“They were never able to destroy me. I am not ashamed.” Buchenwald survivor Rudolf Brazda lived almost a century as a gay man, enjoying the tolerant climate of the Weimar Republic as a young man, and living openly with his lover. When the Nazis came to power, all that changed. Brazda was arrested under the notorious Paragraph 175 of the German Criminal Code and deported to the Buchenwald death camp. The pink triangle that marked him as a homosexual in the camps may have also helped saved his life. “Others died but I came through” Brazda once explained. At least twice he was helped by SS guards, with whom he probably had sexual relationships. He discretely describes the guard who intervened to prevent his execution for insulting another guard as “infatuated.” After liberation, Brazda settled in Alsace, where he met his partner Edi in 1950. The couple stayed together until Edi’s death in 2002. Earlier this year, Brazda was honored by the French Legion d’Honneur. Kim Willsher of the LA Times reports from Paris. Story here.
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