Rudolf Brazda, believed to be the last known gay survivor of the Holocaust, has died at the age of 98.
Brazda was sent to the Nazis’ Buchenwald concentration camp in August 1942 and held there until its liberation by U.S. forces in 1945. Nazi Germany declared homosexuality an aberration that threatened the German race, and convicted some 50,000 homosexuals as criminals. An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 gay men were deported to concentration camps, where few survived. When a memorial to the Nazis’ gay victims was unveiled in Berlin in 2008, the LSVD said the last ex-prisoner that it knew of had died three years earlier. But the group said it was then contacted by Brazda, who visited the memorial at its invitation and became an honorary member. Brazda was born in 1913. He grew up in the eastern German town of Meuselwitz and repeatedly ran into trouble with Nazi authorities over his homosexuality before being sent to Buchenwald.Earlier this year Brazda was named a knight in France's Legion of Honor.