A gray concrete slab with a window
through which viewers can watch a video of two men kissing served as
memorial to the thousands of gays persecuted and tortured by the
Nazis. Less than two months after its unveiling in Berlin, the
monument has been vandalized.
Berlin police say someone broke the
window that allows visitors to peer into the monument and watch the
video. Vandals also damaged a fence overnight Saturday, said the
The monument sits in the center of
Berlin, along the Tiergarten Park across from the much larger
memorial to Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
Estimates claim that up to 50,000 gays
were labeled criminals and outcasts by Germany's Nazi party after
Hitler outlawed homosexuality in 1936, calling it “unnatural”
behavior unbecoming of the Aryan “master race.” As many as
15,000 gays were tortured and died of hunger, disease, or abuse in
Nazi concentration camps, where they were identified with a pink
Homophobia had kept the German
government from officially recognizing the Nazi's homosexual victims
until last year, when the German Parliament agreed to pay $1 million
dollars to fund the memorial.