Prints and printmaking, £12.99
Height: 26.000 mm
Width: 32.000 mm ((max.))
Coins and Medals
Pink triangle badge
Worn internationally since 1945
This badge is worn as a symbol of gay pride, although the pink triangle was initially associated with Nazi persecution. The Nazi regime came to power in Germany in 1933. It was responsible for the persecution and murder of millions of citizens, predominantly Jews, but also communists, trade unionists, Gypsies, prostitutes, the physically and mentally disabled and homosexuals.
Persecution of homosexuals began within a month of Hitler coming to power. The headquarters of the German gay movement was burned down and gay bars were closed. By late 1934 the Gestapo started compiling a 'pink list' of homosexuals to be transported to concentration camps, and an estimated 100,000 individuals were arrested between 1933 and 1945. It is not known exactly how many of these were sent to the camps, but those who did end up there were made to wear triangles of pink cloth to identify them, just as Jews were made to wear yellow stars. After the war, a German gay rights organisation campaigning for compensation for gay concentration camp survivors reclaimed the symbol and it has been worn as a badge of gay pride ever since.
P. Attwood, Status symbols: identity and b (London, British Museum Press, 2004)