Berlin’s memorial to gay Holocaust victims targeted by vandals

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A memorial to gay men who died in the Holocaust has been attacked by vandals for the second time in four months.

It situated in Berlin’s Tiergarten Park, close to the Brandenburg Gate and opposite the Jewish Holocaust Memorial.

The memorial was unveiled in May and consists of a four metre tall grey rectangular block.

One side has a small window through which viewers can see a black and white art film scene of two men kissing.

A simple kiss could land you in trouble, reads the inscription.

The window was smashed in the latest attack.

It is estimated that 45,000 to 100,000 German homosexuals were arrested under Nazi rule between 1933 and 1945.

Up to 10,000 of them died in concentration camps. Many survivors, far from being liberated, were transferred to prisons.

The laws used against gay people in Germany remained on statute books until 1969.

It was only in 2002 that the German parliament issued a formal pardon for any gay people convicted by the Nazis and in 2003 it approved the construction of the memorial.

The homosexual victims of Nazi Germany remained excluded from the public process of remembrance of past injustices until recent times and were denied compensation for their suffering under Nazi rule.

Although there are several memorials to the gay victims of the Holocaust, “the Berlin memorial has an important symbolic value” ILGA-Europe said in a statement to mark its unveiling.

“It is in the centre of the city from where decades ago the policies of extermination of homosexual people along with such groups as Jews, gypsies, Jehovahs witnesses and political dissidents, was conceived and the deadly orders were given.”