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.”