On Sunday, September 25, 2011, Dr. Susan Eischeid will present a public lecture and recital titled “Suppressed, Silenced and Shunned: The Story of the Pink Triangle Prisoners in Hitler’s Reich.” Guilford College, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro, NC 27410. 3:00 p.m. Moon Room. Sponsored by the Multicultural Education Department of Guilford College and the Bayard Rustin Center for LGBTQA Activism, Education and Reconciliation of Guilford College. Please join us for this important event!
Only 4 days until the premiere!! We’re beginning to converge upon San Francisco from many corners of the world: Bochum, Germany; Montreal, Canada; Valdosta and Atlanta, GA; Greensboro, NC. Please join us if you can for the remaining activities of the Pink Triangle Project! Thursday night’s lecture will be at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco, and Saturday’s concert will be at Old First Church. See web site for times and details. Let us all work to remember, and commemorate, these largely forgotten victims of intolerance!
Exciting times in Valdosta! German composer Stefan Heucke has arrived in the United States for the big premiere. We will be engaged in rehearsals and master classes this week and then fly together to California on Wednesday. It is wonderful to finally be on the same continent and we are SO excited about the next week! Please join us for any PTP activities you can! Welcome Stefan!
The first event of the Pink Triangle Project was a resounding success! Monday’s lecture drew a large and receptive crowd and many of the younger audience members asked sensitive and probing questions. Here’s hoping more and more people become interested in this important topic! Please join us next week for the PTP Film Series!
We are entering the last days before the Pink Triangle Project activities begin here in Georgia! The musicians are practicing hard, the travel arrangements are made, and all systems are go. Be sure to keep Monday night, Feb. 15th free for our first event: “Suppressed, Silenced and Shunned” – a public lecture which tells the story of the pink triangle prisoners in Hitler’s Reich. Please join us if you can: 6:30 p.m.; Valdosta State University; Bailey Science Center Auditorium, Valdosta, GA. See you there!
As you know, we are nearing the culmination of our many Pink Triangle Project activities. Canadian poet and author Gina Roitman has written a new poem in honor of the Pink Triangle victims that will be read at the world premiere concert. Gina has just shared this with me and it is incredible – evocative, searing, and profound. The title is “Der Hundertfuenfundziebziger” (The 175er), which refers to Paragraph 175, an act written into the German penal code in 1871 which made homosexual acts between males a crime. When the Nazi regime came to power, Paragraph 175 was rewritten and strengthened to precisely target gay men.
In Germany, both before and after the war, a 175er was the epithet for a gay man. Gina says, “most compelling to me, however, was that this section of law in West Germany was not abolished until 1994. For a survivor, that made revealing your story dangerous. Most died without ever telling it. It is to those silent victims of persecution that I dedicate this poem.”
Miep Gies, one of Anne Frank’s protectors, died this week at the age of 100. Miep, along with 3 others, risked death to hide Anne and her family from the Nazis. The Associated Press cites an online interview Miep did in 1997, wherein she stated very strongly that she did not consider herself a hero. “Imagine young people would grow up with the feeling that you have to be a hero to do your human duty. I am afraid nobody would ever help other people, because who is a hero? I was not. I was just an ordinary person.” Unfortunately, in those days, there was nothing ordinary about her. She WAS a hero, in every sense of the word. Rest in peace, Miep.
Wow, it’s 2010 already and we are entering our final countdown for the events of the Pink Triangle Project! All musicians are working hard and the planning and logistics for all lectures and film series are finalized and ready to go. Help us spread the word about these exciting events! Fund raising continues, so please forward our information to anyone you think may be able to help. Even small amounts add up and together we can, and will, make this happen. Thank you for your continued support!
In Uganda, proposed legislation is under consideration which would impose the death penalty for certain gay individuals. Family and friends may face up to seven years in jail if they fail to report any gay family member to the authorities. Other measures are being proposed which severely penalize anyone who rents, befirends, or supports a gay individual. Gay rights activists and organizations are seeking the best ways to halt this legislation and to lend support to the growing and persecuted gay minorities in Africa. How horrifying, and how reminiscent of Nazi Germany, that such measures are being seriously considered by any country or government in the 21st century!
On the Saturday, the Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles chose the Rev. Mary Glasspool as its next assistant bishop. If approved by the larger Council on Bishops, Rev. Glasspool will become the demonimation’s first openly gay female official. The previous appointment of diocesan bishop Gene Robinson, who is also gay, sharply divided the American Episcopal Church and continues to be a topic for discussion and dissent. Glasspool later commented on her election and called it a victory for anyone who is gay. She says “Any group of people who have been oppressed because of any one, isolated, aspect of their person yearns for justice and equal rights.”