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Reading: The Pink Triangle as an Interruptive Symbol


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The Pink Triangle as an Interruptive Symbol


Marnie Rorholm ,

Gonzaga University, US
About Marnie
Marnie Rorholm is an MBA (Gonzaga University, 1997), and a current Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Professional Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University. She is the inaugural winner of the Eva Lassman Memorial Scholarship Grant, and is researching a particular Holocaust case study (Pink Triangles). Marnie works as the Office Manager in Military Science/Army ROTC at Gonzaga.
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Kem Gambrell

Gonzaga University, US
About Kem
Kem Gambrell is an Associate Professor and Chair in the Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University. Her research interests include marginalized groups, social justice and constructive development. She also serves as a managing co-editor for the Journal of Hate Studies
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The Pink Triangle is a symbol of collective memory and meaning for two very different, but similarly marginalized groups: gay male prisoners held in concentration camps in Nazi Germany, and the modern LGBTQAI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, asexual/allied and intersexed) community. Since the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps in the mid 1940’s, many memorials to the Holocaust, as well as several for the Pink Triangle victims have sprung up around the world. While there are a number of reasons for these memorials, one premise is that these monuments serve as a way to create a collective memory, with the intent that these atrocities will never be repeated. Using qualitative methodology, the purpose of this project was to explore how the LGBTQAI+ community has been “memorialized” from the incidents of Nazi Germany, and how these memorials may serve as “interruptive symbols” to help circumvent hate and oppression of this historically marginalized group. Findings from interviews, observations and photographs revealed three themes as well as information for community consideration. These themes are “Serves as a Reminder”, “Made Me Think” and “Taints It”. The results of this study, through historical insights combined with first-hand memorial observation and interviews, can heighten understanding to highlight resilience and promote hope and healing through government/citizen reconciliation.
How to Cite: Rorholm, M. and Gambrell, K., 2019. The Pink Triangle as an Interruptive Symbol. Journal of Hate Studies, 15(1), pp.63–81. DOI:
Published on 25 Sep 2019.
Peer Reviewed


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