Scholars are protesting a plan to exchange an image of two men kissing with two kissing women at a gay holocaust memorial in Berlin. They claim that lesbians were not targeted for persecution during the Holocaust in the same way that gay men were.
The memorial, designed by Ingar Dragset and Michael Elmgree and erected in May 2008, is dedicated to the estimated 5,000 to 15,000 LGBT people persecuted by the Nazis, and features a window through which viewers can see a looping video of two men kissing.
Originally, plans for the memorial included changing the gender of the couple in the video every two years, but Alexander Zinn and other Holocaust experts have written to German culture minister Michael Neumann and Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit decrying the proposed change and claiming that it would “distort history.”
Neumen argues that the video, planned to debut in May 2010, is ”in no way meant to put on the same level the persecution of homosexual men and women under the Nazi regime. Research shows that the persecution of lesbian women by the Nazi regime was not comparable to that of homosexual men. This is also clearly explained in a plaque on the memorial.”
A decision based on the complaints will be announced within the coming weeks.