Memorial to the Persecuted Homosexuals under National Socialism

The memorial is intended to honour the homosexual victims of National Socialism and at the same time “set a constant sign against intolerance, hostility and exclusion towards gays and lesbians”. It was designed by Michael Elmgreen (Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (Norway) and was formally handed over to the public on 27 May 2008. The memorial shows a film in a window featuring a same-sex love scene. The current film is by the Israeli artist Yael Bartana.


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Tiergarten, Ebertstraße
D – 10117 Berlin


+ 49 30 26 39 43 – 0

Artist duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset

The Memorial to the Persecuted Homosexuals under National Socialism was developed by Michael Elmgreen (Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (Norway). The artist duo lives in Berlin and has been working together since 1995.

In the interpretation by Elmgreen & Dragset, a memorial should not be static and should be understood as a definitive statement, but should have a lively character and be subject to dynamic changes. As is often the case in their works, the two artists closely inspired their aesthetic ideas to the immediate surroundings of the monument. In this case, their sculptural implementation takes over the formal design of the Holocaust memorial across the street. But the three-dimensional shape of the Eisenman steles is complemented by an extra element at Elmgreen & Dragset: The viewer can watch a film through a small, square window in which two men hug and kiss endlessly. By making a clear reference to the Holocaust memorial, the monument seems to express that while we as human beings are all the same, we still differ from each other. This is the challenge of our tolerance and acceptance.

History of the Memorial to the Persecuted Homosexuals under National Socialism

Film in the memorial

Integral to the design by the artists Elmgreen & Dragset is a cinematic presentation to be viewed through an opening in the memorial. Already on 4 June 2007, before the ceremonial opening, the then Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Minister of State Bernd Neumann, announced a further development of the memorial concept after approval by the LSVD and the artists: Accordingly, the film is to be changed every two years, with a jury of experts making the decision on the newly shown film. Since the opening, three films by different artists have been featured in the memorial so far.

Current film in the monument (by Yael Bartana) © gay museum
Second film in the monument “Kiss ohne End” by the artists Gerald Backhaus, Bernd Fischer and Ibrahim Gülnar
First film in the memorial (by Elmgreen & Dragset)

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