Two pink triangles, the symbols of Hitler’s hatred towards homosexuals, are up for auction in Shropshire this week.
They are expected to fetch hundreds of pounds when they go under the hammer at the Mullock’s Auctioneers at Ludlow Racecourse on Thursday.
Also being sold at the auction are other rare items including a description of a Spanish flu pandemic that killed millions and an apologetic letter from composer Edward Elgar.
During World War Two the Nazis forced homosexual men to wear a pink triangles to identify them.
Widely regarded as the ultimate symbol of the regime’s homophobic paranoia, men who had been denounced as homosexuals before the war had to have them on their outer clothing at all times.
An estimated 60,000 homosexual men are believed to have been forced to wear the symbols between 1933 and 1944.
Mullock’s historical documents expert, Richard Westwood-Brookes, told the Birmingham Post:
“When the Holocaust began, homosexuals were treated with the same venom as the Jews – herded into the concentration camps where the pink triangle was attached to their concentration camp uniform.
“On liberation in 1945, the wearers of the pink triangles, unlike the Jews, were simply re-imprisoned by the newly created Federal Republic.”
At least 15,000 gay men died at the hands of the Nazis.
Pink triangles were also used for sex offenders such as paedophiles, further associating gays with ‘perverts’.
The Nazis compelled “undesirable” women, including lesbians, to wear an inverted black triangle.
Homosexuals were seen as a threat to the state and likely to reduce the potential for waging war and purifying the Germanic race.