The Men With the Pink Triangle: The True Life-And-Death Story of Homosexuals in the Nazi Death Camps by Heinz Heger
Reviewed by: Sarah Baker, Circulation
Genre: Non-fiction, History
Suggested Age: Adults
What is the book about?: In 1939, our author is called to an interview with the SS. He is accused and arrested on the spot. His crime? He is a homosexual. From there, Heger begins a horrific journey – to prison and then to the death camps. His tale covers his years in those camps, and the day-to-day life of a prisoner, as well as how he survived.
My Review: I was made aware of this book through a discussion on Tumblr of the Holocaust. The comment that cemented it for me was something to the effect of “I wondered why there weren’t more books from survivors. Then I read it, and I don’t wonder anymore.”
The homosexuals that were arrested in this time were male – lesbians were subjected to their own persecution (and is a subject I will be following up on at a later time). Life in these camps was even more brutal than I had previously thought. The forms of work these men were forced to do were intensely grueling and a huge number of them died in the process, a fact that didn’t bother their captors in the least. Heger describes regular sexual assault from the officers, who didn’t see this as a moral shortcoming of their own – after all, these were prisoners and “queers,” so they didn’t really count. He spares us a lot of details in all but a few cases, which is merciful. The details he does give us are horrifying, and leave you asking yourself how humans could treat other humans this way. The account is very matter-of-fact, but it doesn’t lessen its impact in the least.
Three Words That Describe This Book: Heartbreaking, Enlightening, Eye-Opening
Give This a Try if You Like… Schindler’s List, LGBT History
About FDL Reads
Welcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library. Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available. If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently. We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!