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Lunch With Geoffrey Giles

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Written by: Communicator StaffSeptember 30, 2014

IPFW’s Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies held a lunch event on Sept. 30 at the Honors Center with Geoffrey Giles. This lunch led up to his lecture at Auer Center ArtsLab as part of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s traveling exhibit, titled, “Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals, 1933-1945,” while the exhibit was presented by Artlink.

Giles was accompanied by Steven Carr, executive co-chair of the Advisory Board of IPFW’s Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Giles served as an academic advisor for the exhibit and was brought in by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, in order to help flesh out their presentation of the persecution of gay people during the Nazi regime. Giles noted the importance of acknowledging the other persecuted groups as he stated: “When the Nazis have a difficult problem, they tend to take the most radical solution, which means killing them. So I think if they won the war, once they killed all the Jews they have, in order to remain in this permanent state of revolution which Hitler needs in order to maintain the justification for his hold on power, then probably they’re going to turn to this next group of opponents, alleged opponents, the homosexuals.”

Giles also answered questions about common misconceptions, including questions about Adolf Hitler being gay or Jewish, both of which were false. Giles’ contribution to the Lecture Series at Auer Center ArtsLab later that evening, titled, “Double Danger? Homosexual Jews in the Clutches of the Nazi Police,” focused on the double persecution of homosexual Jews.

The “Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals, 1933-1945” exhibit will continue to be held until Nov. 5 in the Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery at the Auer Center. The Lecture Series will also continue with “The Holocaust, Homosexuality, and Contemporary Gay Rights Movements: How Analogies Assist and Limit the Fight for Equality.” This will feature Michelle Kearl of IPFW’s Department of Communication, on Sunday Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. Upcoming lectures also include Erik Jensen’s “The Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals: Context and Comparison” on Sunday Oct. 12 at 4 p.m. and Marti Lybeck’s “Paradoxes of Weimar Sexual Liberation: Women and Homosexuality” on Sunday Nov. 2 at 4 p.m. An associated film series being shown at the Cinema Center will conclude with “A Love to Hide” on Sunday Oct. 26.

Story by: Madolyn Murray