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Last Updated: Friday, 12 December, 2003, 18:24 GMT
Berlin to mark Nazis' gay victims
Auschwitz
Between 10,000 and 15,000 gays ended up in concentration camps
Germany is to build a memorial for the thousands of homosexual men persecuted or killed by the Nazis.

Parliament agreed to pay $610,000 for a building that will commemorate Nazism's gay victims at a central Berlin site.

Some 50,000 gays were branded criminals and degenerates by the Third Reich and 10,000 to 15,000 went to concentration camps, from which few ever returned.

Germany last year overcame conservative objections to grant a formal pardon to gays convicted under Nazism.

"Homosexual victims of the Nazi regime were mostly shut out of Germany's culture of remembrance in the past. That is now over," said Volker Beck, an MP for the Green Party.

Stigma and the law

The memorial will be built along the Tiergarten Park in Berlin, close to the site of a planned Holocaust memorial.

We will remember this group of victims because we must not... be silent about what price those who revealed their sexual orientation had to pay
Christina Weiss, junior culture minister

Unlike the millions of Jews killed on the orders of Hitler's government, the Nazis' homosexual victims have struggled for recognition.

Social stigma and a law against homosexuality - only repealed in 1969 - hampered efforts to commemorate them.

The bill approving a monument to the gays was passed with the backing of Germany's governing Social Democrats and Greens, but the Christian Democrat party, which sits in opposition, was against it.


SEE ALSO:
Nazi row hits Holocaust memorial
27 Oct 03  |  Europe
Holocaust memorial takes shape
16 Aug 03  |  Europe


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