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Lessons Learned: Surviving the Holocaust as a Gay Man

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Rudolf Brazda, who died in 2011, recounted his experiences surviving Buchenwald. Watch him tell his story.

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On January 27, the world honors the millions of victims of the Holocaust -- the systematic murdering of Jews, disabled people, gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, and gays at the hands of Germany's Nazi regime during World War II.

German-born Rudolf Brazda was one of the gay men imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp. After being arrested for homosexual behavior -- illegal in Germany at the time, thanks to the infamous Paragraph 175 -- he was sent to the Buchenwald camp, where he was regularly subjected to abuse. Brazda was able to survive thanks to his ability to adapt and the aid of a possibly gay SS officer who became "infatuated" with him. Brazda recounted his experiences at Buchenwald in a video made shortly before his death in 2011; watch it below.

Read more here about Brazda, who eventually settled in France with his partner and outlived nearly all his Nazi captors.


Rudolf Brazda, last of the Pink Triangles...by EugeneOcie

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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.