Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit (who happens to be gay) and Culture Minister of the Federal Republic Bernd Neumann recently unveiled a memorial to the gay people murdered by the Third Reich near the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe that opened a few years ago just south of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Via Radley Balko, who has an adaptation of the famous Martin Niemöller lines appropriate for the occasion, this small act of decency by the people and city of Berlin has Michael Medved incensed:
Across the road from Berlin’s monument to Jewish Holocaust victims, the new shrine features a pavilion-sized concrete slab with a window through which visitors view a video of two men kissing. This commemoration follows a longstanding, misleading attempt to depict homosexuals as prime targets of Hitler. In fact, even historical material released with the memorial noted only "an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 gay men deported to concentration camps"–and by no means all of them were killed. While homosexuals surely outnumbered the less-than-one-percent of the German population that was Jewish, Jewish victims of Nazi death camps outnumbered estimated gay victims by more than 500 to 1. Persecution of any group deserves condemnation and remembrance, but it's wrong to exaggerate the extent of victimization for politically correct P.R. purposes.
More succinctly: fags have cooties. In addition to its loathsome downplaying of the scale and nature
of Nazi war crimes against the gay populations of Germany and its captive nations, in addition to its perhaps even more loathsome attempt to lay proprietary claim to the Holocaust, this passage is grossly misleading about the monument. The memorial for Jewish victims of the Holocaust (see aerial view above) takes up a large city block in Berlin and is composed of 2711 "stelae." The memorial for gay victims of the Holocaust (see right) is one single slab four meters high. By Medved's grim, cynical arithmetic, the twin Berlin monuments overstate the relative toll of the Holocaust on Jews by a ratio of more than 5 to 1. Medved cannot possibly sincerely believe this memorial "exaggerates" the extent of the victimization of gay people during the Holocaust — not if he knows what "to exaggerate" means. Notwithstanding his empty lip service to the notion that "persecution of any group deserves condemnation and remembrance," Medved's problem is with any recognition of Nazi atrocities inflicted on gay people as a part of the Holocaust. In other words, he's a sad old bigot for whom the Holocaust isn't a crime but a trophy to be fought over.