POLAND

Plan for Warsaw Monument To the Gay Victims of Nazi Concentration Camps

 


 

Польские активисты выдвинули идею возведения монумента геям, погибшим в нацистских лагерях

This article in Russian from GayRussia.ru

Click HERE for this item in Polish (Język polski)

 


 



 

   

WARSAW, January 16, 2007  –  Gays in Poland revealed last night a plan to erect a monument in the centre of Warsaw that will be a permanent reminder of the “Pink Triangle” gays who were slaughtered in the Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War.

And the plan has already won the support of some city councillors in the Polish capital.

“Warsaw should be a city of equal rights,” said Councillor Bartosz Dominiak of Lewica and Demokraci.  “We will support the erection of the monument.”

Mr. Dominiak added that he will be urging councillors from Platforma Obywatelska to also support the scheme.

And Paweł Czekalski from the Platforma party did not dismiss the idea.  “We will consider it,” he said.

The monument will be a meter and a half long and of the shape of a pink triangle, the symbol that homosexuals were obliged to wear in Nazi Germany and in concentration camps.

“We have to build this monument so that the people will not forget the thousands of gays who were murdered in the concentration camps of Poland,” said Łukasz Pałucki, the founder of the Citizens’ Initiative to Commemorate Gays and Lesbians.

“World War II is evidence that intolerance, anti-Semitism and homophobia lead to concentration camps.  History has proved that hated towards other groups leads to homicide.

“It’s time to commemorate all the homosexuals murdered in Nazi concentration camps,” Mr. , Pałucki, and ambassador of the who is an ambassador of the Swedish-based International Lesbian and Gay Cultural Network (ILGCN).  He added that a similar monument was unveiled in December in Berlin.

The Citizens’ Committee for erection of the monument already has several prominent members.  Among them are Maria Szyszkowska, professor of philosophy and advocate of LGBT rights in Poland, Tomasz Bączkowski, organiser of Warsaw Gay Pride,  and Piotr Gadzinowski, an MP.

The backers of the monument have announced that a contest for the design is to be held next week. And the hope is that the monument will be in place in May so that the Warsaw Gay Pride march could pass and pay respects.

“If Roman Dmowski, a Polish nationalist who had strongly anti-Semitic views, has a monument, why not honour murdered gays,” asked Mr. Bączkowski?

However, the idea is not supported by the whole gay community in Poland.

“It is not a wise idea,” Robert Biedroń, the head of Kampanii Przeciw Homofobii (Campaign against Homophobia) said. 

“I think that such a monument can only make people turn away from gay community.  It will be taken as litigious,” he suggested.

But Mr. Biedroń’s criticism does not discourage the originator.  “We count on generosity of private sponsors,” said Mr. Pałucki.

“It would be nice if Warsaw City Council contributed.”

For some city councillors, the plan is unacceptable.  The Prawo i Sprawiedliwość party is outraged.

“It is a devastating idea and we shall not agree to this,” charged an upset Marek Makuch, party’s chief on the Warsaw council.

“I have not seen in Warsaw a monument for Catholic priests or disabled people,” he said.

“The triangle would be a promotion of homosexuality.  “We cannot compare Warsaw with Berlin – Berlin is the capitol of European homosexuality, and here we have our values,” he fumed.

More gays were slaughtered in Nazi concentration camps in Poland than in any other country invaded by Hitler during the Second World War.

Speaking from Stockholm, Bill Schiller, , secretary general of the ILGCN, expressed his pride in the pioneering effort of the ILGCN Eastern European Secretariat and others in supporting the creation of a Homo Monument in Warsaw to honor those gays rounded by Nazi forces and deported to the Nazi death camp at  Auschwitz.

“Of course, such a strong symbol also represents all gays, lesbians, and trans persons persecuted and murdered by many regimes and many homophobes around the globe in the past centuries as well as in the present day...

“Those who fear a backlash because of such a statement in stone or metal should recall that all of our work on the barricades in whatever form is always opposed by some – and is no reason to hide in closets or hesitate to go forward,” he said.

“The argument that other groups in society have not made monuments of their own persecuted and annihilated is no reason for us to hide, but all the more reason to support others honoring their fallen – no mater what race, nationality, religion or sexual orientation.

