The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals

by Richard Plant (New York 1986)

Reviewed by: Tara Forster (authors page)(back to index page)

About the Author
Richard Plant was born 1910 in Frankfurt, Germany.  Plant left Germany in February of 1933 and has lived in the United States since 1938. he earned a PhD from the University of Basel.  Since his emigration from Germany he has taught as a university professor and remains active as an author. He wrote this book from a sense of personal involvement on several levels.  Had Richard Plant stayed in Germany he would have been persecuted for being a Jew and a homosexual.

 Richard Plant's book The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals is a comprehensive work that details the maltreatment of homosexuals under the hands of the men in the Third Reich.  The book explores the rise in power of the Nazi party and the increase in sexual prejudices that came with them, the early twentieth century rise of a vigorous homosexual emancipation movement, the virulent homophobia that underlay the Nazi desire to annihilate Germany’s homosexuals, and the evolution of official Nazi policy toward them, including the recurring strategies for the degradation, imprisonment, enslavement, and extermination.  The main focus explores the Nazi's policy towards homosexuals and the tactics that were developed in order to remove them.  The book also describes the horrors that were inflicted upon those gay men while imprisoned in concentration camps and while they were tortured by the hands of Himmler and his SS.  This is revealed through diaries, documents never before translated, and interviews with and letters from survivors

Book Review

 This book was very interesting to read.  Richard Plant left Germany before the wrath of Himmler and his leader Hitler started.  He was able to escape into a different world.  When I read this about him it made me wonder what would have happened to him if he had stayed.  Would he have been in a concentration camp?  Would he have escaped or would he be dead?  If any of those things would have happened this book might not have been written.  
       This book was written for the purpose of knowledge.  This book explored so many things that I never knew about the holocaust.  Homosexuals are not forgotten during this period, they are just not talked about as much because of the outstanding number of Jews killed.  This book hopes to change that.  Richard Plant is an excellent writer who explores this outstanding group of men.  This was the first comprehensive book about homosexuals to appear in English.
      Something that this book taught me was that Himmler not Hitler was the one actually in charge of ridding the world, or Germany, of homosexuality.  I have always thought of Hitler in charge, which was not true, he was the man behind the scenes. Through this book I learned that homosexuals were considered the lowest form in the concentration camps.  To prevent this some would steal from others, such as the Jewish Star of David.  
      This book allows the reader to feel only a part of what they actually went through.  Plant has done a great amount of research in order to prepare for this book.  With this research I have come to many conclusions about the Holocaust and about homosexuality.  
      Overall I believe this book gives a well deserve and accurate view of homosexuality during the Holocaust.

Web Page

Holocaust Teacher Research Center

This web page was designed after a pamphlet that was in the United States Holocaust Museum.  This web page is a source is used as a resource for teachers.  It enables them to learn about homosexuals during the holocaust so that they are then able to teach this information to others.  
The page focuses on Paragraph 175 and how is worked.  It explores and explains that the majority of homosexuals that were captured were not actually Jews, but Germans and Austrians.
This site is a good introduction to the persecution of homosexuals, but I feel that in order to really learn about what happened in this time more research would be needed.

Course Homepage
Web Projects index page
Homosexuals under Nazism:
Review of:
Hidden Holocaust
Review of: Nazi Extermination of Homosexuals
Review of:
The Men with the Pink Triangle
Review of:
The Pink Triangle:
The Nazi War against Homosexuals