Rudolf Brazda, the last known gay holocaust survivor, has been told he will receive the Ordre national de la Legion d’honneur.
The 97-year-old, who spent three years in the Buchenwald camp, was recommended by President Sarckozy for the honour on the 66th anniversary of his liberation.
The award marks ‘the recognition of the deportation of homosexuals’ according to Phillipe Couillet, president of Les Oublies de la memoire, an association campaigning for the recognition of Nazi persecuted homosexuals. Couillet stressed the award acknowleged Brazda’s bravery in coming forward about his experiences.
Brazda first spoke out at the unveiling of the Berlin monument to gay and lesbian holocaust victims. He has also received gold medals from the cities of Toulouse and Nancy.
“Brazda is determined to continue speaking out about his past, in the hope that younger generations remain vigilant in the face of present day behaviour and thoughts similar to those which led to the persecutions endured by homosexuals during the Nazi era” says LGBT blogger Paul Canning.
Brazda will be presented his award on April 28 by Marie Jose of Chombart Lauwe, a former resistance fighter and inmate at the notorious womens camp Ravensbrick.She is also president of the foundation of the memory of the deportation.