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”.