PRESS RELEASE May 9, 2002
4th event in St. Petersburg, Zagreb and Skopje in 2003:
Linz -- A 12-day event honoring the memory of imprisoned and
exterminated homosexuals of the Nazi death camps -- and demanding
compensation for survivors -- took place in and around this Austrian
city between April 27-May 9, 2002.
The event organized by HOSI-Linz and the ILGCN (International
Lesbian & Gay Cultural Network) included discussions, theater and music
performances, film and video screenings in a downtown cinema, a photo
exhibition at the old city hall, and an award-cermeony in a country
chapel -- close to where war prisoners were forced to build plane
motors for the German air force. Also, a memorial ceremony took place
at the Nazi concentration camp, Mauthausen, in front of the stone
monument to homosexuals, ending with a song by Norwegian opera singer,
"This important event was the launching of our 20th anniversary,"
says project co-ordinator Ernst Strohmeyer of HOSI-Linz. "We want all
Austrians and others to be more aware of this part of the past .. and
to understand that neo nazis and others continue to attack homosexuals
in many countries today."
Sweden's Bill Schiller, member of the international homo delegation in Auschwitz, speaking at a memorial for all victims at the 'wall of execution' during the 3rd ILGCN World Conference on Lesbian & Gay Culture, 2000. (photo: Colin de la Motte-Sherman)
Austrians Honored for Exhibition on Nazi Intolerance
The ILGCN's annual 'Orfeo Iris' award honoring research and
information on Nazi persecution of homosexuals went this year to two
Austrians -- Hannes Sulzenbacher and Nikolaus Wahl -- who set up an
exhibit in downtown Vienna last year -- an exhibit destroyed by neo
nazis. (Earlier awards have gone to the Holocaust museums in
Sachsenhausen, Auschwitz and Washington, D.D.)
"We are calling for additional research into this often ignored
part of history," says Colin de la Motte-Sherman, ILGCN-Berlin, a
participant in the event's major panel discussion."
"We are very pleased to see the growing number of reports,
books, films, theater and art work focusing on the fate of lesbians and
gays during WWII -- convinced this is a good way to make the past alive
and visible for those fighting homophobic regimes and intolerance
today," says Bill Schiller of Tupilak (the Nordic organization of
lesbian and gay cultural workers).
Photos by Finnish photographer, Paul-Peter Hallberg of the
ILGCN's earlier 'Nazi Persecution' events -- in Stockholm and Vilnius
-- as well as of the historical visit of the homosexual delegation
to Auschwitz, during the ILGCN world homo cultural conference in Warsaw,
were also on display at the old Linz city hall during the event.
The march of the homosexual brigade through the camp during the
official part of the ceremony was met with applause from several of the
foreign delegates. A member of the Italian delegation from Florenze
joined the marching homosexuals wearing pink and black triangles after
attaching triangles to his own shirt -- symbols of the signs assigned
by the Nazis to gay and lesbian prisoners.