Obit of the Day is a bit busy in the next couple of weeks preparing to move to the great commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In light of that, I will post some of my favorite posts from Augusts past. I will return on August 11.
The first post is from August 5, 2011. (Note: I’ve changed post styles over the last three years.)
Obit of the Day: A Member of the “Pink Triangles”
During the years of the failed Weimar Republic, Rudolf Brazda led a happy life. Although homosexuality was still a crime, Brazda found he could live his life openly, even renting an apartment with his partner. Then the Nazis took power and like thousands of other openly gay men, Brazda was rounded up and sent to the concentration camps. To identify homosexuals in the camps, a pink triangle was attached to their shirt.
Brazda was shuttled from camp to camp eventually ending up in Buchenwald. He managed to survive as guards, who he believed had an affection for him, took care to protect him. When the war ended and the members of the camp were to be led on a march, Brazda was hidden by another guard for three weeks.
Brazda moved to Alsace, France after the war and met his partner Edi with whom he lived for 52 years. He came forward as a survivor in 2008 when it was announced that Germany would unveil a memorial to homosexuals killed by the Nazis.
Brazda was 98.
(The image of Nazi concentration camp badges is courtesy of wikipedia.org The colors identified various prison categories:
- Red - Political prisoner
- Green - Professional criminals
- Blue - Foreign forced laborers/emigrants
- Purple - Bible students, mainly Jehovah’s Witnesses
- Black - Asocial elements including Roma (“gypsies” who were later given their own brown badges), alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, and pacifists. The exact German translation of Arbeitsscheu is “work shy”
- Red, right side up - Prisoner of war
- The horizontal strip meant “repeat offender.”
- An upside yellow triangle was added to label the prisoner as Jewish
- The letters in red triangles told what country the prisoner came from. )