Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Books Informing My Understanding of Gay Men and the Holocaust

Watercolor painting of three men
Larry Wolf, Pink Triangle Portraits (2020)

I started a project of watercolor portraits of the men in the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp photo from 1938

Here is what I've been reading recently that informs my thinking as I spend time with the photograph. The books address the lives of gay men during the 1930s and 1940s, as well as various aspects of homophobia and antisemitism, in Germany and in the US. 

Robert C Reinhart: Walk The Night (1994)

Robert Beachy: Gay Berlin - Birthplace of a Modern Identity (2014)

Eugen KogonL The Theory and Practice of Hell: The German Concentration Camps and the System Behind Them (1950)

Richard Breitman: The Berlin mission : the American who resisted Nazi Germany from within (2019)

Margaret Bourke-White: Dear Fatherland, Rest Quietly (1946)

Martin Duberman: Jews Queers Germans (2017)

Mark Sealy: Decolonising the Camera - especially chapter 2, Race, Denial and Imagining Atrocity (2019)

Martin Sherman: Bent (1979)

Gad Beck: An Underground Life (1999)

Kenji Yoshino: Covering (2006)

Etty Hillesum: An Interrupted Life and Letters from Westerbork (1996)

Judith (Jack) Halberstam: The Queer Art of Failure - especially chapter 5, "The Killer in Me Is the Killer in You": Homosexuality and Fascism (2011)

Read Years Ago

Richard Plant: The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals (1986)

Heinz Heger: The Men with the Pink Triangle (1980)

Christopher Isherwood: Christopher and his Kind (1976)

Further Material

There is a vast literature on the Holocaust and a pretty extensive one on gays in the Holocaust (for example, this one from the Rainbow Round Table of the American Library Association, 2003).

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