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.
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
Tel/Fax: 030 – 296 57 95 e-Mail: ilgcn (at) web.de