Main | Friday, March 26, 2010

Controversy At Gay Holocaust Memorial

Berlin's memorial to gay victims of the Holocaust is an austere concrete block with a small window that displays a "never-ending" video loop of two men kissing. Installed in 2008, original plans for the display called for the gender to the two people in the video to change every two years. But now that it's almost time for the switch to a lesbian video, historians are crying foul.
Alexander Zinn, a board member of the foundation that maintains the former Nazi concentration camps near Berlin, said such a move would distort history as there were no known Holocaust victims targeted for being lesbian. "Historical truth must remain the focus," Zinn told AFP on Thursday. He has banded together with other Holocaust experts and fired off a letter of protest to Culture Minister Michael Neumann and Berlin's openly gay mayor, Klaus Wowereit. Neumann defended the plans as true to the original concept of the memorial in addressing present-day discrimination against lesbians and gays as well as the plight of homosexuals at the hands of the Nazis. "The option of using a lesbian film motif in the memorial is in no way meant to put on the same level the persecution of homosexual men and women under the Nazi regime," he said in a statement.

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