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Remembering Gay Victims of The Nazi Holocaust

Remembering Gay Victims of The Nazi Holocaust

It is estimated that 1.2 million homosexual men were living in Germany in 1928. Between 1933 and 1945 100,000 men were arrested and charged with being homosexuals, 50,000 were officially sentenced. Most were sent to regular prisons, while an estimated 5,000-15,000 were sent to concentration camps.

In Nazi Germany, homosexuality was persecuted to a degree unprecedented in history. In 1935, the National Socialists issued an order making all male homosexuality a crime; the provisions governing homosexual behaviour in Section 175 of the Criminal Code were significantly expanded and made stricter. A kiss was enough reason to prosecute. There were more than 50,000 convictions. Under Section 175, the punishment was imprisonment; in some cases, convicted offenders were castrated. Thousands of men were sent to concentration camps for being gay; many of them died there. They died of hunger, disease and abuse or were the victims of targeted killings.

The National Socialists destroyed the communities of gay men and women. Female homosexuality was not prosecuted, except in annexed Austria; the National Socialists did not find it as threatening as male homosexuality. However, lesbians who came into conflict with the regime were also subject to repressive measures. Under the Nazi regime, gay men and women lived in fear and under constant pressure to hide their sexuality.

For many years, the homosexual victims of National Socialism were not included in public commemorations -- neither in the Federal Republic of Germany nor in the German Democratic Republic. In both East and West Germany, homosexuality continued to be prosecuted for many years. In the Federal Republic, Section 175 remained in force without amendment until 1969.

Because of its history, Germany has a special responsibility to actively oppose the violation of gay men's and lesbians' human rights. In many parts of the world, people continue to be persecuted for their sexuality, homosexual love remains illegal and a kiss can be dangerous.

With this memorial, the Federal Republic of Germany intends

to honor the victims of persecution and murder,
to keep alive the memory of this injustice, and
to create a lasting symbol of opposition to enmity, intolerance and the exclusion of gay men and lesbians.

Das Denkmal für die im Nationalsozialismus verfolgten Homosexuellen ist eine Gedenkstätte am Berliner Tiergarten, die am 27. Mai 2008 eingeweiht wurde. Das von dem dänisch-norwegischen Künstlerduo Michael Elmgreen und Ingar Dragset entworfene Denkmal ist ein 3,60 m hoher und 1,90 m breiter Steinquader, in dem ein Fenster eingelassen ist, durch das zwei kurze Filme mit zwei sich küssenden Männern bzw. zwei sich küssenden Frauen im zweijährigen Wechsel zu sehen sind. Die Errichtung des Denkmals wurde im Zuge der Diskussion über die Gestaltung des Denkmals für die ermordeten Juden Europas im Jahr 2003 vom Deutschen Bundestag beschlossen.

May 27th 2008 has been announced to be the date of the official publication of the Berlin memorial for the persecuted homosexuals of the Nazi period of time.

Estimates vary wildly as to the number of gay men killed in concentration camps during the Holocaust ranging from 5,000 to 15,000. Larger numbers include those who were Jewish and gay, or even Jewish, gay, and communist. In addition, records as to the specific reasons for internment are non-existent in many areas, making it hard to put an exact number on just how many gay men perished in death camps. See pink triangle.
Gay men suffered unusually cruel treatment in the concentration camps. They faced persecution not only from German soldiers but also from other prisoners, and many gay men were beaten to death. Additionally, gay men in forced labor camps routinely received more grueling and dangerous work assignments than other non-Jewish inmates, under the policy of "Extermination Through Work". SS soldiers also were known to use gay men for target practice, aiming their weapons at the pink triangles their human targets were forced to wear.

El monumento fue diseñado por los artistas Michael Elmgreen y Ingar Dragset. Es una estructura de hormigón en forma de ortoedro. En la cara frontal hay una ventana a través de la cual los visitantes pueden ver un vídeo con dos homosexuales besándose.

