Raimund Wolfert:
"Die ganze vertrackte Situation halt"

Raimund Wolfert:
"The Whole Messy Situation"

Karl Kipp (1896–1959): Opera Singer, Pink-Triangle Inmate, and Auschwitz Survivor

English abstract

Both the German and international research literature on the NS persecution of homosexual men contain considerable gaps. This applies in particular to in-depth questions and individual case analyses. For instance, historians have failed so far to investigate opera singer, pink-triangle inmate, and Auschwitz survivor Karl Kipp’s life conditions (1896–1959). One reason for the invisibility of Kipp’s case may be that official registers of the concentration camp memorials Dachau and Auschwitz list him as an inmate with a "green triangle", that is as a "professional criminal". Fellow inmates’ records, however, reveal that camp guards forced Kipp to wear a "pink triangle".

In this article, Raimund Wolfert critically examines the ambivalences of "gay" Lebensläufe (life stories) before and after 1945 in the face of the NS persecution of homosexuals. In so doing, he demonstrates that research on gay concentration camp inmates’ suffering ought not to be restricted to the investigation of documents filed at the memorials. Instead of this, the author calls upon historians to re-integrate the corpus of remembrance literature into their research on NS crimes. Given that a Norwegian Shoah survivor’s testimony first drew Wolfert’s attention to the case of Karl Kipp, this article serves to demonstrate how valuable such a widened approach can be.

to the top     Invertito 18 survey