The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals

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This is the first comprehensive book in English on the fate of the homosexuals in Nazi Germany. The author, a German refugee, examines the climate and conditions that gave rise to a vicious campaign against Germany's gays, as directed by Himmler and his SS--persecution that resulted in tens of thousands of arrests and thousands of deaths.

In this Nazi crusade, homosexual prisoners were confined to death camps where, forced to wear pink triangles, they constituted the lowest rung in the camp hierarchy. The horror of camp life is described through diaries, previously untranslated documents, and interviews with and letters from survivors, revealing how the anti-homosexual campaign was conducted, the crackpot homophobic fantasies that fueled it, the men who made it possible, and those who were its victims, this chilling book sheds light on a corner of twentieth-century history that has been hidden in the shadows much too long.

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About the author

Richard Plant was born in Frankfurt and was a graduate of the University of Basel, where he earned his Ph.D. Since emigrating to the United States in 1938, he has contributed numerous articles to many publications, and teaches at the New School for Social Research in New York City.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Holt Paperbacks
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Published on
Apr 1, 2011
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781429936934
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Holocaust
Social Science / LGBT Studies / Gay Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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A New York Times Notable Book of the Year that Sir Ian McKellen called “a shocking tale of heroes and villains—illuminating and upsetting in equal measure.”

The first production of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé in 1918, with American exotic dancer Maud Allan dancing lead, ignited a firestorm in London spearheaded by Noel Pemberton Billing, a member of Parliament and self-appointed guardian of family values. Billing attacked Allan in the right-wing newspaper Vigilante as a member of the “Cult of the Clitoris,” a feminine version of the “Cult of the Wilde,” a catchall for the degeneracy and perversion he was convinced had infected the land. He claimed that a black book was in the hands of their enemies the Germans, a book that contained the names of thousands of the British establishment who without doubt were members of the cult. Threat of exposure was costing England the war.

Allan sued Billing for libel, and the ensuing trial, brought to life in this authoritative, spellbinding book, held the world in thrall. Was there or was there not a black book? What names did it contain? The trial was both hugely entertaining and deadly serious and raised specters of hysteria, homophobia, and paranoia that, like Oscar Wilde himself, continue to haunt us. As in Wilde’s own trial in 1895, libel was hardly the issue; the fight was for control over the country’s moral compass. In Oscar Wilde’s Last Stand, biographer and historian Philip Hoare gives us the full drama of the Billing trial, gavel to gavel, and brings to life this unique, bizarre, and fascinating event.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
In November of 1940, the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer attacked British Convoy HX-84. The merchant cruiser HMS Jervis Bay, a converted passenger liner that was the convoy's only escort--armed only with antique 6-inch guns--charged the Nazi raider. While the Jervis Bay did not stand a chance of surviving the battle, her crew's fatalistic bravery inspired awe in all who witnessed the fight. Watson recounts how the Scheer's 11-inch guns turned the ship into a burning hulk in twenty-two minutes, but most of the convoy escaped.

In November of 1940, the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer attacked British Convoy HX-84. The Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Jervis Bay, the only escort and mounting antique 6-inch guns, charged the Nazi raider. While the Jervis Bay did not stand a chance of surviving the battle, her crew's fatalistic bravery inspired awe in all who witnessed the fight. Watson describes how the Scheer's 11-inch guns turned the converted passenger liner into a burning hulk in twenty-two minutes, but most of the convoy escaped.

How did this confrontation come to pass? Both the necessity of arming a passenger liner and pretending it was a warship, and the building of the Admiral Scheer and her sister ships for the express purpose of commerce raiding, find their roots in the events, political decisions, re-armament polices, war plans, naval traditions, and blunders that arose in pre-war Britain and Germany. But this event holds a significance beyond the battle itself. The sinking of the Jervis Bay symbolizes the end of an era in naval warfare. The Armed Merchant Cruisers of the Second World War inherited a long, sometimes noble and sometimes ignoble history. Long employed in blockade or patrol duty, armed merchant cruisers ventured out for the first time to escort convoys, a defensive duty for which they were eminently unsuited, and for which the Jervis Bay paid a fearful price.

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