Holocaust memorial day
Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is the day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. It takes place each year on 27 January and marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.
It is known that over 6 million Jews were persecuted by the Nazis during the Second World War at death camps like Auschwitz-Birkenau, but what is lesser known is the Nazis hostile police towards gay men and lesbians. Within days of Hitler becoming Chancellor, the repression of gay men and lesbians began, many fled the country and others entered into marriages to look as if they were conforming to Nazis ideology.
An estimated 50,000 homosexuals received severe jail sentences in brutal conditions. Most were sent to police prisons, rather than concentration camps, where they were exposed to inhumane treatment. There they could be subjected to hard labour or torture, or they were experimented upon or executed.
An estimated 10,000 - 15,000 men who were accused of homosexuality were deported to concentration camps. Most died in the camps, often from exhaustion. Many were castrated and some subjected to gruesome medical experiments. Collective murder actions were undertake against gay detainees, exterminating hundreds at a time.
Lesbians suffered the same destruction of community networks as gay men. They were not allowed to play any role in public life and therefore they often experienced a double economic disadvantage.
After the war, the Nazi legislation was kept in place which meant that the Allies, the new German states and Austria would recognise homosexual prisoners as Nazi victims, which in turn meant they would not qualify for repatriation.
Few known victims of the Nazi persecution of homosexuals and lesbians are still alive but research is beginning to reveal the hidden history of Nazi homophobia and post-war discrimination.
On the 27 January, we must remember those who lost their lives, learn and ensure that never again will the crimes of the Holocaust be allowed to happen again.
Ayrshire LGBT+ Development Group
The Ayrshire Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Development Group is a multi-agency partnership working together to improve the lives of LGBT individuals living, studying and working in Ayrshire and Arran. The group has representatives from the local authorities, police, health, education and third sector organisations as well as LGBT specific organisations such as LGBT Youth Scotland and the Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland.
Youth work in East Ayrshire
The Young People, Sport and Diversion team (YPSD) supports youth groups for young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people, as well as those who are questioning their sexuality and those who are straight supporters. The LGBT youth groups are safe and supportive environments for young people to attend and be themselves. View our events page to find out groups near you.
Adult work in East Ayrshire
The Terrence Higgins Trust, in partnership with East Ayrshire Council, run a LGBT Group for people who are 18 years and over. The group is a safe and supportive environment where local LGBT people, family and friends can talk about issues that are relevant to them. Please contact us for further information.
Learning and Development (CLD) service was awarded LGBT Charter Mark status in 2009. The Charter Mark recognises Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered people (LGBT) and ensures that LGBT issues are included in CLD activities. It makes sure that LGBT people can feel confident that they will be included, valued and supported.
To gain this status, we had to submit a portfolio to LGBT Scotland. This included evidence of how we address issues such as:
- training and staff development
- publicity and awareness-raising of LGBT issues
- information for service users
- ongoing review of procedures
For further national and local information on how LGBT supports young people, please visit LGBT Youth Scotland’s website.
Helpful guides and resources