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More than 70 years after gay men were liberated from concentration camps, the oppression continues

In May 1945 just 23 men from the 11th Armored Division of the US Third Army liberated Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, witnessing scenes of unimaginable horror. With the British advancing from the north, the Americans from the south and the Soviets from the East, orders had been given to concentration camp Commandants to kill as many prisoners as possible in the shortest possible time.

By the time the SS had fled and the Americans arrived, an estimated 60,000 prisoners had been reduced to around 20,000, and the crematoria chimneys, which had been working day and night, were still smoking.

The camp had chiefly been used to house communists, other political prisoners and homosexual men.

Seventy-three years later, and freedom of sexuality is not included in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. LGBTQ+ people are still imprisoned, beaten and killed all over the world – not only as victims of hate crime, but under state-sanctioned legislation.

This has to stop.

That’s why OutNews Global is proud to support the campaign, a joint venture between the Mauthausen Memorial organisation, Austrian men’s magazine Vangardist and Canadian charity Rainbow Railroad.

Please watch this video to the end. It’s a tough watch, but a reminder that, whatever problems we face in Britain and other western democracies, these pale into insignificance when set against what some of our LGBTQ+ siblings are suffering right across the world.

Please share this article widely using the social media links below. Let’s raise awareness, spread the word, and do what we can to end some of the dreadful injustices faced by LGBTQ+ people more than 70 years after Mauthausen’s liberation.

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Rob Harkavy

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