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Britain to Build Memorial To Victims of Holocaust Next to Parliament 

Britain to Build Memorial To Victims of Holocaust Next to Parliament

Britain to Build Memorial To Victims of Holocaust Next to Parliament

The monument will honor the many victims of the Nazi genocide—including an estimated 15,000 gay men.

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the 71st anniversary of the liberation of the notorious death camp, Auschwitz. Under Adolf Hitler's rule, Nazi Germany orchestrated and carried out a methodological genocide that left around six million Jews dead, along with millions of other "undesirables," including Roma, the disabled, Jehovah's Witnesses, and an estimated 15,000 gay people. Today, Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to erect a memorial to all the victims of the Holocaust in Victoria Park, adjacent to the Houses of Parliament in central London. 

Cameron, who has said that the project will be completed by 2017, termed the monument "a permanent statement of our values as a nation."

This day last year—the 70th anniversary of Auschwitz's liberation—was marked by a number of large-scale international events, as it was recognized to likely be the last major anniversary attended by survivors of the Nazi genocide—every year, their numbers shrink. A special commission convened by the Prime Minister at that time released findings earlier this year stressing that, while the assault on Europe's Jewish population would remain at the heart of the memorial, it was proper to honor all victims:

“The Commission resolved that, at its heart, the Memorial must represent the experience of the Jewish victims, determinedly and systematically targeted for total destruction, based not on lifestyle or belief system, but on genetic origins.

“However, it would be an injustice to the memory of those other victims not to reflect upon their tragic experiences too. Amongst these victims were members of the Roma community, Jehovah’s Witnesses, political dissidents, homosexuals and people with mental and physical disabilities."


The pink triangle was used to designate gay prisoners

In a statement Cameron released last year to mark the seventh decade since the camp's liberation, he said:

"Holocaust Memorial Day is an important day. A day to educate and understand the horrors that can take place when hatred, prejudice and intolerance are allowed to go unchecked.

A day to remember the victims of the Holocaust, as well as the gay people, disabled people and Roma who suffered alongside the Jewish people during that awful time and those who have been persecuted in genocides that have taken place since."

Photo via Flickr/Marion Doss

(H/T PinkNews)

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