Web posted at: 6:48 PM EDT (22:48 GMT)
BERLIN, Germany -- Homosexual activists are urging Germany's government to
recognise thousands of gay victims of the Nazi regime with a monument in
The Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany want the memorial sited near the
Reichstag parliament building, close to a planned Memorial to the Murdered Jews
"Such a monument would be a lasting symbol against intolerance, hostility and
exclusion aimed at gays and lesbians," the federation said in a statement.
As well as gays, groups representing Gypsies, or Roma, murdered by the Nazis
are also pressing for a monument in central Berlin -- seeking equal prominence
with the planned memorial for the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
A site the size of two soccer pitches near the Brandenburg Gate has been
dedicated to the Jewish memorial.
Gay spokesman Albert Eckert said homosexual victims of the Nazis during the war
have been overlooked, and added: "We want a national monument similar to the
The Nazi regime criminalised homosexuality among men -- although lesbians were
not generally targeted by the Nazis -- and few of the 15,000 gay men forced
into concentration camps survived, the federation said.
The plan has been backed by prominent Jewish leaders, including the head of the
Jewish Community in Germany, Paul Spiegel.
A city spokeswoman said officials agreed in principle that such a monument was
But Berlin mayor Eberhard Diepgen has opposed creating a "Memorial Mile" in the
new capital commemorating various groups persecuted by the Nazis, the
Associated Press news agency reported.