10 Pages

Queer Collections Appear

Oregon’s Wedding Album

The creation of Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945 was an almost natural step for the Holocaust Museum. When the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) was being organized in the 1980s, the core exhibition curatorial team made the strategic decision to tell as comprehensive a history of the Nazi era and the Holocaust as physically possible within the limitation of 36,000 square feet of exhibition space. The history of the Nazi persecution of lesbians is a woefully under-researched topic and is thus difficult to trace and difficult to narrate beyond sweeping generalizations. Two groups of venues were seemingly logical hosts: six Holocaust museums and four Jewish history museums/community centers. However, the inclusion of the Nazi persecution of homosexuals under the larger rubric of 'Holocaust history' has posed intellectual and emotional difficulties in the past, particularly within the Holocaust survivor community. Among the several remarkable 'coming out' stories for this kind of partnership occurred in Oklahoma City.