WW2 homosexuals deported by nazis remembered in France

April 26, 2004

STRASBOURG — French gay and lesbian groups on Sunday laid a wreath here in memory of Nazi victims who were deported to concentration camps for being homosexual.

The commemoration took place shortly after an official ceremony in remembrance of all deportees, attended by local dignitaries and representatives of an association of former camp inmates.

But only two local officials stayed on for the memorial to homosexual deportees.

Franz Marisa of the Strasbourg Festigays group said they had been pressing for homosexuals to be recognised in the official commemorations for years.

"Dialogue is progressing and our presence seems to annoy people less and less, but it hurts us nonetheless to have to hold our tribute without an official presence," he told AFP.

But a local official for the federation of deportees and camp inmates said he did not understand why the homosexual groups were dissatisfied.

"When we lay a wreath it is in the name of all deportees, whatever the reason for their persecution," Francois Amoudruz said.

Gay and lesbian associations say just over 200 French were deported by the Nazi regime because of their sexual orientation, and that few survived. – Sapa-AFP

Related stories
German lawmakers approve memorial for gay victims of Nazis [14/11/2003]



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