Branded by the Pink Triangle

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A time when gay rights were nonexistent, and your sexuality could be your death sentence.

A history of the persecution of gay men by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. When the Nazis came to power in Europe, the lives of homosexuals came to be ruled by fear as raids, arrests, prison sentences and expulsions became the daily reality. When the concentration camps were built, homosexuals were imprisoned along with Jews. The pink triangle, sewn onto prison uniforms, became the symbol of their persecution. This book combines historical research with first-person accounts and individual stories to bring this time to life for readers. From the first chapter, with its story of a young Jewish girl who was rescued from the depths of despair and starvation in the camps by a fellow prisoner who wore the pink triangle, to the last, entitled It Gets Better, which outlines the strides forward in gay rights made in the decades since the war, the feeling of bravery and perseverance in the face of inhuman cruelty shines through.

Praise & Recognition

"An impassioned and cogent history of the persecution of gay men during the Holocaust. ... a remarkably informative and necessary work. Starred Review."

Kirkus Reviews

"By weaving the individual experiences into a broader account of the treatment and persecution of homosexuals by the Nazi regime, the author provides a compelling and evocative narrative. ... Period photographs, a lengthy time line, and an extensive bibliography round out the strengths of this thoughtful, informative work."

School Library Journal

"At a time when the “It Gets Better” campaign and anti-bullying measures are helping promote the safety and acceptance of LGBT youth, it is necessary to take a sobering look back at what the book’s cover copy describes as “a time when your sexuality could be your death sentence.” ... Offering a detailed timeline of crucial events during this period of history, and including the stories of several gay men who survived the Nazi regime, Setterington’s book is a much needed complement to existing studies of the Holocaust, and vital reading for young and adult readers alike."

Quill & Quire

"Many do not know the history of the pink triangle, but this volume not only gives a full history of an incredibly important contemporary symbol of gay culture, it also manages to successfully navigate sensitive and difficult topics with great dexterity and sensitivity. Setterington has managed to bring visibility to a much needed area of history."

CM Magazine

"Some young readers familiar with the play and movie Bent may be familiar with this aspect of the Holocaust, but most will have no idea of this form of discrimination. Young readers will now know this important piece of Holocaust history and understand the significance of the pink triangle, now the symbol of gay rights, once a mark of shame."

International Reading Association, Reading Today Online

"Telling the stories of the men who faced this persecution, the long road back to acceptance, and the story of the pink triangle, Branded by the Pink Triangle is a strong addition to gay studies and history collections, as well as Holocaust studies collections."

The Midwest Book Review

"Setterington’s slim book, which should be in schools, synagogues and human rights museums everywhere, speaks volumes about a time that few LGBT youths today, contemplating who to take to the prom or the parade, would have knowledge about."

Toronto Star

"Branded by the Pink Triangle seamlessly blends factual history with compelling narrative to engage teen readers."

The Deakin Review of Children's Literature

"This book is highly recommended for all collections that have Holocaust materials."

Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews

"Author Ken Setterington sets the record straight—so to speak—about the origin of the pink triangle and why even those in the LGBT community have, at times, overzealously tried to conceal its past."

The Windy City Times

"...a rich addition to a library for older readers that covers the Holocaust."

Kiss the Book blog

TD Canadian Children's Literature Award 2014 - Short-listed

Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction 2014 - Short-listed

Stonewall Book Award - Honor Book 2014 - Commended

Canadian Jewish Book Award for Holocaust Literature 2014 - Winner

Details

Publication Date: April 22, 2013

Reading Age: 13 - 19

Genre: Teen, Children's Nonfiction

Product Format: Paperback

Pages: 196

ISBN: 978-1-926920-96-2

Ken Setterington

About the Author

Ken Setterington

Ken Setterington is a retired librarian, storyteller, author, and a children’s book reviewer. He was the first Children and Youth Advocate for Library Services for the Toronto Public Library. He received the title Librarian of the Year. He is the author of the picture book Mom and Mum are Getting Married!. He lives with his partner in Toronto.
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