Recognising the intolerance of Hitler’s regime for same-sex couples and the violence gay men and women suffered during the Nazis’ reign, the Memorial to the Homosexuals Persecuted Under the National Socialist Regime, designed by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, is a monument and art installation on the edge of the Tiergarten in Berlin.
The resolution of the German Bundestag from 12 December 2003 regarding the creation of the monument states:
The Federal Republic of Germany shall erect a memorial in Berlin to the homosexuals persecuted under the National Socialist regime.
With this memorial, the Federal Republic of Germany intends
– to honour the victims of persecution and murder,
– to keep alive the memory of this injustice, and
– to create a lasting symbol of opposition to enmity, intolerance and the exclusion of gay men and lesbians.
Echoing the style and construction of its well-known counterpart, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, found just across the road, the monument is formed of a large concrete block. A window in the monument gives access to a screen showing a video on loop. When it was unveiled on 27 May 2008 the video installation was an endless kiss between two men. This has video has since been replaced with a series of clips showing both gay men and gay women embracing following protests from the lesbian community.
Situated as it is in Berlin’s largest public park, the Memorial to the Homosexuals Persecuted Under the National Socialist Regime is accessible 24 hours a day all year round.