PRESS RELEASE Febuary 3, 2005
January 27th Ceremony: 60th Anniversary of Liberation of Auschwitz
Malmö/Stockholm The annual ILGCN Orfeo Iris award for outstanding information and research work on Nazi and neo Nazi persecution of homosexuals was handed over to Malmo City Museums Skåne Nazis exhibition in the south Swedish city on January 27th the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
The 2004 award from the International Lesbian & Gay Cultural Network has gone to both the Malmö exhibition and Stockholms Forum for Living History for its information work on the Roma and homosexuals as forgotten victims of the Holocaust, says Bill Schiller of the ILGCN Information Secretariat in Stockholm.
The Malmö ceremony was attended by a large crowd at the museum and was followed by a presentation of research on homosexuals during the 3rd Reich, covering examples of art, films, books and drama on this, official rainbow delegations to Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps, the struggle to set up more homo monuments in different cities, and examples of homophobic neo nazi attacks today.
Were very pleased that the Malmö event has put a special focus on Nazi persecution of homosexuals and that this has been widely covered in the mass media since so many other exhibits and news reports conveniently drop homosexuals from the lists of Nazi and neo Nazi targets, Schiller adds.
Stockholm Forum to Continue Focusing on Homosexuals
Responding to the 2004 ward, Stockholms Forum for Living History says: We at the Forum are deeply honoured to receive the Orfeo Iris award. Our work to spread information and make knowledge accessible about persecution of Roma and queer people in the past as well as examining discriminatory norms today, has only begun. Even if we are currently giving these questions special focus, our ambition is to continue in one form or another for many years to come.
It is especially gratifying to be acknowleged by an organisation that has been involved in these issues for so long. Once again, we thank you! Heléne Lööw - director of the Living History Forum, Jorun Kugelberg and Ulrika Westerlund - LGBT project co-ordinators and Joakim Scheele Roma project co-ordinator.
Earlier awards have gone to the Auschwitz museum, researchers working with Dachau and Sachsenhausen, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Austrians whose exhibition in a Vienna square on Nazi persecution was destroyed by neo Nazis.
The Orfeo Iris diploma also includes work by Finnish and Sweden artists from Tupilak (Organization of Nordic homo cultural workers).
The award is named after the Greek god who used beautiful music to calm the demons and beasts of the underworld
.and after the rainbow -- the multi-colored symbol of the struggle for identity, visibility and human rights for homosexuals all over the world. (Some Greek legends say when Orfeo returned to the surface of the earth without his Eurydice, he turned his love to men.)
Swedish Tupilak members playing music at the Auschwitz Wall of Death