Breaking the Silence: Friedrich-Paul Von Groszheim

Friedrich-Paul von Groszheim, on of the “forgotten victims” of the Holocaust, recently broke his silence to give testimony.

Friedrich-Paul von Groszheim was arrested for the first time in 1937 with 230 other men, in a mass arrest of homosexuals in Lübeck, a German port on the Baltic Sea. In 1938 von Groszheim was again arrested, tortured, and given the choice between castra-tion and concentration camp. He submitted to the operation and survived, but only told his story in 1992.

groszheimVon Groszheim told his story on a new film in German with English subtitles We Were Marked with a Big A, which was shown at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1993. A video of the film is available in the Museum Shop. Von Groszheim’s story is also one of nine stories of homosexual victims told on Museum Identity Cards; his identity card may be accessed at the Wexner Learning Center by touching ID. Card Stories on the menu and then keying in 5364.

Von Groszheim was never acknowledged as a victim of the Nazi regime, and due to on-going persecution of homosexuals in Germany. it took nearly half a century before he broke his silence. Recently he explained why he began to speak out: “I’m living proof that Hitler didn’t win. I’m aware of that every day. If I don’t tell my story, who will know the truth?”