Tel Aviv now has a memorial to the thousands of people who were persecuted by the Nazis for their sexual orientation – Jews and non-Jews both, reports haaretz.com.
“It’s important that people in Israel know that the Nazis persecuted others as well, not because they were Jews, but because they were gay,” Lev Eran Lev, an activist in the gay community, told haaretz.com.
The memorial consists of three triangles – the symbol of the gay community. One is concrete, and on it appears a explanation of the persecution of homosexuals during the Holocaust.
The second, which is painted on a concrete triangle, is an upside-down triangle painted pink, of the type the Nazis forced homosexuals to wear.
The third triangle faces the other two and consists of three pink benches.
On each of them a sentence is written in Hebrew, English and German: “In memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual orientation and gender identity.”
The memorial’s main text was written by Hebrew University Prof. Moshe Zimmermann, the project’s historical adviser.
The inscription states that special steps were taken against gay people and that “according to Nazi ideology, homosexuality was considered harmful to ‘public health.’
The Gestapo had a special unit to fight homosexuals and the ‘Center for the Fighting of Homosexuality and Abortions’ kept a secret file on about 100,000 homosexuals.”
The memorial states that gay people were sent to concentration camps and made to wear a patch featuring a pink triangle.
It is difficult to know the precise number of victims the Nazis persecuted for their sexual orientation. Zimmermann notes that the text on the memorial states that 15,000 such people were sent to the camps and more than half were murdered.
He adds that medical experiments were carried out at Buchenwald concentration camp to “cure homosexuality.”