Minneapolis, Minn. — Minnesotans are getting a rare opportunity to see an exhibit that examines the ways Nazis persecuted homosexuals during the time period between 1933 and 1945. The display at the YWCA in downtown Minneapolis contains 250 reproductions of historic photographs and documents of the era. The materials come from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum based in Washington, D.C.
The exhibit looks at the German law that allowed the Nazis to prosecute gays and other individuals deemed to be engaging in indecent behavior. The law,known as Paragraph 175, stated that certain people should be penalized because their "vices" would lead to the downfall of the German nation.
MPR's Greta Cunningham toured the exhibit with Linnea Stenson, director of the University of Minnesota's Center for GLBT Studies. Stenson says most people know of the six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust. But she says not everyone is aware that other groups were also targeted by the Nazis -- including gypsies, people with mental or physical handicaps, and homosexuals.
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's traveling exhibit will be on display at the YWCA in downtown Minneapolis through the end of September.
To listen to Greta's interview with Linnea Stenson, click on the audio link in the right column.