On 10 January Tel Aviv was the first Israeli city to inaugurate a memorial to the homosexual victims of National Socialism. The memorial is intentionally situated in the middle of the centrally located Meir Park. In Nazi Germany Jews and other minorities were prevented from participating in public life. Now this public place is to be used deliberately to remember the victims of persecution.
German Ambassador Andreas Michaelis inaugurated the new memorial together with Tel Aviv’s mayor Ron Huldai. Mayor Huldai emphasised the openness of the city of Tel Aviv. “The memorial reminds us how important it now is to respect every individual. It is natural for a memorial like this to be in Tel Aviv, a place which is open to all groups and people.”
Warning for the future
In his speech Ambassador Michaelis recalled the atrocities of the Nazi dictatorship: “In Nazi Germany Jews and other minorities were prevented from participating in public life. Today we are using this public place to remember these people.”
He said that a free society respected all individuals regardless of their race, religion, gender, origin and sexual orientation. He added that it was important to commemorate events of the past with memorials and street names, stating that these should be warnings for the future.
The memorial is adjacent to the community centre for homosexuals. Its shape, a pink triangle, is a reminder of the pink triangle that homosexuals had to wear in concentration camps as a form of identification.
Speech by Ambassador Andreas Michaelis at the inauguration of the Monument for the Memory of those persecuted by the Nazi Regime for their sexual preference and gender identity, 10 January 2014. PDF / 40 KB