Compass Community Center is proud to announce that the exhibit Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933 – 1945, on loan from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, will be on display in our center beginning December 6th, 2012. The story of what happened to homosexuals in Nazi Germany is the subject of the exhibition, which was more than two years in development and is the first major exhibition on the subject for English-speaking audiences. Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933 – 1945 draws on materials from more than 40 archives and other repositories in eight countries.

Nazi policy asserted that homosexual men carried a “degeneracy” that threatened the “disciplined masculinity” of Germany. Under Paragraph 175 of the German criminal code, male homosexuality was illegal in Nazi Germany. Ted Phillips, the exhibit’s curator in Washington, said Paragraph 175 had grown from an 18th century Prussian law. “When Germany unified those states in 1871, it became the law of the German Reich,” he said. The law was named Paragraph 175 in 1935 when the Nazis revised it.

The Nazis arrested an estimated 100,000 homosexual men, 50,000 of whom were imprisoned. Between 5,000 and 15,000 gay men were interned in concentration camps in Nazi Germany. These prisoners were marked by pink triangle badges and were among the most abused groups in the camps.

“The exhibition explores why homosexual behavior was identified as a danger to Nazi society and how the Nazi regime attempted to eliminate it,” says exhibition curator Edward Phillips. “The Nazis believed it was possible to ‘cure’ homosexual behavior through labor and ‘re-education.’” Gay men were subject to castration, institutionalization, and deportation to concentration camps.

The exhibition opens on Thursday, December 6th, 2012, and will be at Compass Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Lake Worth and the Palm Beaches through January, 25th 2013. Compass is also planning educational seminars and a film series in conjunction with the exhibition.

“This exhibition reflects the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s commitment to recognizing all the victims of Nazism,” says Phillips. “Poles, Gypsies, Soviet prisoners of war, the handicapped, and Jehovah’s Witnesses all were targeted by the regime, and 5 million of them were murdered along with the 6 million Jews between 1933 and 1945. We created this as a traveling exhibition to tell this important story in communities throughout the U.S.”

Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933 – 1945 is organized and circulated by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945 is sponsored in part by The Duane Rath Endowment Fund and The Foundation for Civil Rights. You can learn more about the exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s website.

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DECEMBER 6, 2012 - JANUARY 25, 2013

This exhibit is free and open to the public

Monday - Thursday 10 am - 8:30 pm

Fridays 10 am - 7 pm

Saturday 2 pm - 6pm

Compass will be closed Dec 22 - Dec 25, Dec 29 - Jan 1 & Jan 21.