1997 December

Gays demand share of looted Nazi gold

Bid to win Compensation for Homosexuals persecuted by Hitler

Members of OutRage! picketed the London conference on looted Nazi gold at Lancaster House today, Tuesday, 2nd December.

The protesters held placards demanding “Compensate gay victims of Nazism”.

They were greeted with a friendly smile and a wave from British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, as he entered Lancaster House.

Robin Cook’s friendliness was surprising because the Foreign Office has opposed gay participation in the conference. Invitations were refused to the World Congress of Gay and Lesbian Jewish Organisations and to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

In contrast, Jewish and Gypsy groups were officially encouraged to participate, and are attending.

We are angry that gay organisations have been excluded. Any decisions taken by this conference should reflect the just claims of everyone persecuted by the Nazis, including gay people.

Where the owners of looted gold cannot be traced, it should be used to compensate holocaust victims who have been refused reparations by the German government, including East European Jews, slave labourers, and gay people.

Some of the gold should be set aside to finance memorials, educational programmes, and museums in honour of the forgotten victims of Nazism, such as Gypsies, the disabled, homosexuals, and black people.

OutRage! is proposing that gay community groups should receive a share of the looted gold, to help finance:

  • a gay holocaust memorial and museum in Berlin;
  • educational films about the persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany, for distribution to schools;
  • a hardship fund, to support elderly gay holocaust survivors.