PAYING TRIBUTE

Israel Unveils First Memorial For LGBT Victims Of The Holocaust In Tel Aviv

461662265X633Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai joined members of the LGBT community in Tel Aviv park yesterday to unveil a new memorial dedicated specifically to the LGBT victims of the Holocaust.

The concrete triangle-shaped plaque is said to resemble pink triangles gays were forced to wear in concentration camps during World War II, and reads “In Memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

A lesser-known target of Adolf Hilter’s Third Reich, gays and lesbians were sent to concentration camps alongside Jews during World War II in an effort to cure what Hitler believed to be “a public health crisis.” Of more than 15,000 members of the LGBT community targeted by the Gestapo, more than half were killed or became the subject of experiments that aimed to “cure” homosexuality.

“I think in Israel today it is very important to show that a human being is a human being is a human being,” said Huldai. “It shows that we are not only caring for ourselves but for everybody who suffered. These are our values — to see everyone as a human being.”

The memorial, which sits beneath a rainbow flag and a flag of Israel, is the first in the country dedicated to non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust and joins similar monuments in Amsterdam, Berlin, San Francisco, and Sydney. “The significance here is that we are recognizing that there were other victims of the Holocaust, not just Jews,” said Tel Aviv councilman Eran Lev.

Check out more photos of the memorial and service over at the Advocate.

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