Symposium – Being homosexual in Europe during the Second World War (History, remembrance, commemoration)

BannièreWhat did homosexual men and women go through in Europe during the Second World War? How can those persecuted be commemorated?

It is now a well-known fact that, during the Second World War, some homosexuals were arrested and deported to Germany. But anti-homosexual policies were also developed in other countries of Europe.

Few questions have so far been raised about the practical implementation of those policies, the extent of the persecution and the way in which European cities and states remember that period. Even now that there are increasing numbers of commemorative monuments across Europe keeping alive the memory of the homosexual victims.

This symposium, to be held on 27 March 2015 at the CNRS (Paris, Michel-Ange) will bring together the views of European historians and international specialists in remembrance policies.

Anyone wishing to attend the colloquy must first REGISTER, either online at or by e-mail to:
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27/03/2015 (9h30-18h)

Words of welcome (9:30)

  • Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe
  • Prof. Eric Bussière, Director of the Laboratoire d’Excellence « Ecrire une histoire nouvelle de l’Europe » (Labex EHNE), Paris Sorbonne
  • Prof. Sandra Laugier, Deputy Director of the CNRS (SHS)

Keynote speakers (10:00)

    • Dr. Carole Reich, Adviser to the Council of Europe programme on “Passing on the Remembrance of the Holocaust and prevention of crimes against humanity: a cross-cutting approach”
    • Eleni Tsetsekou, Coordinator of the “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” (SOGI) Unit, Council of Europe

    Panel I – Homosexuals and lesbians in the countries annexed or occupied by Nazi Germany

    (Moderator: Eleni Tsetsekou, Council of Europe)

    • Régis Schlagdenhauffen, PhD, Labex EHNE : Introduction
    • Johann Kirchknopf, PhD, University of Vienna: the case of Austria
    • Judit Takacs, PhD, Academy of Sciences, Budapest: the case of Hungary
    • Jan Seidl, PhD, CEFRES, Prague: the case of Bohemia and Moravia
    • Frédéric Stroh, University of Strasbourg: the case of annexed Alsace and Moselle

    Lunch break ( 12.30-2.00 p.m.)

    Panel II – Being homosexual or lesbian in unoccupied Europe

    (Moderator : Corine Defrance, CNRS/Labex EHNE)

    • Lorenzo Benadusi, PhD, University of Bergamo: the case of Italy
    • Raquel Osborne, Prof, UNED (National University of Distance Education, Madrid): the case of Spain
    • Jens Rydström, Prof, University of Lund: the case of Sweden
    • Arthur Clech, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales: the case of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

    Coffee break (4.00-4.30 p.m.)

    Panel III – Commemorating the persecuted

    • Gabi-Dolff Bonekämper, Prof, Technische Universität Berlin
    • Round table session with a view to the setting up of a European network of the cities which have commemorative monuments : Serge Barcellini, France ; Mattias Duyves, Netherlands ; Adir Steiner, Israel

    Conclusions (5.30 p.m.)

    • Fabrice Virgili, Director of “Gender and Europe”, Labex EHNE, Sorbonne/CNRS
    • Jean-Philippe Restoueix, Responsible of the Council of Europe programme on “Passing on the Remembrance of the Holocaust and prevention of crimes against humanity: a cross-cutting approach”