Exhibition examining the Nazi Regime’s attempt to eradicate homosexuality on display at The FHM through August 6th
June 19, 2017 [St. Petersburg, FL] — In response to public demand, The Florida Holocaust Museum (The FHM) is thrilled to announce the traveling exhibition Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945 has been extended! Now running at The FHM through August 6th, the traveling exhibition on loan from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and presented locally by Wells Fargo, examines the Nazi regime’s attempt to eradicate homosexuality, which left thousands dead and shattered the lives of many more.
Between 1933 and 1945, the Nazi German regime promoted racial health policies that sought to eliminate all sources of biological corruption to its dominant “Aryan” race. Among the groups persecuted as threats to the national health were Germany’s homosexual men. Believing them to be carriers of a “degeneracy” that weakened society and hindered population growth, the Nazi state arrested and incarcerated in prisons and concentration camps tens of thousands of German men as a means of terrorizing them into social conformity.
In conjunction with the exhibition Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945, The FHM invites the community to attend a special showing of the film Paragraph 175followed by a panel discussion, featuring St. Pete/Clearwater Film Commissioner Tony Armer, Department Head of Film at Ringling College of Art and Design Bradley Battersby, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Tampa Dr. Christopher Boulton, and President of the Gasparilla International Film Festival Rachel Feinman.
Paragraph 175 is a documentary film released in 2000, directed by the Academy Award-winning producing/directing team Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, and narrated by Rupert Everett. Between 1933 and 1945, 100,000 men were arrested for homosexuality under Paragraph 175, the sodomy provision of the German penal code dating back to 1871. Some were imprisoned, others were sent to concentration camps. Of the latter, only about 4,000 survived.
Additionally, The FHM’s original, award-winning exhibition Courage and Compassion: The Legacy of the Bielski Brothers has also been extended! This exhibition showcases the heroic efforts of three brothers who helped save more than 1,200 people while living in the forest during World War II. As portrayed in the popular film Defiance, the three brothers, Tuvia, Asael, and Zus Bielski, took refuge from the Nazis in the forests surrounding Novogrudok, Belarus. In the forest, they formed a community of men, women, and children. Through the brothers’ leadership, the group survived starvation, harsh winters, and the threat of the Nazis and their collaborators.
The screening of Paragraph 175 and panel discussion is free and open to the public and will take place on Wednesday, June 21st at 6:30 p.m. at The Florida Holocaust Museum. Please RSVP by calling 727.820.0100, extension 301.
Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945 and Courage and Compassion: The Legacy of the Bielski Brothers are on display through Sunday, August 6, 2017 at The Florida Holocaust Museum.
The Florida Holocaust Museum is located at 55 5th Street S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
For additional Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945 exhibition information, please visit: https://www.thefhm.org/explore-2/exhibits/nazi-persecution-of-homosexuals.
For additional Courage and Compassion: The Legacy of the Bielski Brothers exhibition information, please visit: https://www.thefhm.org/explore-2/exhibits/courage-compassion-the-legacy-of-the-bielski-brothers.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s exhibitions program is supported in part by the Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Traveling and Special Exhibitions Fund established in 1990.
About The Florida Holocaust Museum
2017 marks a monumental milestone for The Florida Holocaust Museum (The FHM) as the Museum celebrates its 25th Anniversary. One of the largest Holocaust museums in the country, and one of three nationally accredited Holocaust museums, The FHM honors the memory of millions of men, women and children who suffered of died in the Holocaust. The FHM is dedicated to teaching members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides. For additional information, please visit www.TheFHM.org.
Photos and credits
Cover of the September 1931 issue of The Island, a magazine for homosexuals, edited by Martin Radzuweit. Although illegal, homosexuality was generally tolerated in pre-Nazi Germany, particularly in urban areas. Some 30 literary, cultural, and political journals for homosexual readers appeared during the Weimar era. –US Holocaust Memorial Museum
A 1907 political cartoon depicting sex-researcher Magnus Hirschfeld, ‘Hero of the Day,’ drumming up support for the abolition of Paragraph 175 of the German penal code that criminalized homosexuality. The banner reads, ‘Away with Paragraph 175!’ The caption reads, ‘The foremost champion of the third sex!’ –US Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archives
Prisoners at forced labor in the Mauthausen concentration camp. Beginning in 1943, homosexuals were among those in concentration camps who were killed in an SS-sponsored “extermination through work” program. –Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie, courtesy US Holocaust Memorial Museum
German police file photo of a man arrested in October 1937 for suspicion of violating Paragraph 175. –US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Landesarchiv, Berlin
“Solidarity.” Richard Grune lithograph from a limited edition series “Passion des XX Jahrhunderts” (Passion of the 20th Century). Grune was prosecuted under Paragraph 175 and from 1937 until liberation in 1945 was incarcerated in concentration camps. In 1947 he produced a series of etchings detailing what he witnessed in the camps. Grune died in 1983. –US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy Schwules Museum, Berlin