CORAL GABLES, FL.- The Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami and the University of Miami Libraries presents Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945, a traveling exhibition developed by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, through April 4.
This unique presentation, which draws on materials from over 40 archives and other repositories in eight countries, explores the fact that thousands of homosexuals, primarily gay men, were murdered in concentration camps along with millions of Jews and other victims including Roma, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, Jehovahs Witnesses, and the mentally and physically handicapped during World War II and the Holocaust.
"The Miller Center is very pleased with this collaborative project with the University of Miami Libraries and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington , D.C. , said Dr. Haim Shaked, Director of the Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at UM. This is the first USHMM traveling exhibition the University is putting on and we sincerely hope it will be followed by many other important exhibitions. The exhibition carries an important educational message; its display at the Richter Library will assure it maximum exposure to UM's faculty, students and staff as well as the general community".
The Otto G. Richter Library is honored to host this important exhibition in the heart of the University, said University Librarian William Walker. The Librarys collections include a vast amount of resources on Judaic and German history. We hope visitors to the exhibition will use it as a springboard to further explore our collections.
The Nazi campaign against homosexuality targeted the more than one million German men who, according to the state, carried a "degeneracy" that threatened the "disciplined masculinity" of Germany . Denounced as "antisocial parasites" and as "enemies of the state," more than 100,000 men were arrested under a broadly interpreted law against homosexuality. Approximately 50,000 men served prison terms as convicted homosexuals, while an unknown number were institutionalized in mental hospitals. Others were castrated under court order or coercion. Analyses of fragmentary records suggest that between 5,000 and 15,000 homosexual men were imprisoned in concentration camps, where many died from starvation, disease, exhaustion, beatings and murder.
In the racist practice of Nazi eugenics, women were valued primarily for their ability to bear children. The state presumed that female homosexuals were still capable of reproducing. Lesbians were not systematically persecuted under Nazi rule, but nonetheless, they suffered the loss of their own gathering places and associations.
The exhibition will run February 12 - April 4, and will be on display at the Otto G. Richter Library, 1300 Memorial Drive, on UMs Coral Gables campus from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the exception of the following: Saturday, March 10, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, March 11, from Noon to 6 p.m., and Saturday, March 17, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.