The History of the Gay Male and Lesbian Experience during World War II


Alfred Balachowsky

Nuremberg war crimes testimony

From the statements made by the former French prisoner Alfred Balachowsky on January 29, 1946 to the French Deputy Prosecutor, Dubost, at the Nuremberg war crimes trial. IMG, vol. 6, Nuremberg 1947, p346, as quoted in Hidden Holocaust? edited by Gunter Grau, pg 269

Balachowsky: [...] We had a lot of homosexuals at Buchenwald -- I mean, people sentenced by the German courts because of their vice. These homosexuals were sent to concentration camps, especially Buchenwald, and mixed in with other prisoners.

Dubost: Especially with the so-called politicals, who were really patriots?

Balachowsky: With all kinds of prisoners.

Dubost: Did everyone come into contact with homosexuals who were German nationals?

Balachowsky: Yes, you could only tell them apart by the pink triangle they wore.

Dubost: Were there precise rules for wearing the triangle, or was it all a big mess?

Balachowsky: I heard that right at the beginning, before my time, it was all neat and proper with the triangles. But when I arrived at Buchenwald in early 1944, the whole triangle business was completely confused and some prisoners weren't wearing one at all.