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Der Rosa Platz: Vienna to Get Memorial to Gay Holocaust Victims


It looks as though a memorial to Gay and Transgender victims of the Holocaust is going to be a reality in Vienna, Austria following an international competition to design it. Or perhaps it's already open. I haven't been able to confirm that.

Der Rosa Platz, or "Pink Place" is a shallow pink pool. According to planners, "the water itself will be colored pink."

From the plan: "Stretching across the basin is a relief with the letters 'QUE(E)R' looking out of it. Stepping from letter to letter one can walk across 1the basin... In its coloring The Pink Place is strongly reminiscent of the “Pink Triangle”, the badge those who were victimized and murdered for their sexual orientation during the Nazi era were forced to wear. 'QUE(E)R' is an open place for an open-minded society. The Pink Place is a meeting place, a place of contemplation or simply a place where you can dip your strained feet into the refreshing water on a hot summer day. Like a 'red' carpet, 'QUE(E)R' leads to the Inner City which, at the same time, is reflected on its surface. This temporary reproduction of the city gets overlapped by reflections of the passers-by and invites them to stay, to watch and to remember."

Below, the plaza, situated at the edge of the Inner City at Donaukanal, before and after.


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  1. That's going to look exactly like a pool of Pepto Bismol...

    Posted by: Michael W. | Jul 20, 2007 5:26:47 PM

  2. So they're digging up a lot of grass and shubbery, replacing it with ugly, cold stone, and, yes, a pool of diluted Pepto Bismol featuring the most absurd ahistorical use of the Q-word yet. Kitsch mit Schlag!

    Posted by: Leland | Jul 20, 2007 5:39:22 PM

  3. seems like there couldn't have been that many entries if that's how limp the final turned out... tho being Austria i'm sure the decision was arrived at after many an exhaustive symposia.

    Posted by: A.J. | Jul 20, 2007 5:45:51 PM

  4. Excellent idea to have a public commemoration...That said, the link notes that the piece intends to "make waves" in "a shallow pool of water." That about sums up the design right there...

    Posted by: Gianpiero | Jul 20, 2007 5:56:45 PM

  5. Why the parentheses in 'QUE(E)R'? I don't see any secondary meaning here that they might have been trying to highlight. Were they just unsure how to spell it?

    Posted by: R | Jul 20, 2007 6:10:07 PM

  6. Jesus, why does it have to be pink? Most gay men I know have no affinity to that color!

    Posted by: whatever | Jul 20, 2007 6:18:51 PM

  7. They're ripping-out all that grass and shrubbery to replace it with a sterile plain of paving-stone and a pink puddle?Points-off.... And, I can understand the imperitive to use pink, but pink-stained water? If they left 80% of the grass and landscaping with just a band of walking stone around the pool, they could have worked a more subtle band at the water's edge of pink-granite triangles and left the water alone.

    I just don't see the moral-point of using the Nazi's symbol for deviants as a "symbol of pride". Personally, I think it just perpetuates that the Nazi's then won the arguement.

    Posted by: Ted B. (Charging Rhino) | Jul 20, 2007 6:33:21 PM

  8. Why abuse the attractive grass and trees? Who did they bash?

    A much better memorial would be to invest the money , time, and effort into enshrining and [protecting civil rights for gays. Oh maybe boosting the pay of police who deal with hate crimes against gays. The added bonus is the small green space filled with innocent clean grass and trees does not get turned into what amounts to nothing more than an overglorified parking lot.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 20, 2007 7:28:14 PM

  9. On closer comparison of the photos, I realize that the plaza might already be there on the other side of the shubbery in the picture on the left.

    And I do support the use of the pink triangle to inform the 99% of the world that still have no idea that gays were among the Nazi's victims. But it is STILL an absurd implementation.

    Posted by: Leland | Jul 20, 2007 7:28:47 PM

  10. Ok...sorry if this sounds clueless...but...why is the 'e' in parenthesis? (Please don't revoke my gay card.)

    Posted by: Aaron | Jul 20, 2007 8:17:28 PM

  11. no, leland i think you're right. it looks like they are planning to destroy green space and replace it with block. what a weird soviet era design choice. too bad.

