“A mistake.” That is how senior Yad Vashem member Israel Guttman termed the establishment of the memorial for the homosexual victims of the Nazis in Berlin.
The new memorial was inaugurated Wednesday in the German capital in honor of thousands of homosexuals who were persecuted because of their sexual orientation, regardless of their ethnicity or religion. The memorial is situated near the Brandenburg Gate, close to the monument commemorating the six million victims of the Holocaust.
Yad Vashem’s chief historian Israel Guttman was quoted in the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita speaking against this gesture: “For many years, I believed that the Germans grasped the atrociousness of the crimes they committed during the Holocaust. The site chosen for the memorial is especially abominable. The idea that visitors may deduce that the level of suffering caused to homosexuals was not much different than that suffered by the Jews - is a scandal. Proportions must be kept,” said Guttmann.
According to the historian, the homosexuals persecuted during World War Two were German only, many of which were Nazis themselves and victims of internal struggles within Hitler’s National Socialistic Party.
The memorial was inaugurated by Berlin's Mayor Klaus Wowereit and Germany's Culture Minister Bernd Neumann. According to estimates, between 5,000 and 15,000 homosexuals were sent to concentration camps, and at least half of them were killed there.