I recently visited the Museum of Jewish Heritage in lower Manhattan near the Battery. I had long known that the Nazis had persecuted not only Jews but other minorities who purportedly posed a grave threat to the political order such as gay men. Nevertheless, the museum’s special exhibition The Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945 (on view through November 1) was both revelatory and intensely moving. And make no mistake: the Nazis were vicious in their persecution of gay men. In the words of Nazi SS leader Heinrich Himmler, “Homosexuality brings about the fall of every achievement, every build-up of achievement of the state, and destroys the state at its foundation. . . . We have to realize that if we continue to have this vice in Germany without being able to fight it, then that will be the end of Germany, the end of the Germanic world.”
The gallery below includes a few highlights from the exhibition. Click on any photo for a larger one and an explanation.
The museum also offers many other exhibitions. The gallery below includes a few highlights from its permanent exhibition. Click on any photo for a larger one and an explanation.
How to get there. The Museum of Jewish Heritage is located at 36 Battery Place. To travel there by subway, take the 4 or 5 trains to Bowling Green or the N or R trains to Whitehall Street.
For more information, visit the Museum of Jewish Heritage Website.