    Posted by: dan | Jul 20, 2007 9:14:59 PM

  12. Waaaa, what can I criticize about this. Waaaaaa, where a memorial exists, grass does not. Waaaaa, it's pink. Waaaaa, money was spent on this that could've gone elsewhere. Waaaaa, waaaa, waaaaa, waaaaa, waaaa, waaaaaa.

    Posted by: Johnny | Jul 21, 2007 12:26:45 AM

  13. Wait. "Why pink?" you ask.

    Most gay men I know aren't really fond of pink. (I have one pretty cool shirt, but that's beside the point.)

    I just think it's worth noting that it's pretty likely the gay Europeans that had to wear the color pink while in the concentration camps didn't care for it much either. Embracing the color in a memorial seems really appropriate to me.

    I'm not terribly thrilled with the design and I question the effort involved with maintenance, but as long as I respect the purpose behind a monument or installation, I can dig it.

    Posted by: Rey | Jul 21, 2007 1:03:50 AM

  14. Aaron...I don't think any of us know why the letter 'e' is in parentheses.

    I'm glad to see that everyone here echoes my view that this memorial will lay waste to green space in favor of a very mediocre (at best) design. Now...what can we do to stop it from happening?

    Posted by: peterparker | Jul 21, 2007 2:19:41 AM

  15. Quer means "across" in German, that's why one e is in parenthesis. I think it's because you can walk across it.

    Actually the idyllic looking grass and trees are next to one of Viennas busiest streets and are heavily frequented by drug-dealers. They are also currently restructuring the area to make it more attractive. So I can see why they want to change it into a plaza.

    Posted by: simon | Jul 21, 2007 6:10:56 AM

  16. I think that it is a terrific idea! Love it! Maybe Congress will erect a monument on The Mall to all the AIDS victims who suffered and died at the hands of a Reagan-led republican beaurocracy. Not!

    Posted by: John | Jul 21, 2007 9:51:35 AM

  17. Absolutely hideous. Pink water? Tasteless and vulgar.
    There's got to be a more dignified way to comemmorate the lives lost, less simplistic and unimaginative.

    Add me to the list of people who are OVER having the color pink ascribed to gay victimhood. Yes, I've read immense amounts about about Nazi atrocities- THEY were the ones who stamped the gays with pink triangles. European gays before the war had NO attachment to the color, and for the most part blended into their societies.

    Why we want to cling to these Nazi-imposed symbols of victimhood and femininity might be a worthy question to ask.

    I'm sure there's PLENTY who'll disagree.

    Posted by: James | Jul 21, 2007 11:22:57 AM

  18. My god.. it's.. it's... horrible. It's butt ugly, looks like a parking lot that someone had a pepto spill in, and is totally a non lasting monument. Its a small hole in the ground. In 20 years there won't be any notice when it disapears.

    as far as what they are destroying to create it.. sheeshe, its no wonder they hate us. Taking a beutuful green area and turning it into a sun baked parking lot? wtf.

    A nice statue under the tree would have been far more aprapos,

    Posted by: AJ | Jul 21, 2007 3:10:26 PM

  19. All I can say is AMEN to the comments already here.

    I can somewhat understand using the pink triangle when specifically recognizing and honoring the gay men killed and imprisoned by the Nazi regime (by taking a symbol of shame and using it as a symbol of honor) but I don't much care for the use of it to generally represent the modern GLBT community.

    Posted by: Zeke | Jul 21, 2007 5:24:59 PM

  20. Good intentions and long past due but obviously designed by a straight man.

    Posted by: rudy | Jul 21, 2007 8:19:03 PM

  21. I for one think it is the perfect expression. I'm impressed. Edward, Los Angeles

    Posted by: Edward | Jul 22, 2007 2:53:50 AM

  22. like usual ,men forgetting woman with the black triangle.....more proof gay guys love to spit on the lesbians!!!! pathetic

    Posted by: lisa | Jul 22, 2007 9:05:36 AM

  23. Rosa Platz is better translated as Pink Plaza or Pink Square.

    Posted by: Lev Raphael | Jul 22, 2007 10:28:20 AM


    Posted by: Lisa | Jul 25, 2007 7:49:43 AM


    Posted by: Lisa | Jul 25, 2007 7:50:36 AM

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