Nazis

Dr. Værnet – British Military Collusion?

What rôle did the British military authorities play in the escape from justice after WWII of Nazi war criminal Dr. Carl Peter Værnet, perpetrator of gruesome experiments on gay prisoners in the Buchenwald and Neuengamme concentration camps?

John Harding
HB (A) MOD
Historical Records Branch
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
London SW1

19 August 1999

Dear John Harding,

NAZI WAR CRIMINAL – SS Sturmbannführer DR. VÆRNET
I am writing to request your help to discover how and why the Danish Nazi doctor, Carl Peter Værnet, was released from the jurisdiction of the British military authorities after the end of the Second World War, and the reason the British military authorities never sought to put him on trial for war crimes.

Dr. Værnet was a Danish citizen, born on 28 April 1893. He served in SS, with the rank of Sturmbannführer (variously listed as SS-Runen – SS 1792 and SS 1809). He is recorded as having worked under the personal directions of the head of Gestapo, Heinrich Himmler, conducting barbaric medical experiments -including castration and forced hormonal implants- on gay concentration camp prisoners at Buchenwald and Neuengamme.

Dr. Værnet’s role in the medical abuse and deaths of gay prisoners is documented in the archives at the International Tracing Service at Arolsen (example: ITS Arolsen, book 36, folder 405), and at the Berlin Document Centre.

Mention of his experiments is made in a report written soon after the liberation of Buchenwald by Eugen Kogon for the US Army Psychological Warfare Division.

His medical malpractices involving gay inmates are also cited in the books The Pink Triangle by Richard Plant (Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh 1987) and Hidden Holocaust? by Dr. Günter Grau (Cassell, London 1995).

Dr. Værnet’s gruesome experiments on gay internees are further reported in the German documentary film Wir hatten ein grosses ‘A’ am Bein (We Were Marked With A Big ‘A’), directed by Elke Jeonrond and Joseph Weishaupt, and made for NDR. in 1991 by Mediengruppe Schwabing Filmproduktion.

According to my information, at the end of the war Dr. Værnet was captured by the British Army and interned in the British-run Alsgade Skole prisoner-of-war camp in Copenhagen.

On 29 May 1945, the chairman of the Danish Medical Association sent the Danish Ministry of Justice an affidavit signed by a Danish police officer who had been incarcerated in Buchenwald. This affidavit identified Værnet as having been a serving SS officer involved in war crimes. Were the British military authorities aware of this affidavit and other allegations of war crimes against Dr. Værnet?

In the autumn of 1945, the British military authorities handed over Dr. Værnet to the Danish authorities. Precisely what these authorities did with him is uncertain. Why was he handed over?

It is known that Dr. Værnet was eventually transferred to a hospital, on the grounds that he was allegedly suffering from a heart complaint (which may have been fictional in order to facilitate his release from detention). When did this transfer take place? Did the British military authorities agree the transfer?

Dr. Værnet is said to have told fellow doctors that his heart trouble could only be treated in Sweden. Astonishingly, despite being accused of war crimes, Dr. Værnet was allowed by the Danish (and British?) authorities to travel to Sweden.

In Sweden, he contacted the Nazi escape network, which spirited him away to Argentina, probably in late 1946 or early 1947.

On 19 November 1947, the Copenhagen newspaper, Berlingske Tidende, carried a letter from a Danish exile living in Argentina which reported that Dr. Værnet was working in the Buenos Aires health department. He remained living there openly until his death in 1965.

Could you please investigate:

  1. Why the British military authorities fail to put Dr. Værnet on trial on charges of war crimes, alongside other Nazi doctors?
  2. For what reason did the British military authorities release Dr. Værnet -a wanted war criminal- from their jurisdiction?
  3. Into whose custody, and under what conditions, did the British military authorities release Dr. Værnet?
  4. Did the British military authorities play any rôle in authorising Dr. Værnet’s transfer to a Danish hospital and his trip to Sweden?

Your help in answering these questions would be very much appreciated.

Yours with thanks,

Peter Tatchell

Dr. Værnet – Danish Correspondence

Recent correspondence between the Danish authorities (Department of Justice and National Archives) and OutRage! on tracing the Nazi war criminal Dr. Carl Peter Vaernet.