“We gays, lesbians and transgenders have an even greater obligation to raise such rainbow monuments – as are already in existence in Amsterdam, Berlin, Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria and elsewhere – and are under preparation in other cities and sites -- is the tragic invisibility of our colleagues  even in many countries around the world today and often forgotten by history.”

More gays were slaughtered in Nazi concentration camps in Poland than in any other country invaded by Hitler during the Second World War.

No definitive figures are available, but it is estimated that between 20,000 and 40,000 perished in the notorious Auschwitz camp in south west Poland.

Two years ago, when the 60th anniversary of the Allied “liberation” of Auschwitz was commemorated, gays were the only group that were not recognised during the official ceremony attended by many world leaders.

But on Saturday April 23, 2005, as part of Krakow Pride, a group of about 100 gay men and women from across Europe – and from Israel – took part in a special 30-minute remembrance ceremony of all victims of the Nazi concentration camps when the courtyard containing the notorious “Wall of Death” was closed to the public by the authorities at the Auschwitz camp.

 
< Members of Israeli Gay Youth during the brief  ceremony at Auschwitz in April 2005.
photo:  Andy Harley/UK Gay News
 

Język polski

Organizacje gejowskie chcą wybudować pomnik w centrum Warszawy upamiętniający gejów zamordowanych w obozach koncentracyjnych.

- Warszawa powinna być miastem równości - deklaruje poparcie Bartosz ominiak, warszawski radny z Lewicy i Demokratów. - Zaangażujemy się w powstanie pomnika. Będziemy namawiać do tego też radnych z Platformy Obywatelskiej. Paweł Czekalski z PO: - Zastanowimy się.

Pomnik ma mieć półtora metra wysokości i kształt różowego trójkąta - takim właśnie znakiem byli oznaczeni homoseksualiści w obozach zagłady. - Musimy go zbudować, żeby ludzie o tym pamiętali - mówi Łukasz Pałucki, założyciel komitetu społecznego pamięci gejów i lesbijek. - II wojna światowa to dowód, że nietolerancja, antysemityzm i homofobia prowadzą do obozów zagłady. Historia już udowodniła, że nienawiść wobec innych prowadzi do zbrodni.

- Już najwyższy czas upamiętnić homoseksualistów wymordowanych w obozach zagłady - zapowiada pomysłodawca Łukasz Pałucki z Międzynarodowego Stowarzyszenia Gejów i Lesbijek na rzecz Kultury (ILGCN). I mówi, że taki pomnik w grudniu odsłonięto w Berlinie.

W społecznym komitecie budowy pomnika są m.in. prof. Maria Szyszkowska i Tomasz Bączkowski z Fundacji Równości (organizator Parady Równości), poseł Piotr Gadzinowski i ciągle przybywają kolejni.

Pomysłodawcy zapowiadają, że w przyszłym tygodniu ogłoszą konkurs na projekt. Chcą, by pomnik stanął w maju i mogli się przy nim zatrzymać uczestnicy Parady Równości.

- Skoro stawia się pomnik Romanowi Dmowskiemu (przedwojenny polski antysemita), to czemu nie uczcić wymordowanych gejów? - mówi Tomasz Bączkowski.

Idea ma jednak przeciwników w samym środowisku gejowskim. - To durny pomysł - komentuje Robert Biedroń - szef Kampanii przeciw Homofobii. - Myślę, że taki monument może tylko zniechęcić do naszego środowiska. Zostanie to odebrane jako pieniactwo.

Krytyka Biedronia nie zniechęca jednak pomysłodawcy. Liczymy na szczodrość prywatnych sponsorów. Miło będzie, gdy dołoży się do tego Rada Warszawy - proponuje Pałucki.

Wygląda na to, że u niektórych radnych Warszawy zrozumienia nie znajdzie.

Działacze Prawa i Sprawiedliwości są oburzeni. - To druzgocąca propozycja i na takie rzeczy naszej zgody nie będzie - denerwuje się stołeczny radny Marek Makuch, lider klubu PiS. - Nie widziałem w Warszawie pomnika pomordowanych księży katolickich czy osób niepełnosprawnych. Ten trójkąt byłby promocją homoseksualizmu. Poza tym nie możemy porównywać się do Berlina, bo to stolica homoseksualizmu europejskiego, a my tu mamy swoje wartości.

 

 

 

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Posted: 16 January 2007 at 01:30 (UK time) - updated at 15:00

 

 

 

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