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Tel Aviv Is Constructing A Monument To Remember Gays Persecuted By Nazis

“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.”

1. Later this year, the first monument to gay individuals persecuted by the Nazis in WWII will be constructed in Tel Aviv’s Meir Park.

2. The idea for the monument came from attorney Eran Lev, who is a member of the city’s municipal council. He says of the project:


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. As a cosmopolitan city and an international gay center, 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 […] One of the first restrictions the Nazis imposed on the Jews was against going to public parks. We’re bringing that memory back into the public space. It’s very moving.

3. At the center of the monument will be a concrete triangle, which contains a smaller pink triangle.

The monument will be near the gay community center of Gan Meir. Below you can see a rendering of the memorial by Moria Sekely, Landscape Architecture.

4. Nazi concentration camps used a badge system, mostly of triangles, to identify the reason prisoners had been placed there.

5. The pink triangle was the badge designated for gay prisoners.

6. The inscription on the memorial will read, “To the memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual preference and gender identity.”

7. It’s believed that over 50,000 men were convicted under Paragraph 175 of the Nazi code.

Most were sent to ordinary prisons, but upwards of 15,000 were thrown into concentration camps.

8. Other memorials to the gay victims of WWII exist in various locations including Berlin, Germany:

9. The Homomonument in the center of Amsterdam:

10. And the Gay and Lesbian Holocaust Memorial in Sydney, Australia:

11. Professor Moshe Zimmermann, a Hebrew University historian, said of the Tel Aviv memorial:


The great advantage of the monument being built is the ability to reflect on discrimination in its broadest form and not make it subordinate to the definitions of the Third Reich. The inscription on the monument will not explain the difference between the persecution of gay men and lesbians during the Holocaust, but will commemorate them in a single place.

12. Read more on the memorial here.

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Sarah Karlan is the associate LGBT editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at sarah.karlan@buzzfeed.com
 
 
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