Letter from the Danish Ministry of Justice, 6-July-1999

MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
Civil and Police Department
Police Division
DK 1216 KØBENHAVN K., DENMARK

OutRage!

6 JULI 1999

Our ref. 1999-945-1188

By letter of 16 March 1998 OutRage! requested the help of the Danish Government to discover the fate of Carl Peter Værnet, a Nazi doctor who fled to Argentina after the Second World War. The Prime Minister forwarded the request by letter of 8 June 1999 to the Ministry of Justice.

The Ministry of Justice can inform you that the records from that period are kept in the Danish National Archives (Rigsarkivet) and in provincial archives and the ministry is therefore not in possession of any information about Carl Peter Værnet. The Ministry of Justice has today forwarded your letter to Rigsarkivet, Rigsdagsgården 9, 1218 København K., for its consideration.

Attention is drawn to the fact that in certain circumstances, inter alia regarding information relating to the private conditions of individual persons and to criminal justice cases, the expiry of the time-limit as to when access can be granted is 80 years. However, under certain circumstances this time-limit can be exempted from. Requests for exemption should be directed to the Archives concerned.

Best regards,

Mogens Kjærgaard Møller

Reply to the Danish Ministry of Justice, 9-July-1999

Mogens Kjærgaard Møller
Police Division
Civil & Police Department
MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
DK 1216 København K
Denmark

9 July 1999

HUB00244 Your Ref: 1999-945-1188

Dear Mogens Kjærgaard Møller

Greetings!

DR. CARL VÆRNET – WAR CRIMES & CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
Thanks for your letter dated 6 July 1999. I appreciate your kindness in replying in English. My apologies for being unable to write to you in Danish.

While OutRage! is grateful for your response, we are very concerned at the length of time it has taken to reply to our letter of 16 March 1998 (more than a year!), and at the unsatisfactory nature of the reply.

With respect, it is not adequate to refer us to the Danish National Archives. Our request is not a matter for archivists or historians. It concerns the bringing to justice of a Nazi doctor who, on the known evidence, perpetrated war crimes and crimes against humanity, contrary to international law. Other Nazi doctors who committed similar barbarisms were put on trial at Nuremberg (Nürnberg) and either sentenced to death or to long periods of imprisonment.

The Danish government has a moral and legal obligation to investigate and uncover the full truth about Dr. Værnet’s alleged involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity. It also has a duty to investigate how Dr. Værnet escaped trial and punishment at the end of the 1939-45 war, including how he managed to evade justice and who aided his escape to Argentina.

None of these questions, raised in our letter of 16 March 1998 to the Danish Prime Minister, have been answered.

I would therefore ask you to reconsider our three-page letter of 16 March 1998 (a copy follows). Please reply to all 7 questions on page three. Thank you and best wishes.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Tatchell

Letter from the Danish National Archives, 15-July-1999

Statens Arkiver Rigsarkivet

Lokaltelefon Reference Journalnummer Dato
MM-JPN 1999-6131.1331 1999-07-15

OutRage!

The Danish National Archives (the Rigsarkivet) has 6 July 1999 received your letter of 16 March 1998 concerning information on the Nazi doctor Carl Peter Væmet. As you will know from the reply by the Ministry of Justice your letter was forwarded to the Rigsarkivet.

In reply we can inform you that the Rigsarkivet cannot undertake investigation of the kind involved. Normally people visit our reading room, where the staff help to examine the records. But in this case, according to the Danish Archival Act, an exemption from the 80 years limit of access, is a first condition for any examination of the documents on Væmet.

However, we have identified relevant files among the records delivered from the Ministry of Justice, the Rigsadvokaten (the Danish State’s solicitor) and the the Rigspolitiet (the State Police), but -still according to the Archival Act- the Rigsarkivet is not allowed to grant an exemption from the limit of access without permission from the mentioned authorities. Before we ask these authorities for consent as to an exemption, we need some more information on your purpose of the investigation.

For further information on the Rigsarkivet we suggest you to visit our website (http://www.sa.dk) which also includes an English version. [It appears that the only English on this site is the title. -- 18th August, OutRage!]

