In Memory Of The Unknown Gay Dead

WHITEHALL: Sunday 11am, 12th November, 1972: A large crowd falls silent by the command of a cannon from Horse Guards Parade and the tolling of Big Ben. The hypocrisy of the church mourning the dead of wars and still allowing them to continue…

Where are the big guns, daddy?

The Last Post. The ritual begins. For Queen and country, she’s there with the old man and the kids. The politicians with plastic flowers,

the army with rifles and a brass band, the Air Force (royal) with a brass band, the navy with swords and a brass band, and the police with their personal radios, and, you guessed it, a brass band.

Daddy lift me up.

Music and marching and they’re all gone. They did a good job this year, at least three times as many people as last, or maybe they were just tourists.

Will people wishing to file past the Cenotaph please join the queue now forming at the entrance to Downing Street.

A long queue, it took nearly an hour to pass, in the middle a few members of CHE, not carrying the usual red, but pink, in the form of a triangle. The pink triangle used by the Nazis to identify homosexuals in the concentration camps of the Third Reich. The lowest of the low, the most dispensable. Very few survived. The wreath laid, the group moved off. An attendant, tidying them, went to move the triangle, and as if he had burnt his hands, visibly jumped, then read the attached card more closely. ‘In memory of our brothers and sisters who died in two world wars, especially the victims of the Third Reich. From The Campaign for Homosexual Equality.’

The pink triangle is still there (Wednesday) but the card’s gone.

Martin Corbett

ED: In the Theory and Practice of Hell by Eugen Kogan the reality of being gay in a Nazi concentration camp is shown to be truly a nightmare: “Homosexual practices were actually very widespread in the camps. The prisoners, however, ostracised only those whom the SS marked with the pink triangle. The fate of the homosexuals in the concentration camps can only be described as ghastly. They were often segregated in special barracks and work details. Such segregation offered ample opportunity to unscrupulous elements in positions of power to engage in extortion and maltreatment.

This consigned them to the lowest caste in camp during the most difficult years. In shipments to extermination camps, such as Nordhausen, Natzweiler and Gross Rosen, they furnished the highest proportionate share.”

There were five types of triangles branded onto people in the camps. They designated those who were: political, exponents of the Bible, antisocial, professional criminals and homosexuals.

Love to Lesbian’s Come Together for the above.


Pelican paperback, 35p.

This was described recently in the Evening Standard as a new book. Well it’s not. The book was written ten years ago and reflects the moral attitudes of the medical profession at that time, although trying to hide them in long clinical terminology.

Degrading references, as usual, that V.D. can even be transmitted from man to man and the queer assumption that passive homosexuals, who play the role of the woman in a homosexual partnership, sometimes get rectal infections. Some of the more obvious moral attitudes can be seen clearly as with the warning to parents that the home is the location for sex, with 50 per cent of boys and 43 per cent of girls, and that hazarding the potential good name and happiness of their offspring by giving too much liberty, too early, has no place in their ideas of an adequate upbringing.

As a history book it is interesting – to find out that the first recorded reference to the clap was in 1378 and the pox in 1530; slaves with VD from Africa mixing with the home grown variety from southern America; to find that St Denis is the patron saint of syphillitics, and details about the introduction of blood test diagnoses in 1906, and the use of penicillin from 1943.

The addition of more recent statistics to an old book does not add to its relevance today, and it must be viewed in this light.

The most recent reference is 1970 and does not include any information about the more resistant strains, or their cure, which have made their insidious way from South East Asia. As a history book, OK, but I think a new one would have been more worthwhile than trying to revamp existing material. For now VD is the world’s second most common disease next to measles.