The German parliament has decided that it will for the first time commemorate LGBTQ victims of the Nazi regime.
According to the AFP, those who were persecuted and annihilated for their sexual orientation or gender identity will be officially recognized by the German state, the Bundestag president has announced.
On January 27, the international Holocaust Remembrance Day, German MPs will place LGBTQ victims “at the centre of the commemoration ceremony”, Baerbel Bas confirmed to Tagesspiegel.
In Germany, the official Holocaust Remembrance Day has been January 27 since 1996 with a ceremony at the Bundestag usually featuring a speech by a Holocaust survivor and commemorations across Germany.
“Sadly there are no survivors left” for the LGBT victims’ memorial, Bas said, adding that parliamentary authorities were in close discussions with the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD).
While the former German President Roman Herzog acknowledged homosexuals among the victims of the Nazis in 1996, “these victims have yet to have their own memorial”, said Henny Engels, member of the LSVD board.
“To draw the right lessons from all its different facets, history must be comprehensively kept alive,” Engels said.
LGBTQ activists have worked for years to establish an official parliamentary commemoration of Nazi victims who were persecuted for their sexual orientation or gender identity. An extensive petition was put into circulation in 2018.
It comes as the memorial in Berlin was vandalized earlier this month. This year’s Berlin Pride attracted a post-pandemic record 150,000 attendees, however it was marred by two post-Pride homophobic attacks.