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Published March 05, 2012, 05:09 PM

Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals Topic of Traveling Exhibit at UND

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A traveling exhibit from Washington D.C. is making a stop at UND. The exhibit takes a look at Nazi persecution of homosexuals from 1933 through 1945.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A traveling exhibit from Washington D.C. is making a stop at UND. The exhibit takes a look at Nazi persecution of homosexuals from 1933 through 1945.

Students and faculty are learning through pictures, stories and historical artifacts about a moment in time where many were persecuted for being different.

The university has been trying to get the exhibit for more than a year.

"It opens up a new perspective of the holocaust and talks about a different area of people who were persecuted," UND student Breanna Baerwald said.

Baerwald is learning even more about part of the holocaust.

"This exhibit is about the persecution of homosexuals during the Nazi regime. They were persecuted under paragraph 175 which was the German criminal code," Baerwald said.

The exhibit, Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933 through 1945, was part of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, and this is the first time it's been in North Dakota.

"There's a lot we can learn from what happened in the past in terms of where intolerance leads us," event organizer and UND professor Gregory Gordon said.

Between 1933 and 1945 more than 100,000 men were arrested for homosexuality, and around 50,000 were sentenced for the crime, with some being sent to concentration camps.

Dr. Steven Rogers, who spent more than 30 years as a senior historian for the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Special Investigations, war crimes and human rights office will talk about the exhibit.

"The important thing about this exhibit and what I'll be talking about is the fact that the Nazi persecution of homosexuals really has been the untold story of the holocaust, there's been very little information available," Rogers said.

Whether it's a photograph, artwork, or a story people who visit the exhibit are touched in one way or the other, learning along the way.

"Human rights and genocide are something that happens all over the world and this is one that has happened in history that's extremely important and it provides a lot of lessons for the future," Baerwald said.

The exhibit is in the UND Memorial Union Lecture Bowl.

It runs through March 25th and is free and open to the public.

Exhibit hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. on weekends.

You can hear Dr. Rogers speak Monday night at 7 p.m. in the UND Memorial Union Lecture Bowl.

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