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article imageIsrael recognizes Holocaust homosexual victims for first time

By Robert Weller     Jan 10, 2014 in Lifestyle
Israel has opened a memorial honoring the thousands of homosexual victims of the Holocaust. It is not the first, but Israel’s recognition amounts to an imprimatur on their suffering.
The Tel Aviv memorial was built in the form of a pink star, the equivalent for gays and lesbians of the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear.
No one knows for sure how many died; some put the toll at 15,000 but it is likely much higher, according to the BBC.
Those today who still see homosexuality as an illness should keep in mind that the Nazi doctors, under no ethical rules of any kind, tried to “cure” gays.
Because gays could not produce children they were less of a threat. "The idea was to change their behavior, not to eradicate them, not to murder them," said Deborah Dwork, director of the Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University in Worcester, Mass.
With all the movies that Hollywood has made, even some in recent years, this is a story still to be told on the screen. Monuments already exist in Amsterdam, Berlin, San Francisco and Sydney.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said the Nazis “committed many atrocities, in an attempt to destroy anyone who was considered different.” The monument was opened Friday.
Although it has been widely claimed that closet homosexuals were among the leaders of Hitler’s Germany, they were considered a public health problem.
Paragraph 175 of German law made it a crime for males to have sex. It was only repealed in 1994 after German reunification.
"I think in Israel today it is very important to show that a human being is a human being is a human being," Huldai said. “
“It shows that we are not only caring for ourselves but for everybody who suffered. These are our values — to see everyone as a human being."
For Jews it means shedding a monopoly of victimhood, said Moshe Zimmerman, a professor from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
"We can learn from this that by recognizing the victimhood of others, it does not diminish the uniqueness of your own victimhood,” he said.
That Nazis committed atrocities against many people has been known since the war.
The gay Holocaust survivors tell their story in PrideSource.
More about Holocaust, Israel, Nazis, pink star, Cure
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