John M. Becker

Israel Unveils Gay Holocaust Memorial: Photos, Video

Filed By John M. Becker | January 13, 2014 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Gay Icons and History, Living
Tags: concentration camp, gay Holocaust victims, Holocaust, Holocaust memorial, Israel, pink triangle, Tel Aviv, yellow star

israel-telaviv-gay-holocaust-monument.jpgA memorial to gay victims of the Holocaust was unveiled Friday in Tel Aviv, the first monument in Israel to honor victims of the genocide who wore a badge other than -- or in addition to -- the yellow star.

The concrete, triangle-shaped monument includes details of the atrocities gay prisoners suffered at the hands of their Nazi oppressors and is topped by two pink triangles. It sits opposite three pink benches arranged in a triangle shape. The benches bear the words "In memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual orientation and gender identity," written in English, Hebrew, and German.

Tel Aviv is one of only five cities across the world with memorials dedicated to gay Holocaust victims. The other four cities are Amsterdam, Berlin, San Francisco, and Sydney.

At the dedication ceremony, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai remarked, "I think in Israel today it is very important to show that a human being is a human being is a human being. It shows that we are not only caring for ourselves but for everybody who suffered. These are our values -- to see everyone as a human being."

Eran Lev, the openly gay man and former city council member who was the driving force behind the project, added: "The significance here is that we are recognizing that there were other victims of the Holocaust, not just Jews."

And Hebrew University Professor Moshe Zimmermann, the project's historical advisor who wrote the monument's inscription, said it represented an important step in the broadening understanding of victimhood:

"We are finally shedding the load of being the lone and ultimate victim. We can learn from this that by recognizing the victimhood of others, it does not diminish the uniqueness of your own victimhood."

Two more photos and a video report about the dedication ceremony are after the jump.

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First two photos via The Advocate. View their full collection here.


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