Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell visits Bradford College

Peter Tatchell with staff and students from Bradford College

The persecution of gay and bisexual men by the Nazis was the subject of a lecture delivered to Bradford College students by Peter Tatchell.

The leading gay rights campaigner visited the campus on Thursday as part of the college’s events to mark Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month.

He explained that tens of thousands of gay men perished at the hands of the Third Reich alongside Jews, the disabled, black, Slav, Roma and Sinti people as part of the Nazi bid for racial purification of German people.

Mr Tatchell shared the stories of gay men who survived the Nazi concentration camps and spoke about the campaign to get mainstream historians to acknowledge the ‘homocaust’ which was largely ignored in history books until the 1990s.

He also described how, even after the Nazi defeat in 1945, gay survivors continued to be persecuted and that it was not until 1969 that the law making male homosexual acts illegal in Germany ceased to be in force.

Mr Tatchell said: “When we reflect on this period of history, which has only really come to light of the last couple of decades, it is really important to remember that gay and bisexual men were one of many whose stories were not usually told and who faced great social opprobrium and persecution in the post-war period.

“We owe it to all the victims to acknowledge their suffering  in order to listen and learn to ensure it never happens again.”