Paragraph 175

USA, 1999
Length
81 minutes
Director
Rob (Robert) Epstein
Cast
  • Rupert Everett
  • Annette Eick
  • Albrecht Becker
  • Heinz F.
  • Pierre Seel
  • Heinz Dörmer
  • Gad Beck
  • Karl Gorath
  • Klaus Müller

Content

The ‘pink triangle’ is a familiar symbol throughout the gay movement, and yet its history and significance is largely unknown both to many homosexuals outside Germany as well a wide section of the public at large. Studies have revealed that only one in every four Americans are even aware that homosexuals were persecuted under the Nazis, let alone that the ‘pink triangle’ was used as a badge to identify homosexual prisoners. In interviews, five of the roughly one hundred thousand homosexuals persecuted by the Nazi regime recount their experiences and tell us the stories of their suffering between the years 1933 and 1945: – Gad Beck, born in 1923, was categorised as ‘half Jewish’ in 1933; he began attending a Jewish boys’ school in 1935, joined a Jewish resistance group in 1941, was arrested shortly before liberation and emigrated to Israel in 1947. In 1979 he returned to Germany where he worked with Heinz Galinski, the former head of Berlin’s Jewish Community; – Heinz Dörmer was born in 1912. He was active in the boy scout movement in his youth and in 1933 as “youth leader” was forced to become a member of the Hitler Youth; in 1935 he was barred from the same organisation on account of his homosexuality. He was arrested on many occasions and spent almost ten years in prisons and concentration camps; – Pierre Seel comes from Alsace-Lorraine originally. He was a prisoner of concentration camps at Schirmeck and Struthof and forced to join the German army in 1941 before being captured and spending a short time in a Russian POW camp; – Heinz F.,was born in 1905. During the twenties and thirties he was a member of the gay Bohemian circles of Berlin and Munich; from 1935 onwards, he spent nine years in concentration camps; – Albrecht Becker was born in 1906. He was arrested in 1935. He joined the German army following his release, because: “that’s where all the men were!”
(Albrecht Becker was also portrayed in Rosa von Praunheim's TOTE SCHWULE - LEBENDE LESBEN -- DEAD GAY MEN AND LIVING LESBIANS.)

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>>> Find out more about § 175

FILMOGRAPHY Jeffrey Friedman (selection)

2010 Howl 1999 Paragraph 175 1995 The Celluloid Closet 

FILMOGRAPHY Rob (Robert) Epstein (selection)

2010 Howl 1999 Paragraph 175 1995 The Celluloid Closet 1984 The Times of Harvey Milk 1977 Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives 

Gallery

Credits

Production company
Telling Pictures
Original title
Paragraph 175