Holocaust memorial to gays to be built in Tel Aviv


A monument to gays persecuted by the Nazis will be built in Tel Aviv.

The monument, the first of its kind in Israel, will be constructed in Meir Park, near the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Association Center in the central part of the city, Haaretz reported.

It will include a concrete pink triangle along with a bench and a plaque providing information on the persecution of gays during the Holocaust. Gays were forced to wear an identifying pink triangle on their clothing in the same way that Jews were forced to wear a yellow star.

The inscription on the memorial will read: “To the memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual preference and gender identity.”

Attorney Eran Lev, a member of the municipal council from the Meretz party, came up with the idea for the memorial.

“This will be the first and only memorial site in Israel to mention the victims of the Nazis who were persecuted for anything other than being Jewish,”  Lev told Haaretz. “As a cosmopolitan city and an international gay center, Tel Aviv will offer a memorial site that is universal in its essence. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not a monument but a place  — a place of quiet that will invite visitors to sit, contemplate, reflect and be in solitude.”

Memorials to the gay victims of Nazi persecution exist in Berlin, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Sydney and San Francisco, according to Haaretz.

Hungarian police investigating desecration of Holocaust monument


A Holocaust memorial monument in the southwest of Hungary was desecrated.

The perpetrators broke off several parts of the bronze monument, which stands 3 1/2 feet high and is the shape of a large menorah. Hungarian police said they were investigating the incident.

The Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary said the monument was desecrated sometime over last weekend. It stood in the courtyard of the buildings of the Jewish community of Nagykanizsa. The local Jewish community erected the monument, which is near the Croatia border, in 2004.

All seven menorah branches were sawed off and the main shaft was broken. Only part of the three-pronged base remains.

Some 120 Hungarians protested on June 7 in Budapest against anti-Semitism in Hungary. The demonstration was in reaction to an attack against a former chief rabbi. On June 3, a cemetery was desecrated near the capital.

In a letter to the country’s Jewish leaders, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban expressed his “indignation” at the cemetery attack and ordered the Interior Ministry to track down the perpetrators as soon as possible.

Riga Holocaust monument vandalized


A monument honoring a man who saved Jews during the Holocaust was vandalized in the capital of Latvia.

The monument in Riga honoring the late Zanis Lipke and others who saved Jews from the Nazis was spattered with paint on Monday.

Latvian President Valdis Zatlers denounced the vandalism, the French news agency AFP reported.

The vandalism comes a week after large swastikas were found painted on more than 100 gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in Riga.