New Holocaust memorial should honour gay victims, Commission says
David Cameron’s Holocaust Commission has recommended that a new National Memorial should recognise all victims of Nazi persecution, including gays.
The Prime Minister established the cross-party Commission one year ago today, to explore issues including a permanent memorial to victims of Nazi persecution.
The Commission’s report – released to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day – recommends the creation of “a striking and prominent new National Memorial” – which is inclusive of all victims.
It states: “In considering the design of the new Memorial, the Commission debated at length the important question of whether and how to represent the fate of other victims of Nazi persecution.
“The Commission resolved that, at its heart, the Memorial must represent the experience of the Jewish victims, determinedly and systematically targeted for total destruction, based not on lifestyle or belief system, but on genetic origins.
“However, it would be an injustice to the memory of those other victims not to reflect upon their tragic experiences too. Amongst these victims were members of the Roma community, Jehovah’s Witnesses, political dissidents, homosexuals and people with mental and physical disabilities.
“Furthermore, the Commission profoundly believes that understanding of the Holocaust can be strengthened further by learning about the fate of other victims of Nazi persecution.
“So the Commission believes it is essential that the new Memorial recognises the persecution of non-Jewish victims, whilst maintaining the centrality of the six million murdered Jews.”
It added: “The Commission was particularly inspired by the interactive and informative nature of the glass towers of the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston.
“This design was rich in information, fitted well into the surrounding area and successfully managed to balance reflecting on the victims of other Nazi persecution without undermining the centrality of the Holocaust.”
Chancellor George Osborne has pledged £50 million to fund the new memorial and Holocaust education centre.
It comes after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg became the first senior politician to back the inclusion of gay victims of Nazi persecution.
Speaking to PinkNews on Holocaust Memorial Day, the Lib Dem leader paid a moving tribute to the gay victims of the Nazis and to the pink triangle which he said has evolved from “a badge of shame” to “an international symbol of freedom and pride”.