Nazis’ gay victims commemorated in Vienna

A memorial commemorating the homosexual victims of the Third Reich has been unveiled in Vienna.

The monument – a large writing of flowers saying “ZU SPÄT” (TOO LATE) – was officially presented yesterday (Weds). It is located at Morzin Square (Morzinplatz) in the city centre and will be on display until October 2012.

The installation by Carola Dertnig and Julia Rode also features a small footbridge to enable a better look at the logo. The ornate monument is located just a few metres from the former Viennese headquarters of the Gestapo, the secret state police of the Nazis. An exhibition based on the Gestapo’s crimes is currently on display in the building.

Gestapo forces masterminded the persecution and killing of homosexual citizens. Tens of thousands lost their lives in the German Third Reich until 1945 due to their sexual orientation.

Morzin Square is situated near Schweden Square (Schwedenplatz), a key public transport hub. City Hall decision-makers have been negotiating for years about how the area’s appearance could be improved. Police set up a video surveillance system at Morzin Square and Schweden Square in 2005 to fight rampant drug dealing.

The Wien Museum – one of the most popular exhibition venues of the city – could relocate to Schweden Square. Its managers may cooperate with bosses of the city’s Jewish Museum about a new location in the area. However, it is not clear whether the Wien Museum will be rebuilt after all despite its slowly deteriorating state. It is currently situated at Karlsplatz Square.