Jewish Politician: Memorial Not for Gays, Others Also Killed by Nazis

by Kilian Melloy
Tuesday Jun 9, 2009

An anti-gay New York politician has ruffled feathers by proposing that a Holocaust Memorial in Brooklyn exclude all victims of the Nazis except for Jews.

State Assemblyman Dov Hikind acknowledged that in addition to six million Jews, the Nazis and their collaborators murdered an estimated 5 million non-Jews, including gays, people with physical and mental challenges, Jehovah's Witnesses, and others.

However, "To include these other groups diminishes [the murdered Jews'] memory," said Hikind in an address at Holocaust Memorial Park.

The park was dedicated in 1985. In 1997, the memorial was added. More recently, there has been interest in adding to the text at the memorial by referencing non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

A June 8 article in the New York Post reported that state Assemblyman Dov Hikind made his comments June 7 during an appearance at the park together with his mother, an 89-year-old survivor of one of the most infamous of the Nazi death camps, Auschwitz.

If other groups who were victimized by the Nazis are to be remembered, Hikind argued, it should be with a separate memorial.

Said Hikind of non-Jewish victims of Nazi violence, "These people are not in the same category as Jewish people with regards to the Holocaust."

Added Hikind, "It is so vastly different. You cannot compare political prisoners with Jewish victims."

The Post reported that the memorial is slated to include references to gays, Gypsies, political prisoners, Jehovah's Witnesses, and others who also were marked out for death under the Nazis.

Openly lesbian City Council Speaker Christine Quinn commented, "There's no doubt that most of the atrocities at the Holocaust were done upon Jewish people," the Post reported.

"But it goes against history and their memory to not commemorate all groups that were persecuted by the Nazis."

Noted New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg also spoke out, noting, "It wasn't only the Jews that were massacred."

The mayor also defended the idea of memorializing various demographics that had been targeted and persecuted by the Nazis, saying that "diversity is something we want emphasized--not deemphasized" by the memorial.

Community Board 15 president Theresa Scavo said, "The Holocaust memorial means you memorialize anyone who died in the Holocaust.

"It doesn't matter what color or sexual orientation you were."

Daily Gotham picked on the story in a June 8 posting titled, "Who Owns the Holocaust?"

The posting noted that, "The first concentration camps did not house Jews, but rather political dissidents including Catholics, communists and liberals.

"Racial genocide was aimed to a large degree against Jews, but also Gypsies and Slavs. Plus the mentally ill of all races were targeted for genocide."

Added the posting, "Those are facts, and they are pretty harsh and brutal facts.

"Nazi Germany targeted a wide range of humanity in their insane, disgusting attack on civilization."

The posting accused Hikind of "want[ing] to rewrite history so that only Jews were affected by the Holocaust," going on to declare, "The Holocaust is by NO MEANS AT ALL A UNIQUELY JEWISH EVENT."

Noted the posting, "The Holocaust STARTED against political dissidents and from beginning to end included millions of non-Jews."

The posting posted that Hikind's views constituted another form of "Honocaust denial," stating, "Dov's version of Holocaust denial is JUST as disgusting as that of Iran or neo-Nazis who deny that Jews were targeted for genocide."

The posting also recollected that Assemblyman Hikind had supported racial profiling as a means of identifying which passengers on public transportation should be have their bags searched by officials.

Hikind, according to a Wikipedia entry, had promoted the searches of Middle Easterners and Muslims.

The Wikipedia article also said that Hikind had promoted greater closed-circuit camera security on the subway lines that service Jewish neighborhoods, and had compared marriage equality to letting people in incestuous relationships wed.

Said Hikind, "If we authorize gay marriage in the state of New York, those who want to live and love incestuously will be five steps closer to achieving their goals as well."

A bill currently before the New York state Senate to extend marriage equality to gay and lesbian families in that state passed the Assembly last month.

Two years ago, the Assembly approved a similar bill, which the then-Republican-dominated state Senate never voted on.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


  • Julie, 2009-06-09 15:56:15

    5,000-6,000 Gay & Lesbian perished in the camps The vast majority of Holocaust victims - nearly 6 million, according to estimates - were Jews. But there were other victims, too - Communists and socialists, who were persecuted for political reasons who were deemed insufficiently devoted to the Nazi cause; Slavs and gypsies, who were considered racially inferior; and homosexuals, who were attacked both for their sexual orientation and for not doing enough to further Hitler’s dream of creating an Aryan master race. Once arrested, accused homosexuals had roughly a one-in-three chance of being convicted and sent to prison. From there, many were sent to concentration camps, where they were often given the most grueling and dangerous jobs. Convicted homosexuals were also forced to wear pink triangles on their prison uniforms - a move intended to subject them to further abuse at the hands of fellow inmates 6 Million Jews 3 Million Poles 400,000 Gypsies 50,000-100,000 Homosexuals 150,000 Disabled Germans Millions of Slavs, Russians, Socialist, Catholics, Protestants. MORE Facts Watchtower and the Nazis.

