Tel Aviv: Memorial for gay victims of the Holocaust unveiled

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A memorial honouring gay victims of the Holocaust has been unveiled in Tel Aviv.

It features a concrete pink triangle, the same symbol used by the Nazis to mark someone as gay.

City councilman and Meretz party member Eran Lev initiated the project, which received the support of Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.

“This will be the first and only memorial site in Israel to mention the victims of the Nazis who were persecuted for anything other than being Jewish,” Mr Lev told Haaretz. “As a cosmopolitan city and an international gay centre, Tel Aviv will offer a memorial site that is universal in its essence. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not a monument, but a place — a place of quiet that will invite visitors to sit, contemplate, reflect and be in solitude.”

The memorial features the inscription, written in English, Hebrew and German: “In memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, over a million German men were targeted by the Nazis for threatening the “disciplined masculinity” of Germany, and over 100,000 were arrested under a law criminalising homosexuality.

Approximately 50,000 served prison sentences as “convicted homosexuals”, and around 5,000 and 15,000 gay men were imprisoned in concentration camps.

Similar memorials appear in Berlin, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Sydney and San Francisco.

A memorial was unveiled in Berlin in 2008, next to the Holocaust monument, which consists of a concrete slab with a window where viewers can see a continuous film of two men kissing.