Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Gay Holocaust Victims Get a Memorial
It's a simple little memorial. A small concrete cube with no decorations on its sides.... so vandals can't deface them. But it sends out a powerful message.
Recognizing the suffering of the forgotten gay victims of the Holocaust.
Germany unveiled a memorial Tuesday to the long-ignored gay victims of the Nazi regime, a monument that also aims to address discrimination today by confronting visitors with an image of a same-sex couple kissing.
And reminding us that the battle continues.
"This memorial is important from two points of view - to commemorate the victims, but also to make clear that even today, after we have achieved so much in terms of equal treatment, discrimination still exists daily..."
I was sad no survivors lived to see this day. Survivors who endured bestial torture and medical experiments, but were kept in jail and denied compensation by their so-called liberators.
Survivors like Pierre Seel.
I really wanted him to be there. Because what they did to him and his lover Jo will haunt me forever......
The loudspeakers played noisy military music as the SS men stripped him naked, and violently jammed a metal bucket over his head. They unleashed on Jo the camp's ferocious guard-dogs, German Shepherds, who began to rip at his flesh -- first his genitals, and his thighs, and then they devoured Jo before our eyes. His screams of pain were amplified and distorted by the bucket over his head. Frozen in place and trembling, wide-eyed at seeing so much horror, I had tears running down my cheeks. I prayed that he would rapidly lose consciousness...."
Shortly before he died Pierre Seel wrote this:
"When I have finish wandering, I go home. Then I light the candle that burns permanently in my kitchen when I am alone. That frail flame is my memory of Jo."
One candle for Jo. One for all the other gay victims of the holocaust that never ends.
You know... with the way some straight bigots react to the sight of two men kissing.... no wonder they buried the television screen in a bunker.
Never mind the vandals. They'll probably have to post guards to prevent the whole memorial from being destroyed.
Hey Jo we hear you.
That's why we fight.