When the war ended, the persecution under the Nazis of homosexuals was not acknowledged. Homosexuals did not qualify for state pensions and reparations available to other groups, and continued to be classified as criminals simply for being gay.

Although both East and West Germany liberalized the criminalization of homosexuality in the 1960's the official Nazi anti-gay law was not repealed until 1994.

In some instances they were freed only to be re-imprisoned by the Allies for their sexual orientation. Under the Allied Military Government in Germany, many homosexuals were forced to serve the remainder of their prison sentence, regardless of any time spent in a concentration camp. Gay Holocaust survivors still had to live in fear of re-imprisonment for "repeat offenses" and were kept on the registered "sex offenders" list.


US Calls The Shots In Australian Elections, Wikileaks


By Patrick O'Connor

"... Gillard has gone out of her way to assist the embassy... Although warm and engaging in her dealings with American diplomats, it’s unclear whether this change in attitude reflects a mellowing of her views or an understanding of what she needs to do to become leader of the ALP.”

These comments outline who really calls the shots in Australia’s so-called parliamentary democracy.

The latest batch of the several hundred leaked US diplomatic cables concerning Australia, provided by WikiLeaks to the Fairfax company’s Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age, provide further extraordinary evidence of Washington’s direct involvement in the anti-democratic coup against former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last June.

Key coup plotters in the Labor Party and trade unions—including senators Mark Arbib and David Feeney, and Australian Workers Union chief Paul Howes—secretly provided the US embassy with regular updates on internal government discussions and divisions within the leadership. As early as June 2008, the American ambassador identified Julia Gillard as the “front-runner” to replace Rudd. In October 2009, i.e., eight months before Gillard was installed in unprecedented circumstances, Mark Arbib informed American officials of emerging leadership tensions. The Australian people, on the other hand, were kept entirely in the dark about any differences between the prime minister and his colleagues until after Rudd was ousted.

Gillard was described, some two years before the coup, by US diplomatic officials as the “rising star” within the Labor government. They made various enquiries into Gillard’s foreign policy sympathies, receiving assurances from government sources that her origins in the party’s “left” faction had no policy significance whatsoever. Arbib told the embassy that Gillard was “one of the most pragmatic politicians in the ALP”; Victorian senator David Feeney added that “there is no longer any intellectual integrity in the factions” and that “there is no major policy issue on which he, a Right factional leader, differs from Gillard”. When embassy officials checked on Gillard with Paul Howes, Australian Workers Union boss and subsequent anti-Rudd coup plotter, observing that “ALP politicians from the Left, no matter how capable, do not become party leader,” he responded immediately: “but she votes with the Right’.”

The Sydney Morning Herald and Age have published parts of the latest material in excerpted form, ahead of their full public release expected in coming weeks. They focus today on Mark Arbib’s role as a “secret US source”. One of the key apparatchiks in Labor’s powerful New South Wales right-wing faction, Arbib reportedly made several requests to US officials that his identity as a “protected” informant be guarded.

The cables refer to Arbib as early as mid-2006, when he served as NSW Labor Party state secretary. After being elected to the senate in the November 2007 federal election, the factional leader deepened his relationship with Washington. A US embassy profile, authored in July 2009, noted that Arbib “understands the importance of supporting a vibrant relationship with the US” and that officials “have found him personable, confident and articulate”. The profile also recorded that he “has met with us repeatedly throughout his political rise”. Other cables referred to the senator as a “right-wing powerbroker and political rising star” and noted his influence within both Labor’s factions and “Rudd’s inner circle”.

The cables make clear that Arbib and the other identified MPs function not simply as mere US “sources”, as characterised in the media today—but rather as agents. Within the Labor and trade unions apparatuses, these party members serve as conduits for Washington’s agenda. The embassy communications reveal the extent to which the US government determines Australian foreign policy and dictates who will hold senior government posts, including the office of prime minister.

