz Heger, was the subject of The Men with the Pink Triangle, the first published account of a gay survivor of the Nazi camps. Dr. Klaus Müller, the Museum’s representative for Europe, shares his story.

Learn More
Online Exhibition—Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals
Holocaust Encyclopedia—Persecution of Homosexuals
Holocaust Encyclopedia—Flossenbürg
Holocaust Encyclopedia—Vienna

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“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Martin Niemoller (1892-1984)

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