Curator Discusses Artifact Donated by Gay Holocaust Survivor

My name is Klaus Müller. I’m the Museum’s
Representative in Europe, and today I would like to introduce you to a very special object
that was given to me by a gay survivor, Pierre Seel. When I met Pierre Seel in Vienna–we
knew each other for a couple of years–he suddenly gave me an object for the Holocaust
Museum and it was really surprising because I had not known that this object existed.
And I would like to introduce you to this, for him, very emotional object and tell you
the story of it and how fortunate we are as the Museum that he entrusted us with this
object that for him, in a way, represents his life. So, what you see is a small wooden
box containing a very, very old Mickey Mouse. It’s laying on very soft material and it’s
decorated with a garland that comes from his mother’s [wedding] veil. When he came home,
being released at the age of 18 from the camp of Schirmeck-Vorbrück, the rule in the house
was silence. He was not allowed to talk what happened to him in the concentration camp
and then he would be allowed to come back to the family. So, he lived with this terrible
stories at this very young age. He could not talk with his mother; he could not talk with
his father all through the war, and when he came home there was still silence ruling.
He was only accepted…because the family was ashamed that he had been arrested and
incarcerated because of homosexuality. But, at the end of her life, [his] mother told
him that he actually was not forgotten, and that she very much loved him. And, in order
to–’cause she didn’t know how to protect him–she produced this little object with
the Mickey Mouse. And Pierre said, “You know, the Mickey Mouse, that was me for my mother
and she put it, she told me, ‘I put it every night next to my bed and I gave the little
Mickey Mouse a kiss so that you’re safe and I prayed that you’d come home safely.'”

2 Replies to “Curator Discusses Artifact Donated by Gay Holocaust Survivor

  1. his book (i pierre seel deported homosexual) is worth a read, what he went through was awful even by holocaust standards.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *