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Appeal for applications to participate in an invitation artistic competition

Starting point and framework conditions
The German Federal Lower House (Bundestag) decided on 12th December 2003, in favour of giving the memorial to honour the homosexual victims of National Socialism a reality with form and shape at a site in Berlin. To help finding the design of the memorial site an invited two-stage artistic competition with up to 30 competitors will be held. The competition will be carried out by the Berlin-City Administration on behalf of the Federal authorities, and in coordination with the Initiative "Remember the Homosexual Victims of National Socialism" and the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD). The Initiative "Remember the Homosexual Victims of National Socialism" and the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD) will hold an open application phase in front of the competition to invite some of the applicants to take part in the competition. This is to encourage as wide a spectrum of artists as possible to participate.
The planned memorial site is in central Berlin (borrough of Berlin-Mitte) on the south-east edge of the Tiergarten opposite the site of the memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe.
The proposed site is is coloured on the plan.
The competition between the invited participants will begin in April 2005 with a Colloquium and it is intended to make final decisions in the period December 2005/January 2006.


Background
Only in recent years have a few individuals approached this very sensitive theme with concepts for city spaces.
Gays and lesbians were subjected in the past to severe persecution, which reached a highpoint in the period of National Socialism. After the seizure of power by the NSDAP (Nazi Party), the organisations of gays and lesbians were banned. Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld's Institute for Sexual Sciences, situated in Berlin, was stormed and plundered by the SA (an armed unit of the Nazi Party).
In 1935 the National Socialists ordered the total criminalisation of all sexual activities between men. This was done by changing Paragraph 175 of the Penal Code so that the acts criminalised were unlimited and the punishment was severely increased. The increased severity of the legal decisions served the Nazi concept of preventing the spread of the "homosexual plague" and infection of the "healthy German folk".
Between 1935 and 1945 about 50.000 judgements were passed under Paragraphs 175 and 175a of the penal code. Thousands of gays were sent to concentration camps as a result of being homosexual. In the camp they mostly had to wear the "Pink Triangle" as an identification mark. Only few survived. Other measures of persecution that homosexuals were subjected to were compulsory castration and medical experiments supposed to "cure" them.
The period of Nazi-rule meant for homosexuals living a life of enforced denial of their real self and of permanent danger and anxiety of being discovered.
Both in the Federal Republic of Germany and in the GDR after 1949 men accused of sexual relations with another consenting adult were punished by the law. In the Federal Republic Paragraph 175 remained in force in its Nazi form until 1969.
With the creation of the memorial site the Federal Republic of Germany according to the decision of the Bundestag of 12th December 2003 wants to - "honour the persecuted and murdered victims", - "help to keep alive the remembrance of the injustices done", as well as - set a "signal against intolerance, enmity towards and rejection of gays and lesbians".
As far as background to the political importance of the matter please refer to the decisions and debates of the German Bundestag in the years 2000, 2002 and 2003, which are documented on our web-site (unfortunately these texts are only published in German).


Conditions of Participation
We call on artists as well as other interested persons, to apply to take part in the artistic competition. We expect from the applicants a short summary of the concept or first sketches of the idea for the memorial site (Max. of 2 pages Din A4), a curriculum vitae, as well as a description as to how the persona envisages their participation in the competition and what experience they can draw on - for instance their artistic development. (Max. 1 page DIN A4). Applications per e-Mail will be accepted, but only if documents are submitted in PDF-Format. To ensure that e-Mail applications have been received they will be confirmed by e-Mail.
The participants declare themselves as accepting that their ideas and suggestions can be stored for documentation purposes, however, the copyright remains with the author. The participation in the application phase does not give any right in any form to participate in the artistic competition. Application documents can not be returned.


Questions
Questions on the application process will only be answered publicly in the Questions Exchange created for that purpose. Questions can be submitted on-line there or sent to info@gedenkort.de. We will answer questions until 10th January 2005. No questions will be answered in the period from 15th December 2004 to 5th January 2005.


Choosing the participants for the competition
A Committee appointed by the Initiative and the LSVD will examine the applications and ideas received and invite up to seven authors to take part in the competition.


Deadline
The deadline for applications is 31st January 2005.


Applications should be submitted to:
Senatsverwaltung für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur
Bewerbung für Wettbewerb
"Gedenkort für die im Nationalsozialismus verfolgten Homosexuellen"
Brunnenstr. 188 - 190
10119 Berlin - Mitte

or per e-Mail to: bewerbungen@gedenkort.de

 

 

 

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Press Release - 02.12.2004

Appeal For The Monument

Colloquium on the Artistic Design Competition

A Chronicle of Persecution

Members of the Choosing committee:

Leonie Baumann, Geschäftsführerin der Neuen Gesellschaft für Bildende
Kunst, Berlin

Yilmaz Dziewior,
Direktor des Kunstvereins Hamburg

Ewald Kentgens,
Dipl.-Ing. Architekt, Mitbegründer der Initiative »Der homosexuellen NS-Opfer gedenken«

Prof. Dr. Andreas Meyer-Hanno,
Musikwissenschaftler und
Opernregisseur, Mitbegründer der Initiative Mahnmal Homosexuellenverfolgung,
Frankfurt am Main

Jürgen Roland,
Rechtsanwalt, von 1994 bis 1998 im Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur des Landes Brandenburg Referatsleiter für die Gedenkstätten
 

preliminary jury:

Josephin Jahnke

 

Plan of the Surrounding Area
Photographs of the Area
Questions Exchange

Background Information:
Decisions of the German Bundestag (only in German)

 7th December 2000
 17th May 2002
 12th December 2003

Tribute for gay victims of Nazism
Germany is planning to build a memorial to commemorate the thousands of homosexuals persecuted under the Nazis...
(BBC News, 14.11.2003)
continue...

 

 

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