Tens of thousands of gays and lesbians killed or persecuted by the Nazi regime are to be commemorated in a central memorial in Berlin under plans announced on Wednesday. The Social Democrat-Green coalition launched a motion in parliament to create the memorial in Tiergarten Park, near the city center, with the support of the Berlin city government.
"The homosexual victims of National Socialism have so far received little consideration in the commemorative culture of the Federal Republic," Green Party manager Volker Beck and SPD parliamentarian Johannes Kahrs said in a statement.
If approved, the memorial would be the latest in an often controversial series of German monuments to victims of the Third Reich, many of which, including Berlin's still-unfinished main Holocaust memorial, have been held up by protracted disputes. The Nazis maintained a relentless campaign of persecution against gays, sending thousands to concentration camps, where they were forced to wear pink triangles to identify them and an unknown number were killed. Their fate was highlighted earlier this year when the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., held an exhibition on the subject that traveled to a number of American cities.