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London: Nazi-Murdered Gay Dead Memorialized

100 Attend a Ceremony of Remembrance

World Congress of Gay/Lesbian & Bisexual Jewish Organizations Present

Compiled by Badpuppy's GayToday
From Outrage! Reports

Nearly 100 lesbians and gay men attended a Ceremony of Remembrance at the national war memorial, the Cenotaph, in London, on Sunday, 1st. November. They were commemorating lesbian, gay, and bisexual people who died fighting Nazism and who perished in the concentration camps.

The ceremony was organized by OutRage!, who declared Sunday, 1st. November "Queer Remembrance Day."

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Members of the SS close a gay bar in 1938

The keynote speaker was 77-year-old Dudley Cave, a gay World War II army veteran who served in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps and who was later a prisoner of war in Singapore and Thailand, where he worked barefoot on the notorious Burma Railway.

Dudley related how during WWII being gay was accepted: both while serving in the Armed Forces, and in PoW camps. Indeed, when he was discharged after the war, he was advised by an Army doctor "to find someone of like mind to settle down with, and not to worry about being gay". Dudley did just that, and lived for 40 years with his partner, until the latter's death four years ago.

Jack Gilbert, President of the World Congress of G/L/B Jewish Organisations, also made an address during which he recalled that the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office had last year excluded representatives of the gay community from the international Nazi Gold Conference held in London.

He also expressed the fervent hope that in future years more G/L/B/T groups would form a coalition to organise and support Queer Remembrance Day.

gaynazi2.gif - 26.31 K Members of Germany's growing gay population in the 1930s did criticize Hitler at first, as evident in this cartoon from the period.

(Other speakers regretted that advance coverage in the gay press had been patchy and tardy. The Pink Paper was berated for having totally ignored the event.)

Gilbert concluded his address by reading the Jewish Prayer for the Dead; and subsequently, in accordance with Jewish tradition, laid a stone as a token of respect, rather than a wreath.

Other speakers included John Springham, who read an address from Squadron Leader Christopher Gotch, who was unfortunately unable to attend in person; and Teresa from the Anti Nazi League.

After the speeches, there was a choral tribute by the Pink Singers, followed by a minute's silence. Pink wreaths and bouquets were then laid on the Cenotaph, including named tributes by GALHA, Kenric, and the Pink Triangle Trust.

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