  • , 2009-06-09 16:39:21

    An anti-gay New York politician (Dov Hikind) has ruffled feathers by proposing that a Holocaust Memorial in Brooklyn exclude all victims of the Nazis except for Jews. Among many of the "others," if that term in itself is not offensive enough, the congressman wishes to exclude were Jews. Homosexual Jews, mentally ill Jews, Jews with various physical and mental disabilities. His definition of "Jew" is far too narrow. As I recall, the parallel Nazism was "Aryans and others." Jews were among the "others," now -he- wants to employ that metaphor? Shandeh. As for the insulting, "non-Jew," I have never considered myself a "non-Jew," "non-Aryan," "non-anything." If Hikind’s world is divided into memorializing Jews and "non-Jews," negative definition, it is far too small a world for me. Harold a. Maio

  • , 2009-06-09 18:38:44

    If he wants that memorial just for children of Abraham, wait, I’m confused. Aren’t all human beings children of Abraham? I think we should put Dov Hikind on the "Not wanted on voyage" list.

  • , 2009-06-09 19:25:01

    he shames himself w/his beliefs and his ignorance..the number of Queer deaths is estimated to be closer to a million..and each death of anyone in the camps diminished us ALL..if I knew yiddish for douche bag I’d insert that phrase here..

  • , 2009-06-10 08:18:08

    It is an insult to memorialize the handful of anti-societal trouble-seeking JWs alongside the MILLIONS of Jewish Holocaust victims given that Jehovah’s Witnesses view the Jews much as did the Nazis. The WatchTower Society teaches its own version of "replacement theology", which says that GOD rejected the Jews as His "chosen people", and replaced them with today’s "Jehovah’s Witnesses". In fact, the title "Jehovah’s Witnesses" was originally applied to the Jews by the Prophet Isaiah, and is even quoted on the wall at the entrance to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. The WatchTower Society, in calling its own members "Jehovah’s Witnesses" is attempting to steal that designation away from the Jews. The WatchTower Society even teaches that all of the Bible’s promises of restoration for the Jewish people now belongs to the followers of the WatchTower Cult. Compare the "millions" of Jewish victims with the "handful" of Jehovah’s Witnesses. There were only approximately 6000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany during the 1930s-40s. While many of those 6000 German JWs were repeatedly arrested during the 1930s and 1940s, only a fraction were jailed in local jails or imprisoned for any significant length of time. Only about 200-300 German JWs lost their lives, and the majority of those died from any number of causes other than having been executed. Approximately 1000 JWs from other European countries lost their lives while incarcerated by the Nazis. During that same time period, there were more Jehovah’s Witnesses arrested and jailed in the United States than in Germany. In fact, from 1941 until 1945, approximately 4500 American Jehovah’s Witnesses "elected" to go to prison rather than serve in the U.S. Military and go fight against those same Nazis who were committing those atrocities. Approximately 3000 of those 4500 American JWs were even offered "conscientious objector" status, in which they were offered "non-combatant" work as a substitute, but 99% of those JWs refused to even that.

  • , 2009-06-10 10:07:12

    If a job is non-combatant in support of military action Jehovahs Witnesses will never participate in that activity. We pay our taxes, support alternative service in support of society in every country, we support the free market economies where we live and help prevent crime thru our preaching activity in many neighborhoods. First century Christians refused any military service required by the Roman Government according to historians Tertullian and Origen. Therefore Jehovahs Witnesses will never participate in any military connected activity in following Christ Jesus lead. Those that use the sword shall perish by it. During WWII the US Military as well as many other nations military’s killed MILLIONS of innocent children and mothers from every nationality. The US Military killed thousands of Native Americans in the 1800’s simply in the name of greedy conquest. Christ will remember those evil and wicked offenses when he comes in judgment soon fulfilling Revelation 19:18. Its high time to leave the religious nationalism of the nations and cleanse oneself of their evil ways. Daniel 2:44 is so beautiful. Good riddance greedy nations forever.

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