Monday, May 29, 2006

Pope Remembers Jews Forgets Gays

There is no doubt that one of the most moving scenes of the recent papal visit to Poland was the presence of Pope Benedict at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz

However we have yet to hear a Papal lament for the Gay men and, to a lesser extent, lesbians, targeted by Nazis during the Holocaust. When will we see the Pope at any of the Gay Holocaust Memorials?

The story of our brothers and sisters holocuast is well documented and yet rarely told.

The European Parliament marked the anniversary of the Holocaust in 2005 with a minute of silence and the passage of this resolution:

"the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where hundreds of thousands of Jews, Roma, homosexuals, Poles and other prisoners of various nationalities were murdered, is not only a major occasion for European citizens to remember and condemn the enormous horror and tragedy of the Holocaust, but also for addressing the disturbing rise in anti-Semitism, and especially anti-Semitic incidents, in Europe, and for learning anew the wider lessons about the dangers of victimizing people on the basis of race, ethnic origin, religion, politics, or sexual orientation."

A memorial, to be built in Vienna in 2007, will feature a large basin filled with pink water and will be built at Morzinplatz, the former Gestapo headquarters, according to the Associated Press.

It is not the first public memorial to represent the large number of gay people killed at the concentration camps.

A similar sculpture was unveiled in the United States in 2003, while Germany finally approved its own monument to recognize gay victims later that year, despite ongoing arguments between gay rights groups and their opponents.

Germany also gave a formal pardon to the 50,000 gay people convicted under Nazi rule in 2002, and acknowledged that the total number of gay people sent to concentration camps could well have been 20,000.
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