Memorial for Gays Persecuted By Nazis Opens

Jim Burroway

May 27th, 2008

Berlin's memorial to gay victims of Nazi persecutionToday marks the opening of a new memorial in Berlin dedicated to the memory of gays who were persecuted by the Nazis. The memorial in Berlin’s Tiergarten parks sits just across from the Jewish Holocaust Memorial, and it echos the larger memorial’s field of concrete blocks of varying sizes. The gay memorial, designed by Danish and Norwegian artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, consists of a single grey rectangular block with a small opening through which visitors will see a short film of two men kissing. “A simple kiss could land you in trouble,” says the text which accompanies the memorial.

Until recently, there was little public acknowledgement of Nazi atrocities towards homosexuals. It’s been estimated that about 54,000 were arrested by the Nazis, with 7,000 being killed in concentration camps. While the end of the war meant liberation for the much larger interned populations of Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Russians, and other undesirables, allied forces often returned gay men to post-war prisons to continue to serve out their terms. Homosexuality wasn’t formally decriminalized in Germany until 1994.


May 28th, 2008

you’ll find further information and photos on the ceremony yesterday on

sorry guys, text on both blogs in german language …

one comment on your post, you’re right criminalization ended in 1994. but the most importnat step was 1969. (until then, the nazi version of §175 was used …)

greetings from berlin :-)


May 28th, 2008

Don’t forget the transgender people whom the Nazis murdered too. Back then any man attracted to men really wanted to be a woman (and vice versa) and any trans person was just a sodomite.

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