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Museum Condemns Persecution of Gays in Chechnya

Press Contacts


WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is deeply concerned at reports of Chechen authorities targeting gay men for arrest, torture, and, in some cases, murder. Some reports indicate that secret detention facilities have been established exclusively for the purpose of persecuting gay and bisexual men. According to media reports, the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, has stated the LGBT community will be “wiped out by the beginning of Ramadan.”

“The Holocaust teaches us what can happen when state-sponsored, group-targeted violence is allowed to go unchecked,” says Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield. “The reports about the targeting of LGBT persons in Chechnya combined with statements from Chechen officials seemingly endorsing violence are cause for great concern. Both the Chechen and Russian governments need to investigate these allegations and ensure the safety of LGBT populations within the Russian Federation.”

The Nazis persecuted homosexuals as part of their so-called moral crusade to racially and culturally purify Germany. Gay men were targeted for persecution because they were viewed to be carriers of a “contagion” that weakened society and did not contribute to the growth of the “Aryan” population. Between 1933 and 1945, an estimated 100,000 men were arrested for violating Nazi Germany’s law against homosexuality, and of these, approximately 50,000 were sentenced to prison. An estimated 5,000 to 15,000 men were sent to concentration camps on similar charges, where an unknown number of them perished.  

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit

Persecution of Homosexuals in the Third Reich