Yours sincerely,

Margit Mogensen
Archivist
The Public Department

Reply to the Danish National Archives, 17-July-1999

Archivist
The Public Department
Statens Arkiver Rigsarkivet

17 July 1999

Your Ref: MM-JPN Journalnummer 1999-6131.1331

Dear Margit Mogensen,

DR. CARL VÆRNET — WAR CRIMES & CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
Thanks for your letter dated 15 July 1999. I appreciate your kindness in replying in English. My apologies for being unable to write to you in Danish.

While OutRage! is grateful for your response, the investigation of the Nazi doctor, Carl Værnet, is not my responsibility or that of the Rigsarkivet. It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice to investigate criminal acts.

It is alleged that Dr. Værnet, a Danish citizen, perpetrated war crimes and crimes against humanity in violation of international law, during the Nazi era.

He stands accused of medically abusing, torturing and murdering homosexual prisoners interned in Nazi-run concentration camps. Other Nazi doctors who committed similar barbarisms were put on trial at Nuremberg and sentenced to death or imprisonment.

My request is for the opening of a criminal investigation, with a view to the prosecution of Dr. Værnet (if he is still alive).

The Ministry of Justice has a moral and legal obligation to investigate and uncover the full truth about Dr. Værnet’s alleged involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

It also has a duty to investigate and explain how Dr. Værnet escaped Danish jurisdiction after the war, and to bring to trial those Danish citizens who aided the escape of this alleged war criminal.

I would therefore respectfully request that you refer my letter back to the Ministry of Justice, and that it replies in full to the 7 questions set out on page three of my letter of 16 March 1998 to the Danish Prime Minister. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Tatchell.

Letter to the Danish Ministry of Justice, 17-July-1999

Police Division
Civil and Police Department
MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
Denmark

17 July 1999

Your Ref: HUB00244 1999-945-1188

Dear Mogens Kjærgaard Møller,

Further to my fax of 9 July 1999, there follows a copy of the letter I have faxed today to Margit Mogensen at the Statens Arkiver Rigsarkivet.

I would take this opportunity to reiterate that what I am seeking is a criminal investigation into:

allegations that Dr. Værnet committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, with a view to his prosecution (if he is still alive);
allegations that Danish citizens aided and abetted Dr. Værnet’s escape to Argentina, with a view to those responsible being prosecuted (if they are still alive).
These are matters that can only be dealt with by the Ministry of Justice.

I would be grateful to receive your assurance that a criminal investigation will now be opened, and that you will give me a copy of its findings and decisions in due course.

Thank you for your continuing assistance.

Warmest wishes,

Peter Tatchell.

Letter to President Menen of Argentina

Barbaric ‘Experiments’ by Nazi Dr. Værnet, War Criminal

The President,
Republic of Argentina,
Balcarce 50,
1064 Buenos Aires,
Argentina.

12th March, 1998

Dear President Carlos Menen,

We are writing to request the help of your government to discover the fate of the Nazi doctor, Carl Værnet, who fled to Argentina after the war and was last known to be working in the Buenos Aires public health department in late 1947.

Dr. Værnet was a pro-Nazi Danish citizen who served in the SS, conducting barbaric medical experiments –including castration and forced hormonal implants– on gay concentration camp prisoners at Buchenwald and Neuengamme.

Unlike other Nazi doctors, he was never put on trial at Nuremberg, and was allowed to flee to Argentina soon after the war was over.

Dr. Værnet’s role in the medical abuse of gay prisoners is documented in the archives at the International Tracing Service at Arolsen (example: ITS Arolsen, book 36, folder 405). It is also cited in the books The Pink Triangle by Richard Plant (Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh 1987) and Hidden Holocaust? by Dr. Günter Grau (Cassell, London 1995).

It is our formal request that the Argentine government conduct an investigation to determine what happened to Dr. Værnet. Is he dead or alive? Could you please furnish us with this information? A good place to start looking would be the records of his employers, the Buenos Aires health service.

OutRage! is an organisation dedicated to the promotion of lesbian, gay and bisexual human rights worldwide.

Dr. Værnet committed acts which are, according to our understanding of international law, crimes against humanity.

We would greatly appreciate your government’s assistance in discovering Dr. Værnet’s fate. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Tatchell

Letter to Prime Minister Rasmussen of Denmark

Barbaric ‘Experiments’ by Nazi Dr. Værnet, War Criminal

The Prime Minister,
Statsministeriet,
Christinsborg,
Prins Jorgens Gaard 11,
Copenhagen 1218,
Denmark.

16th March, 1998

Dear Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen,

We are writing to request the help of your government to discover the fate of the Nazi doctor, Carl Værnet, who fled to Argentina after the war and was last known to be working in the Buenos Aires public health department in late 1947.

Dr. Værnet was a pro-Nazi Danish citizen who served in the SS, conducting barbaric medical experiments –including castration and forced hormonal implants– on gay concentration camp prisoners at Buchenwald and Neuengamme.

Unlike other Nazi doctors, he was never put on trial at Nuremberg (Nürnberg), and was allowed to flee to Argentina soon after the war was over.

Dr. Værnet’s role in the medical abuse of gay prisoners is documented in the archives at the International Tracing Service at Arolsen (example: ITS Arolsen, book 36, folder 405). It is also cited in the books The Pink Triangle by Richard Plant (Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh 1987) and Hidden Holocaust? by Dr. Günter Grau (Cassell, London 1995).

Dr. Værnet’s gruesome experiments on gay internees are also cited in the German documentary film Wir hatten ein grosses ‘A’ am Bein (We Were Marked With A Big ‘A’), directed by Elke Jeonrond and Joseph Weishaupt, and made for NDR. in 1991 by Mediengruppe Schwabing Filmproduktion.

According to our information, which remains incomplete, at the end of the war Dr. Værnet was interned in the British-run Alsgade Skole prisoner-of-war camp in Copenhagen.

On 29th May 1945, the chairman of the Danish Medical Association sent the Ministry of Justice an affidavit signed by a Danish police officer who had been incarcerated in Buchenwald. This affidavit identified Værnet as having been a serving SS officer. The report from the chairman of the Danish Medical Association was, apparently, ignored by the Justice Ministry in Copenhagen.

In the autumn of 1945, the British handed over Dr. Værnet to the Danish authorities. What these authorities did with him at this stage remains unknown. Was he placed in a Danish prison? Or was he moved to hospital for the treatment of his alleged heart problem? This, too, demands an investigation and an answer.

On 2nd January 1946, the Danish Medical Association received a letter from Dr. Værnet’s lawyer, informing them that he had resigned — apparently in a bid to preempt the Association’s plan to have him struck off for his wartime activities,

It is known that Dr. Værnet was eventually transferred to hospital, on the grounds that he was allegedly suffering from a heart complaint, (which may well have been fictional in order to facilitate his release from detention). When did this transfer take place? Who authorised it? What independent medical report, if any, confirmed his heart condition?

Dr. Værnet is said to have told fellow doctors that his heart trouble could only be treated in Sweden. Astonishingly, despite being accused of perpetrating war crimes, Dr. Værnet was allowed by the Danish authorities to travel to Sweden.

In Sweden, he made contact with the Nazi escape network, which spirited him away to Argentina, probably in late 1946 or early 1947.

On 19th November 1947, the Copenhagen newspaper, Berlingske Tidende, carried a letter from a Danish exile living in Argentina which reported that Dr. Værnet was working in the Buenos Aires health department.

It is our formal request that the Danish government explain:

  • Why was Dr. Værnet never put on trial on charges of war crimes, alongside other Nazi doctors?
  • What explanation is there for the way the Ministry of Justice ignored the serious allegations made by the Danish Medical Association concerning Dr. Værnet’s wartime activities?
  • Who authorised him to leave prison unguarded and attend hospital for treatment without supervision?
  • How did Dr. Værnet –a former Nazi SS officer accused of war crimes– get official permission to travel to Sweden for medical treatment?
  • Was there any disciplinary action taken against those who allowed him to leave prison and go to hospital and, later, to leave Denmark for Sweden?
  • What action has been taken by the Danish government over the last 50 years to track down Dr. Værnet and bring him to trial on charges of crimes against humanity?
  • Is he now dead or alive? If he is still living, what action does the Danish government propose to take to put him on trial?

OutRage! is an organisation dedicated to the promotion of lesbian, gay and bisexual human rights in Britain and worldwide.

Dr. Værnet committed acts which are, according to our understanding of international law, crimes against humanity.

