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 reported.