Reflecting on the Gay Holocaust Memorial in Berlin

On Friday night, we celebrated the Equality Forum: Philadelphia’s Global LGBT Summit, and we prepared for the observance of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.  At our Shabbat service, we discussed the Gay Holocaust Memorial that was dedicated in Berlin in 2008.  Responses to the design were mixed; there was pride, concern about the symbolism of hiding and confining sexuality, curiosity about whether a memorial should depict people in the time being memorialized.   Read about the Memorial and take a look at the images here; what do you think?  One comment on Friday night described the memorial as transitional.  It was forward-thinking enough that it could not have existed 30 years ago; yet it hides two men kissing, so it hardly seems to be as open as we hope to be.  On this Yom HaShoah, may we pray for and work for the day when every one of us can openly express who we are, when the dignity of every human being is affirmed, and when we truly understand that we are all made b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God.

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