Memorial to gay victims of Nazis found vandalised
A memorial to gay victims of the Nazis and the Holocaust in Berlin’s Tiergarten park has been vandalised.
The concrete “Denkmal für die im Nationalsozialismus verfolgten Homosexuellen” (memorial to homosexuals persecuted under Nazism) was unveiled in 2008 and includes a small opening in which viewers can say a black and white video of a same-sex couple kissing.
According to AP News, it was discovered on Monday, August 19, that the opening had been painted over during the night.
Police currently have no suspects and would not reveal whether CCTV footage was available.
The memorial was unveiled by Berlin’s then-mayor Klaus Wowereit, who was the city’s first openly gay mayor. It was designed by artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, and is located near to Berlin’s Jewish holocaust memorial.
50,000 men were sentenced for homosexuality under Nazis.
On the tenth anniversary of the unveiling of the monument, in 2018, German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier asked for forgiveness over the “suffering and injustice” caused to gay people under Nazi rule and in the decades after.
According to Deutsche Welle he said: “The German state has inflicted heavy suffering on all these people, particularly under the Nazis, but also after that, in East Germany and also under the basic law.”
He said the anniversary ceremony honoured the “many tens of thousands of people whose private spheres, lives, love and dignity were infringed upon, denied and violated”.
“For this reason, I am asking for forgiveness today — for all the suffering and injustice and for the long silence that followed.”
Germany initially banned gay sex in 1871, when a penal code was introduced criminalising homosexual acts.
In 2017, Germany finally annulled the convictions of 50,000 men sentenced for homosexuality under a Nazi-era law and sent to prison or to concentration camps.