Last Known Gay Holocaust Survivor Dies at 98

Rudolf Brazda, an openly gay man who survived the horrors of Nazi concentration camps, died on Wednesday, August 3.

Under legislation that criminalized being gay in Germany, 50,000 people were convicted and roughly 15,000 were deported to concentration camps, where they were forced by the Nazi officials to wear pink triangles designating their alleged sexual orientation. Brazda was held at the Buchenwald concentration camp from 1942 until 1945, when it was liberated by U.S. forces. The Berlin branch of the Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD) was contacted by Brazda and subsequently recognized him as the last living survivor of the Nazis' gay victims.

Brazda was born in 1913 and raised in Meuselwitz, Germany.  At the end of World War II, following his imprisonment at Buchenwald, Brazda moved to Alsace region of France. After contacting LSVD in 2008, Brazda was invited to visit the memorial for gay Holocaust victims and was made an honorary member. Earlier this year he was knighted in the French Legion of Honor. Brazda died in his sleep at a hospital in Bantry, France. He was 98 years old. His life partner, Edouard Mayer, passed away in 2003. Berlin’s openly gay mayor, Kurt Wowereit, spoke about Brazda’s life, saying, “He is an example of how important the work of remembrance is for our future.”

GLAAD joins Mayor Wowereit, LSVD and many others in honoring the memory of Rudolf Brazda's life and the inconceivable hardships he endured.

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