We would greatly appreciate your government’s assistance in discovering Dr. Værnet’s fate. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Tatchell

German Embassy pursues redress for gay holocaust victims

Meeting between OutRage! and German Embassy

The German Embassy in London has forwarded a report to the office of Chancellor Helmut Kohl in Bonn, setting out proposals to remedy the injustices suffered by gay holocaust victims.

The proposals were made by OutRage! during a meeting at the German Embassy with the First Counsellor for Legal and Consular Affairs, Herr Rainer Dobbelstein.

The Embassy has also forwarded to Bonn details from OutRage! of the Nazi doctors, Gerhard Schiedlausky and Carl Værnet, who medically abused gay prisoners at Buchenwald. (Dr. Værnet’s ‘experiments’ included castration and hormone implants.)

OutRage! has formally asked the German Government to track down these doctors and, if they are still alive, to bring them to trial on charges of ‘crimes against humanity’.

The OutRage! proposals in full are that the German Government should:

  • Apologise for the Nazi persecution of gay people (successive German governments have always refused to apologise).
  • Compensate gay holocaust survivors (gays are denied compensation on the grounds that they were ‘common criminals’).
  • Remedy the deficit in gay survivors’ pensions (the work of SS guards is added to their pension entitlement; but the years spent in the camps by gays are deducted from their pensions).
  • Put on trial the Nazi doctors involved in barbaric medical ‘experiments’ on gay concentration camp prisoners (none of the doctors were indicted at Nuremberg (Nürnberg) — or since).
  • Fund educational programmes in schools, and public memorials to commemorate gay people murdered by the Nazis (most public records of the holocaust obscure the antigay terror).

“Herr Dobbelstein seemed sympathetic to the idea of redress for gays who suffered in the holocaust”, said Huw Williams, who was part of the OutRage! delegation to the Embassy. “But he was defensive on the issues of educational programmes and pension rights, arguing that the climate of economic austerity made it difficult for the German Government to be as generous as it would like. He also claimed that holocaust memorials already mention the Nazi witch-hunts of gay people. Some do: but others don’t. Often the acknowledgement is a tiny, obscure reference that many visitors would never notice”.

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.

Queer Remembrance Day

Nearly 300 lesbians and gay men attended a Ceremony of Remembance at the national war memorial, the Cenotaph, in London, on Sunday, 2nd. November. They were commemorating lesbian, gay, and bisexual people who died fighting Nazism and who perished in the concentration camps.

The ceremony was organised by OutRage!, who declared Sunday, 2nd. November “Queer Remembrance Day”.

The keynote speaker was 74-year-old Sharley McLean, a lesbian who fled to Britain as a refugee from Nazi Germany in 1939. Her gay uncle, Kurt Bach, was arrested by the Gestapo in a gay bar in Berlin in 1937, and died in Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

After the speeches, there was a minute’s silence. Then dozens of pink wreaths and bouquets were laid on the Cenotaph.

The commemoration was denounced by the ex-services association, the British Legion, as “distasteful” and “offensive”, and “bound to offend many former soldiers”.

Gay war veterans are never acknowledged by the ex-services association or by the official state-sponsored Remembrance Day ceremony. At least 250,000 gay people served in the British Armed Forces during 1939-45. The current ban on homosexuals in the military is an insult to their service and sacrifice.

The huge media coverage of Queer Remembrance Day has raised awareness about the contribution of lesbian and gay service personnel to the defeat of Nazism, and about the queer holocaust that has been suppressed by revisionist historians.

Coinciding with a campaign by the German SPD and Green parties, OutRage! has written to Chancellor Helmut Kohl, urging him to:

  • Apologise for the Nazi persecution of gay people
    – successive German governments have always refused to apologise
  • Compensate gay holocaust survivors
    – gays are denied compensation on the grounds that they were ‘common criminals’
  • Remedy the deficit in gay survivors’ pensions
    – the service of SS guards is added to their pension entitlement; but the years spent in the camps by gays is dededucted from their pensions
  • Put on trial the Nazi doctors who were involved in barbaric experiments on gay concentration-camp prisoners
    – none of the doctors was indicted at Nuremberg (Nürnberg), or has been since

Letter to Bundeskanzler Helmut Kohl

The Chancellor,
Bundeskanzleramt,
D-53106 Bonn,
Germany.

