Orpheus Iris Award 1999  

Orpheus Iris Award 1999
presented by the ILGCN to the Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten for its work at the former Nazi concentration camp, Sachsenhausen
Press Release: February 1999

t a press conference held in a leading gay centre  –  Mann-O-Meter - not far from the Berlinale film festival and in the heart of the 1920’s gay “world” of Berlin - the International Lesbian and Gay Cultural Network (ILGCN) presented the

Orpheus Iris Award  1999

"to the Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten (official foundation for memorial sites in Brandenburg) in recognition of the outstanding contribution of the foundation at Sachsenhausen – the former Nazi concentration camp – to the awakening of public awareness of gay men as  victims of the Nazis, and a special laudatio for the pioneering use of gay culture during the Remembrance Day events, January 1999."

The award was presented Thursday 18th February by Bill Schiller & Colin de la Motte-Sherman on behalf of the Network and accepted for the foundation by Joachim Müller, who has spent many years researching into gays in Sachsenhausen, and is the “gay” representative on the board of the foundation.

Further Background

Berlin had a thriving gay culture in the 1920 and early 30's. One of the first homo meeting places closed down after the Nazi take-over of power stood not far from where the press conference to announce the award was held (Mann-O-Meter in the Motzstrasse, Berlin). In Sachsenhausen, there were more §175 (over 1,000) prisoners than any other concentration camp because of its proximity to Berlin.

After 1945 the Nazi version of the anti-gay law was valid until 1969 in Federal Germany. Along with the Cinti  & Romas, and those few who deserted the fascist army, very few gays, have received any compensation for their suffering. The continuing stigma against homosexuals made gay concentration camp survivors reluctant to speak about their experiences and has made research more difficult. 


C. de la Motte-Sherman (ViSdP), Mann-O-Meter, Motzstr. 5. 10777 Berlin
Tel/Fax: 030 – 296 57 95             e-Mail: ilgcn (at) web.de

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© 2001 Colin de la Motte-Sherman