BRANDED BY THE PINK TRIANGLE

An impassioned and cogent history of the persecution of gay men during the Holocaust.

Setterington opens with the riveting anecdote of a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz who was rescued and nurtured by a man with a pink triangle on his uniform. From this beginning, he moves back in time to introduce readers to early-20th-century Berlin, a bastion of gay tolerance despite the anti-homosexual law known as Paragraph 175. He goes on to chronicle the Nazis’ crackdown on gay men, their deportation to concentration camps, the experiences of both Jewish and Gentile gay men, and the aftermath of the war. Most cruelly, gay survivors were treated as criminals rather than victims, since their liberators viewed homosexuality as a crime. Illuminating the historical overview are stories of specific young (mostly teenage) gay men, taken mostly from memoirs. They are related with immediacy, personalizing the potentially mind-numbing catalog of horrors that make up any Holocaust account. Details, too, take readers into the heart of the insanity: Paragraph 175 was enforced in Western European “Aryan” territories such as the Netherlands but not in Poland and Eastern Europe, where they were seen as part of the strategy to undermine the already-“degraded” Slavic peoples. Never downplaying the appalling cataclysm that was the murder of 6 million Jews, Setterington nevertheless effectively makes the case for history’s need to remember Hitler’s other victims as well. Despite its brevity, a remarkably informative and necessary work. (notes, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)

 

Pub Date: April 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-926920-96-2

Page Count: 196

Publisher: Second Story Press

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A powerful reminder of a history that is all too timely today.

THEY CALLED US ENEMY

A beautifully heart-wrenching graphic-novel adaptation of actor and activist Takei’s (Lions and Tigers and Bears, 2013, etc.) childhood experience of incarceration in a World War II camp for Japanese Americans.

Takei had not yet started school when he, his parents, and his younger siblings were forced to leave their home and report to the Santa Anita Racetrack for “processing and removal” due to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. The creators smoothly and cleverly embed the historical context within which Takei’s family’s story takes place, allowing readers to simultaneously experience the daily humiliations that they suffered in the camps while providing readers with a broader understanding of the federal legislation, lawsuits, and actions which led to and maintained this injustice. The heroes who fought against this and provided support to and within the Japanese American community, such as Fred Korematsu, the 442nd Regiment, Herbert Nicholson, and the ACLU’s Wayne Collins, are also highlighted, but the focus always remains on the many sacrifices that Takei’s parents made to ensure the safety and survival of their family while shielding their children from knowing the depths of the hatred they faced and danger they were in. The creators also highlight the dangerous parallels between the hate speech, stereotyping, and legislation used against Japanese Americans and the trajectory of current events. Delicate grayscale illustrations effectively convey the intense emotions and the stark living conditions.

A powerful reminder of a history that is all too timely today. (Graphic memoir. 14-adult)

Pub Date: July 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-60309-450-4

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Top Shelf Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Inspirational reading for any occasion. (Poetry. 12-adult)

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2018

  • New York Times Bestseller

FOR EVERY ONE

A poem provides hope and reassurance to teens as they try to make sense of their own dreams for the future.

Award-winning writer Reynolds (Long Way Down, 2017, etc.) offers a letter in the form of a long poem that acknowledges and encourages young people’s dreams and aspirations. The poem uses the author’s own experiences to show common ground with his readers, making it clear that he is presenting himself as a fellow traveler on the journey: “This letter / is being written / from the inside. / From the front line / and the fault line. / From the uncertain thick of it all.” He shares observations of others and the ways in which they coped and speaks of the futility of finding answers in the usual places: “Though the struggle / is always made to / sound admirable / and poetic, / the thumping uncertainty / is still there.” This short piece is full of the elements that make Reynolds such a successful writer: honesty, rich imagery, great facility with language, and an irresistible cadence. At times conversational, other times, uplifting, this intimate and powerful piece connects on many levels. Even as Reynolds repeats throughout the poem, “I don’t know nothing about that,” he is telling his readers a great deal. As a piece that was originally performed, this begs to be heard. However, the printed version will still resonate.

Inspirational reading for any occasion. (Poetry. 12-adult)

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8624-8

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more