28 May 2008

Berlin remembers persecuted gays

Germany has inaugurated a 600,000 euro concrete memorial to honour the thousands of homosexuals persecuted by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945.

The four-metre high monument, which has a window showing a film of two men kissing, was unveiled in Berlin.
The Nazis branded homosexuality an aberration threatening their perception of Germans as the master race, and 55,000 gay men were deemed criminals.
As many as 15,000 of those were killed in Nazi concentration camps.

Very few who survived ever received compensation from post-war German governments for the persecution they suffered.
The new memorial - which was inaugurated by Berlin's gay mayor, Klaus Wowereit, and Germany's Culture Minister,

Bernd Neumann - is situated close to that for the six
million victims of the Holocaust.
Mr Wowereit said it was typical of post-war Germany that the victims had not been honoured until now.

"This is symptomatic for a society... that did not abolish unjust verdicts, but partially continued to implement them; a society which did not acknowledge a group of people as victims, only because they chose another way of life," he said.

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