Israel has unveiled its first memorial
dedicated to the thousands of men and women who were persecuted by
the Nazis for their sexual orientation.
The memorial, located in Tel Aviv's
Meir Park, is steeped in the imagery used by the Nazi Party to
persecute gays: pink triangles.
“In Israel we have to focus first and
foremost on the Shoah,” Andreas Michaelis, German Ambassador to
Israel, told a crowd during an event Friday to unveil memorial. “But
in doing so, we must not forget other groups of people who fell
victim to the murderous machine operated by Germany in those fatal
years. Today, we do so for those who suffered and lost their lives
just because of their sexual orientation.”
A marker in Hebrew, English and German
reads, “In memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their
sexual orientation and gender identity.”
An estimated 15,000 such people were
sent to concentration camps, where more than half perished. Nazi
officials also carried out medical experiments aimed at altering a
person's sexuality from gay to straight.
Similar monuments can be found in
Berlin, Amsterdam, Sydney and San Francisco, Tel
Aviv daily Haaretz