Deichstraße, 27568 Bremerhaven, Germany
Karl Gorath (12 December 1912, Bad Zwischenahn, Germany − 18 March 2003, Bremerhaven) was a gay man who was arrested in 1938 and imprisoned for homosexuality at Neuengamme and Auschwitz. He was freed in 1945.
Gorath was training for a nursing career when, at 26, he was denounced as a homosexual by his "jealous lover" and arrested under Paragraph 175 of the criminal code, which defined homosexuality as an "unnatural act".
Gorath was imprisoned at Neuengamme near Hamburg, Germany and was forced to wear a pink triangle, identifying him as gay and a transvestite.
Because of his medical training, Gorath was transferred to work at a prisoner hospital in a sub-camp of Neuengamme. When he refused to decrease the bread ration for patients who were Poles, Gorath was transferred to Auschwitz. There he wore the red triangle of a political prisoner, which he believed spared him the brutality inflicted on inmates identified as gay. In January 1945, Gorath was freed when the Allies liberated Auschwitz.
Gorath is one of six gay men who are the subject of a documentary on gays in Nazi concentration camps. The film, by producers Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein and narrated by Rupert Everett, is called Paragraph 175.