20-October-1997

I am writing on behalf of OutRage! –the campaign for lesbian, gay and bisexual human rights– concerning the persecution of homosexuals during the Nazi era and the subsequent mistreatment of gay holocaust survivors by the German authorities.

We are shocked that the German government still refuses to compensate most gay holocaust survivors for their suffering, on the grounds that the Supreme Court ruled in 1957 that they were common criminals and were therefore legitimately incarcerated.

Furthermore, it cannot be morally right that the work of SS concentration camp guards is counted towards their pension entitlement, wheareas the years spent in the camps by gay prisoners are deducted from their pensions.

We would like to know why no Nazi doctors were ever prosecuted at the Nuremberg (Nürnberg) Trials –or since– for abusing gay concentration camp inmates in gruesome ‘medical’ experiments that, at Buchenwald, included forcible castration and hormone implants.

It is long overdue that the injustices suffered by the lesbian and gay victims of Hitlerism were remedied. We ask you, as Chancellor of democratic Germany, to:

  • apologise for the terrorisation of gay men and lesbians during the Third Reich;
  • authorise the payment of compensation to homosexual holocaust survivors, on a par with compensation to Jewish survivors;
  • recalculate the pensions of gay survivors to ensure that their period of detention in the camps is counted towards their pension entitlement;
  • bring to trial, on charges of crimes against humanity, the Nazi doctors involved in the medical abuse of gay prisoners.
    We look forward to receiving your assurance of prompt action to rectify these past injustices.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Tatchell.

Queer Remembrance Day – Invitation

OutRage! invite you to join us in commemorating

QUEER REMEMBRANCE DAY

on Sunday, 2-November-1997, London
(the Sunday before official Remembrance Sunday).

QUEER REMEMBRANCE DAY is organised by OutRage! in conjunction with other lesbian and gay groups, including Rank Outsiders.

2:00 p.m., at the Cenotaph, Whitehall, SW1
Ceremony of Remembrance to commemorate the lesbians, gays, and bisexuals who died fighting Nazism and who perished in the concentration camps.

Please bring pink wreaths or bouquets to lay at the Cenotaph, with any message of remembrance attached.

We want to cover the Cenotaph with pink flowers, as a public statement of lesbian and gay visibility and commemoration.

Keynote speakers at the Cenotaph ceremony include a gay World War 2 veteran and a lesbian refugee from Nazi Germany.

3:30 p.m., in the Freedom Bar, 60-66, Wardour Street, W1.
British premiere of the gay holocaust survivors’ film, We Were Marked with a Big ‘A’. Never before shown in Britain, this extraordinarily moving film features personal testimonies from gay men who were deported to concentration camps by the Nazis.

Friedrich-Paul von Groszheim was arrested during a police raid on private homes in Lübeck in 1937, as were 230 other gay men that same night. He was given the “alternative” of castration in Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

Kurt von Ruffin was interned in Lichtenburg concentration camp, and Paul Gerhard Vogel was incarcerated in Emsland. The “Big ‘A’” of the film’s title stood for ‘Arschficker’, (arse-fucker): the symbol the first gay prisoners were forced to wear, before the subsequent introduction of the pink triangle.

Gay holocaust survivors were never compensated for their suffering. Their former SS guards, however, receive full pensions.

Free admission. All welcome.

QUEER REMEMBRANCE DAY will help raise public awareness about the contribution of lesbian and gay service personnel to the defeat of Nazism, and about the “hidden queer holocaust” that has been written out of the history books by revisionist historians.

It is vital for the success of QUEER REMEMBRANCE DAY that we get a large attendance at the Cenotaph. Please publicise this commemoration among your friends. If you belong to a gay group, organise a delegation to attend with flowers.

We are delighted to acknowledge the support of

the Freedom Bar, 60-66, Wardour Street, W1
Tel. 020-77.34.00.71

who are sponsoring the showing of the film We Were Marked with a Big ‘A’;
and of the florists David Armstrong Designs, 152, Gray’s Inn Road, WC1X 8AX,
Tel. 020-78.37.26.67; Fax 020-78.37.30.66 who are sponsoring a floral tribute.