Italian politician: 'Gay men did not experience Holocaust'
Carlo Giovanardi of Silvio Berlusconi's party PDL admitted 'persecution' but said: 'The only Holocaust was that of Jews'
The Italian politician Carlo Giovanardi of PDL, former premier Silvio Berlusconi’s party, has denied lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people went through the Nazi Holocaust.
Interviewed by journalist Klaus Davi for the Youtube programme KlausCondicio, Giovanardi said: ‘The “gay” Holocaust has never occurred. They have experienced persecution, of course, but the only Holocaust was that of Jews.’
The politician, a former minister of Berlusconi’s cabinet, added: ‘We can’t forget that there were some gays also among Nazi leaders.’
In Italy, LGBT activists are furious. Franco Grillini, a former member of parliament and now responsible for civil rights in the Italia Dei Valori party (Italy of Values), replied to Giovanardi.
Grillini told Gay Star News: ‘Giovanardi must study the history of the Holocaust. Gay men have been jailed in Nazi concentration camps for years. Nazis used to make experiments on them and denied their basic rights.’
Grillini added: ‘Persecution went on also after the end of the war. And we had to wait for the early 60s for the first laws against discrimination.’
Carlo Giovanardi is famous in Italy for his anti-gay stance. In the past he has stated he is against same-sex marriage, LGBT rights and adoption by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The KlausCondicio program is one of the most mainstream places where there is public discussion about LGBT issues in the Mediterranean country.
Watch the broadcast (in Italian) here: