Arsonist Attempts To Burn Memorial For Gay Victims Of Nazis

Andy Hay on Flickr

The man is also suspected in other arson attacks including one on a Berlin lesbian bar.

A Berlin man was arrested Tuesday for throwing a burning object at the city’s Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism. The suspect, age 63, attempted to set the concrete memorial on fire, and has been arrested for an arson attack, according to authorities. His name has not been released.

The unnamed man is also suspected of sticking paper Bible verses and other Christian verbiage to the site. A security guard working in the park at the time is said to have seen the alleged arson attempt and subsequently alerted the authorities.

In addition to the attack on the Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism, the man is suspected in other arson attacks including one on a public book box dedicated to the history of the Holocaust and a Berlin lesbian bar from Saturday to Monday. Police arrested him at his home where they say he “admitted the acts extensively.”

German Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth condemned the acts of vandalism and urged Germans to “stand together against enemies of democracy.”

“Wherever we encounter hate and hate speech, we must not accept it in silence.’Never again’ must not be just lip service,” Roth tweeted on Tuesday.

There have been other acts of arson against LGBTQ+ monuments and imagery in recent history. In February 2023, Angelina Cando was arrested and charged with arson, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment for setting a pride flag ablaze that was hanging outside of a Manhattan restaurant. In April 2022, an arsonist set fire to queer hangout, Rash Bar, in Brooklyn.

“If people can no longer move freely in our country without fear of hostilities, that is a significant restriction of our freedom,” René Mertens, a spokesperson for LSVD told NBC News in an email. “The safety of LGBTIQ [people] is not a marginal issue, but a human rights obligation. This obligation must be honored.”

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