Berlin’s Gay Holocaust Almost There

The Nazi’s gay victims are getting all sorts of (much-needed) attention these days.

Last week we passed on word
that Tel Aviv will erect a memorial for the Holocaust’s homo targets. Now, after over a year of waiting, Berlin will soon unveil its constructive commemoration:

It takes the form of a gray concrete slab, with a window to allow visitors to view a video. It cost 600,000 euros (£450,000).

There will be two alternated videos which show either two men kissing or two women kissing.

Originally, the plan was for a video of just two men, but that proposal drew heavy criticism from people who claimed that lesbians were being excluded.

The memorial was developed at the southern edge of the Tiergaten after Danish-Norwegian artistic duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset won the artistic competition.

Those of you interested in the horrors of gay life under the regime should check out I, Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual, a Frenchman’s memoir of his experience in (and out) of concentration camps. It’s not for the faint of heart, but should be read by everyone.

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  • Leland Frances

    Thanks for the information about the memorial though the design itself is absurd, grotesque even, as it stands alone without the benefit of the emotional power that comes from the collected mass of the somewhat similar 2700 concrete slabs making up Berlin’s main Holocaust memorial. If anything, it suggests a concrete outhouse [NO pun intended]:,,1874641_4,00.jpg

    Here is a link to pictures of other gay memorials in Germany and other parts of the world. The concrete outhouse is not the first memorial in Berlin.

    San Francisco’s Pink Triangle Park:

    As for your source for this thread, while well-intentioned, is a poor one for information about gays during the Holocaust. In addition to the recent article misrepresenting the treatment of lesbians by the Nazis, they even contradict themselves from article to article, for example: how many gay men were affected and how. One article even claims that thousands of gay men were sent to the gas chambers which simply did not happen.

    The documentary “Paragraph 175” [by the makers of the “The Times of Harvey Milk,” “Common Threads,” and “The Celluloid Closet”] is required viewing, if a little too certain about all the statistics they quote. It’s most remarkable for its interviews with actual gay survivors of the time, including one lesbian.

    One of those interviewed, Gad Beck, has written about his own unique perspective in “An Underground Life-Memoirs Of A Gay Jew In Nazi Berlin.” Beck initially survived deportation because he was only half Jewish, and eventually joined at 18 and led an underground resistance group that helped hide Jews and others still in Berlin. I think he assumes with two little evidence that his teenage lover whom he nearly saved from the death camp was not really gay, but the story remains fascinating in any case. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has an online exhibit about them at:

    The movie version of the play “Bent” is sadly, painfully awful, but it dramatizes many of the facts of the treatment of gay men in Germany and the camps, and is worth bearing at least once on DVD for that and seeing the luscious Clive Owen play gay in the role originated on Broadway by the not yet famous Richard Gere. His role had been originated in London by the not yet out Ian McKellen who appears in the film version as the character’s uncle.

    And, of course, Richard Plant’s history, “The Pink Triangle,” is the classic resource.

  • Guillermo Pineda

    I think that if we actually want to commemorate all of the gay men and women that died because of monstrous leaders we should ask for one in the Vatican City.

    Christianity is guilty of all crimes against gay men & women. Before that, gay love was thought as a virtuous characteristic of masculinity in Classic Greece.

    It was Christians who called gay people: sodomites. Afterwards, they killed them.

  • CitizenGeek

    But …. lesbians were not actively persecuted during the holocaust and there’s nothing to suggest that they were. The black patch many people claim was used to identify lesbians was actually just to denote sexual deviancy, so the -assumption- is that lesbians were murdered, too. But, like I said before, there’s really no proof that suggests lesbians were persecuted.

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