Branded by the Pink Triangle
Setterington, Ken. Branded by the Pink Triangle. Second Story, 2013. 196pp. Lexile 1110.
Although the Holocaust holds an important place in the curriculum, the subject of how Nazis persecuted the gay population rarely gets much attention. This moving book fills in that gap, combining historical facts and true, often heartbreaking, stories. The text offers historical context, then discusses how gays--mostly men--were located, sent to concentration camps, and suffered and died there. Even those who survived the war continued to suffer since they couldn’t speak out about their experiences in a world where homosexuality was illegal (and still is in many places, as the author discusses at the end). Black-and-white photographs, pictures of artifacts, notes, an index, and a timeline all add to the effectiveness of this important narrative. A Stonewall Honor Book.
Reading Std #1: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and implicitly, citing specific textual evidence to support conclusions drawn from it. The author excels at integrating stories that make the persecution and suffering feel personal, including one about a male couple who held a commitment ceremony in the early 1930s, only to be separated forever after the Nazis arrested them. Have students identify several such stories and analyze them in terms of language and how they add to the emotional impact of the text.