Rudolf Brazda [right] after his liberation in 1945 from Buchenwald.
…in August 1942, was sent to Buchenwald where he was given the number 7952, and made to sew the pink triangle on to his camp uniform: “I didn’t understand what was happening but what could I do? Under Hitler you were powerless,” he recalled.
Two guards at the camp saved Brazda’s life. The first, apparently himself gay, removed Brazda from the “punishment battalion” at the local quarry and secured him a posting to lighter duties in the quarry’s infirmary. Several months later, Brazda joined the roofers unit, part of the “Bauhof” kommando in charge of maintaining the concentration camp buildings. As part of the kommando he was given extra food rations.
Then, just before liberation, when the camp’s prisoners were rounded up for a “death march” to another camp at Flossenburg, a second guard hid Brazda in the camp’s animal pen. “He put me in a shed with the pigs, made me a bed and I lay there for 14 days until the Americans came. After that, I was a free man,” he recalled.
Neither Brazda nor the bulk of his fellow homosexual survivors of Nazi persecution ever received reparations after 1945.