A precise chronology of Washington’s sordid, behind-the-scenes manipulation of Australian political affairs, between the Labor Party’s election victory in November 2007 and Rudd’s axing in June 2010, is likely to emerge once WikiLeaks releases the full cache of relevant cables.

Already, however, it is now beyond dispute that Washington began cultivating Gillard at the same time as embassy officials were issuing damning assessments of Rudd, above all over his stance on Beijing. In June 2008, the same month Gillard was named as the “front-runner” to succeed Rudd, the prime minister unveiled his Asia-Pacific Community project, attempting to mediate the escalating strategic rivalry between the US and China. An American embassy cable lambasted this proposal as yet another Rudd initiative launched “without advance consultation”. (See: “WikiLeaks cables cast fresh light on coup against former Australian PM Rudd”)

Beginning at this time, the Fairfax press reports: “US diplomats were anxious to establish Ms Gillard’s attitudes towards Australia’s alliance with the United States and other key foreign policy questions, especially in regard to Israel. Numerous Labor figures were drawn by US diplomats into conversation concerning Ms Gillard’s personality and political positions with ‘many key ALP insiders’ quickly telling embassy officers that her past membership of the Victorian Labor Party’s Socialist Left faction meant little and that she was ‘at heart a pragmatist’.”

Gillard was undoubtedly aware that she was being sounded out. One cable sent to the State Department in mid-2008 stated: “Although long appearing ambivalent about the Australia-US Alliance, Gillard’s actions since she became the Labor Party number two indicate an understanding of its importance. [US embassy political officers] had little contact with her when she was in opposition but since the election, Gillard has gone out of her way to assist the embassy... Although warm and engaging in her dealings with American diplomats, it’s unclear whether this change in attitude reflects a mellowing of her views or an understanding of what she needs to do to become leader of the ALP.”

These comments outline who really calls the shots in Australia’s so-called parliamentary democracy. Labor leaders must understand “what they need to do”—that is, kowtow on every major strategic and foreign policy issue to Washington. They need to recognise that Australia is an obedient servant of US imperialism, and that its political superstructure must function accordingly.

Arbib issued a terse statement today, simply outlining that he was an active member of the Australia-American Leadership Dialogue, and “like many members of the federal parliament, have regular discussions about the state of Australian and US politics with members of the US mission and consulate”. Contained here is a fairly clear warning, by Labor’s key backroom operator, to anyone in the government thinking of using the revelations against him. Arbib has helpfully reminded them that he enjoys Washington’s support, and that others are sure to be implicated as more cables are released.

The Fairfax press has already named former Labor national secretary and Rudd government cabinet member Bob McMullen and current backbencher Michael Danby as among those named in the WikiLeaks documents. Others likely to be named are starting to come out of the woodwork, in an effort to pre-empt the fallout. Health Minister Nicola Roxon today volunteered that she is likely to be identified, as she “meets with US diplomats from time to time”. Greens’ leader Bob Brown has foreshadowed similar revelations—though he was at pains to point out that he was always “very careful” in his responses, and spoke with diplomats “from all over the world, from Bangladesh to the US to New Zealand, Taiwan and Beijing”.

The cables will no doubt reveal similar relationships between Washington and senior Australian media personnel. Editors, journalists, and broadcasters are routinely nurtured through the Australia-American Leadership Dialogue, and other such forums.

The excerpted cables also expose the close working relationship between the US government and Australia’s trade unions. The Fairfax press noted that “senior union leaders have privately briefed US officials about how they use their influence over the Labor Party to shape federal government policies”, and cited an August 2009 cable, which stated that the trade unions “continue to play a significant role in the formulation of national policies that can impact the United States”. Discussions between US embassy officials and senior figures in the Australian Workers Union and the National Union of Workers were reported, with one cable declaring that the leaders of the right-wing unions were “dynamic and forward thinking”.

