On This Gay Day: January 27th is Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 27th is Holocaust Remembrance Day 

In 2005 UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, declared that 27th January would be Holocaust Remembrance Day.

It’s a day to pay tribute to the memory of of people lost during one of the darkest periods of human history, and reaffirm an unwavering commitment to counter antisemitism, racism, and other forms of intolerance that can lead to targeted violence.

The date of 27th January was chosen because it is the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and extermination camp at Auschwitz-Berkenau. Soviet troops arrived at the facility early in the morning, it was a Saturday, they found over 7,500 prisoners in the camp, the majority of them in poor health.

Between 1940 and 1945, about 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz by Germany’s Nazi regime.  It is estimated that 1.1 million people were murdered, most of them because they were Jewish.

In August 1944, there were more than 135,000 prisoners across the complex, but by the time the Russian soldiers arrived only 7,000 remained in the camp. The Nazi regime targeted Jewish people as well as ethnic Poles, Soviet citizens, the Roma, the disabled, political and religious dissidents and gay men.

Located in Poland the Auschwitz camp comprised many different camps including those where they built the gas chambers which hundreds of thousands of people were killed in. It was just one of several concentration camps run by the Nazi regime.

In the concentration camps prisoners were often identified by different symbols sewn on to their clothes. Gay men were given pink triangles, the symbol was later adopted as a symbol for gay liberation and gay pride.

OUTinPerth contributor previously shared his experience of visiting the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp in Austria.

Also on this day in history

Olympic diver Greg Louganis was born on this day in 1960. Louganis won medals at both the 1984 and 1988 summer Olympics. Six months before the 1988 Olympics he was diagnosed with HIV.

Louganis publicly shared he was gay in a pre-taped announced played at the opening of the Gay Games in 1994. A year later he shared that he was living with HIV. Today he is celebrating his 62nd birthday.

Actor Alan Cumming turns 57 today, born in 1965 in Aberfeldy, Perthshire in Scotland he has become a successful actor and entertainer. Cumming has appeared in films including the James Bond movie GoldeneyeSpice World, The Anniversary Party, Sky Kids, X2, and has also had acclaim on on stage in plays like Bent  and playing the Emcee in Cabaret. 

OIP Staff

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