German lawmakers approve memorial for gay victims of Nazis
November 13, 2003
BERLIN — Germany will build a national memorial to homosexuals persecuted
or killed under the Nazis, complementing the planned German
memorial to the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust, a
parliament committee decided Thursday.
Nazi Germany declared homosexuality an aberration that
threatened the German race and convicted some 50,000 homosexuals as
criminals. An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 gay men were deported to
concentration camps, where few survived.
A bill to build a memorial in Berlin passed the lower house's
culture committee with the support of the governing Social
Democrats and Greens, who also have the majority on the house
floor. The conservative opposition Christian Democrats opposed the
"Homosexual victims of Nazism have gotten too little attention
in the past in Germany's culture of remembrance," Greens lawmakers
said in a statement. Architects will be asked to submit proposals
for the design.
Few gays convicted by the Nazis came forward after World War II
because of the continuing stigma - and because the law used against
them remained on the books in West Germany until 1969.
The German parliament last year issued a formal pardon for
homosexuals convicted under the Nazis. One reason the pardon took
so long was because supporters linked it to a blanket
rehabilitation of 22,000 Wehrmacht deserters, a move many
conservatives opposed. –Sapa-AP
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