The same cable reportedly described the declining influence of the “left” unions within the Labor Party, a conclusion that was “drawn partly through briefings from CFMEU [Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union] national secretary Dave Noonan and Victorian secretary Bill Oliver”. These two figures—often hailed as great militants by the various middle class pseudo-left outfits—were described by US embassy officials as “capable leaders”.


Wikileaks Loses Its .org Domain, Killed by US

Read Write Web

It's not our normal beat to cover so much breaking news on ReadWriteCloud but U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman has changed that a bit with his attacks on Wikileaks and threats to the technology community.
Now in part due to his reactionary ways, we've seen a cascading series of events culminating tonight with Wikileaks losing its DNS. That means if you are in the United States at least, you can't access the Wikileaks Web site. According to
" provided domain name system (DNS) services to the domain name until 10PM EST, December 2, 2010, when such services were terminated. As with other users of the network, this service was provided for free. The termination of services was effected pursuant to, and in accordance with, the Acceptable Use Policy."
Wikileaks confirmed the news tonight on its Twitter account:
"WikiLeaks,org domain killed by US after claimed mass attacks KEEP US STRONG" serves about 500,000 Web sites that could be in jeopardy due to the continuous DDOS attacks on the Wikileaks site. They say the attacks threaten the stability of the infrastructure.
We're the losers out of all this. In the name of security, our government has decided to block us from information that they fear would have terrible, terrible impacts.
The next step? It looks like Sen. Lieberman has decided to attack journalists and the technology community with legislation that would outlaw the right to publish the name of a U.S. intelligence source.

Russian Intelligence Calls US Bluff on Iranian Nukes, Wikileaks

By Gareth Porter

A diplomatic cable from last February released by Wikileaks provides a detailed account of how Russian specialists on the Iranian ballistic missile program refuted the U.S. suggestion that Iran has missiles that could target European capitals or intends to develop such a capability.

In fact, the Russians challenged the very existence of the mystery missile the U.S. claims Iran acquired from North Korea. But readers of the two leading U.S. newspapers never learned those key facts about the document.

The New York Times and Washington Post reported only that the United States believed Iran had acquired such missiles - supposedly called the BM-25 - from North Korea.

Neither newspaper reported the detailed Russian refutation of the U.S. view on the issue or the lack of hard evidence for the BM-25 from the U.S. side.

The Times, which had obtained the diplomatic cables not from Wikileaks but from The Guardian, according to a Washington Post story Monday, did not publish the text of the cable.

The Times story said the newspaper had made the decision not to publish "at the request of the Obama administration".

That meant that its readers could not compare the highly- distorted account of the document in the Times story against the original document without searching the Wikileaks website.

As a result, a key Wikileaks document which should have resulted in stories calling into question the thrust of the Obama regime's ballistic missile defense policy in Europe based on an alleged Iranian missile threat has instead produced a spate of stories buttressing anti-Iran hysteria.

Gaaaaaah why do you people like Sarah Palin so much?

I get it, you're mad at the establishment, so am I. But are you people really so blind? When liberal intellectuals refer to Sarah Palin as an idiot, I get it, you identify with her more because you don't consider yourself much of an intellectual elite. Yet, she really is in idiot. Really! She's actually an idiot! I'm not saying that because she's a "rogue" or a "maverick", I really mean it, she just so...ugh. I get that people are upset with the establishment and Sarah paints herself as being this "outsider" who can be a..."moma grizzly" but seriously she's really, really an idiot. And as for her being a "rogue" or "anti-establishment" she is incredible pro establishment. I mean, to the extent that she is aware of an establishment.

Seriously though, it scares me that her Alaskan reality TV show (It's a not a documentary), has actually succeeded in convincing ordinary low-income Americans that she's somehow one of them. And since they're angry with the way politics in general is being done by just about every elected official in our government, when they point out that she's an idiot, they take it as a code word to mean that she's an "outsider". But no...wake up people...she really is an idiot. And yes, she'll run in 2012, just you wait and see.

Guuuugh, I don't understand why people are so enamored with her.