On This Gay Day: The Holocaust is remembered

Holocaust Remembrance Day

On this day in 1945 the remaining prisoners at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp were liberated. Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.

On January 27th 1945 the Red Army liberated the camp where 7,000 prisoners remained. Most of the other 60,000 prisoners at the camp had been sent on a death march to relocate them to other facilities.

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.

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 is estimated that between 5000-15,000 men were prosecuted for being homosexual during the German penal code. Gay men were identified by a pink triangle being sewn onto their prison uniform. It is not know how many gay men were sent to Auschwitz.

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the camp. Since 2005 the United Nations has observed Holocaust Remembrance Day.

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 60th birthday.

Actor Alan Cumming turns 55 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 Goldeneye, Spiceworld, The Anniversary Party, Sky Kids, X2, and has also had acclaim on on stage in plays like Bent  and playing the Emcee in Cabaret. 

OUTinPerth chatted to Alan Cumming when he brought his show Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs to Australia.  

OIP Staff