Berlin remembers Nazi persecution of gays

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at

In Berlin, a ceremony has been held in memory of the homosexuals and lesbians who were persecuted in Nazi Germany. Wreaths were laid at the monument to gay holocaust victims in the Tiergarten park.

Seventy-five years ago, the Gestapo - the Third Reich’s secret police - were ordered to begin arresting all homosexuals. Speaking at the ceremony, the Berlin police chief described the holocaust as ‘the darkest chapter in German history, partly written by the police’.

Before and during the Second World War, thousands of homosexuals were rounded up in raids. They were deported to concentration camps or imprisoned. It is still not known exactly how many homosexuals were murdered. In 2002 the German government offered an official apology for the persecution of homosexuals by the Nazis.