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Saturday, 31 May 2008

Germany's memorial "mistake"

A prominent Holocaust scholar reckons Germany has made a mistake by dedicating a memorial to the gay men who were victims of Nazi oppression.

"Israel Gutman of the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem said that the Nazis only targeted German gay men, and that they were the victims of political battles within Hitler's National Socialist Party rather than a campaign of homophobia," says a story in Pink News.

Gutman is reported to have told the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, "The location was particularly poorly chosen for this monument. If visitors have the impression that there was not a great difference between the suffering of Jews and those of homosexuals, it's a scandal."

He said the German people "understood the immense scope of the crime of the Holocaust which they had committed, but this time they made an error."

The first openly gay Mayor of Berlin opened the new memorial to the homosexual victims of Nazi oppression earlier this week. Pink News continues:

It is estimated that 45,000 to 100,000 German homosexuals were arrested under Nazi rule between 1933 and 1945.

Up to 10,000 of them died in concentration camps. Many survivors, far from being liberated, were transferred to prisons.

The laws used against gay people in Germany remained on statute books until 1969.

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