Saturday, June 27, 2009

Berlin: gay holocaust memorial monument-movie

n Nazi Germany, homosexuality was persecuted to a degree unprecedented in history. In 1935, the National Socialists issued an order making all male homosexuality a crime; the provisions governing homosexual behaviour in Section 175 of the Criminal Code were significantly expanded and made stricter. A kiss was enough reason to prosecute. There were more than 50,000 convictions. Under Section 175, the punishment was imprisonment; in some cases, convicted offenders were castrated. Thousands of men were sent to concentration camps for being gay; many of them died there. They died of hunger, disease and abuse or were the victims of targeted killings.

The National Socialists destroyed the communities of gay men and women. Female homosexuality was not prosecuted, except in annexed Austria; the National Socialists did not find it as threatening as male homosexuality. However, lesbians who came into conflict with the regime were also subject to repressive measures. Under the Nazi regime, gay men and women lived in fear and under constant pressure to hide their sexuality.

For many years, the homosexual victims of National Socialism were not included in public commemorations -- neither in the Federal Republic of Germany nor in the German Democratic Republic. In both East and West Germany, homosexuality continued to be prosecuted for many years. In the Federal Republic, Section 175 remained in force without amendment until 1969.

Because of its history, Germany has a special responsibility to actively oppose the violation of gay men's and lesbians' human rights. In many parts of the world, people continue to be persecuted for their sexuality, homosexual love remains illegal and a kiss can be dangerous.

With this memorial, the Federal Republic of Germany intends
to honour the victims of persecution and murder,
to keep alive the memory of this injustice, and
to create a lasting symbol of opposition to enmity, intolerance and the exclusion of gay men and lesbians.

Das Denkmal für die im Nationalsozialismus verfolgten Homosexuellen ist eine Gedenkstätte am Berliner Tiergarten, die am 27. Mai 2008 eingeweiht wurde. Das von dem dänisch-norwegischen Künstlerduo Michael Elmgreen und Ingar Dragset entworfene Denkmal ist ein 3,60 m hoher und 1,90 m breiter Steinquader, in dem ein Fenster eingelassen ist, durch das zwei kurze Filme mit zwei sich küssenden Männern bzw. zwei sich küssenden Frauen im zweijährigen Wechsel zu sehen sind. Die Errichtung des Denkmals wurde im Zuge der Diskussion über die Gestaltung des Denkmals für die ermordeten Juden Europas im Jahr 2003 vom Deutschen Bundestag beschlossen.

May 27th 2008 has been announced to be the date of the official publication of the Berlin memorial for the persecuted homosexuals of the Nazi period of time.

Estimates vary wildly as to the number of gay men killed in concentration camps during the Holocaust ranging from 5,000 to 15,000. Larger numbers include those who were Jewish and gay, or even Jewish, gay, and communist. In addition, records as to the specific reasons for internment are non-existent in many areas, making it hard to put an exact number on just how many gay men perished in death camps. See pink triangle.

Gay men suffered unusually cruel treatment in the concentration camps. They faced persecution not only from German soldiers but also from other prisoners, and many gay men were beaten to death. Additionally, gay men in forced labor camps routinely received more grueling and dangerous work assignments than other non-Jewish inmates, under the policy of "Extermination Through Work". SS soldiers also were known to use gay men for target practice, aiming their weapons at the pink triangles their human targets were forced to wear.

El monumento fue diseñado por los artistas Michael Elmgreen y Ingar Dragset. Es una estructura de hormigón en forma de ortoedro. En la cara frontal hay una ventana a través de la cual los visitantes pueden ver un vídeo con dos homosexuales besándose.

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