Monument Commemorating the Homosexual and Transgender Victims of National Socialism in Austria

permanent installation consisting of a shallow basin with a surface of 20 x 20 meters, filled with pink-colored water

Location: Morzinplatz, 1010 Vienna

Planned opening: early summer 2007

Hans Kupelwieser


Vienna is going to have a memorial commemorating the homosexual and transgender victims of National Socialism. By creating such a place of memory both, passers-by and the broad public representing Vienna’s city life shall be made aware of the fact that under the Nazi regime people were persecuted, deported and murdered for their sexual orientation and identity together with many other groups of victims.

The initiative was launched on the occasion of the anniversary year of the Austrian Republic 2005 by Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, the City Councillor for Cultural Affairs and Science, and Sonja Wehsely, the City Councillor with responsibility for antidiscrimination.

The City of Vienna’s Department for Cultural Affairs and Science and its Department for Integration, Questions of Women’s Rights, Consumer’s Protection and Human Resources decided Morzinplatz, situated at the edge of the Inner City at Donaukanal, to be the location for the memorial. That is why Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien (Art in Public Space Vienna) invited seven artists to participate in an international competition. The Wissenschaftszentrum Wien organized the competition. The advisory board for Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien and members of the jury co-opted as experts decided on the submitted concepts. A community board with representatives from Vienna’s main lesbian, gay and transgender institutions, created especially for this competition, had also been incorporated in the discussion process.

Now the project Der Rosa Platz | The Pink Place submitted by the Austrian artist Hans Kupelwieser is going to be realized.

The Pink Place is a shallow stretch of water covering 400 m2 on the Morzinplatz. The water itself will be colored pink.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.

"QUE(E)R" is a symbol for the commemoration of the victimized and murdered homosexuals and transgender persons of the past. "QUE(E)R" is an autonomous platform and a basis for the future of all (sexually) different-minded people. "QUE(E)R" is an allusion to the internationally common description for gays, lesbians, intersexuals and transgenders – all those who break the rules of hetero-normativity. “Unconventional thinker” (“Querdenker” in German), “to be crosswise” (“quer sein”), “to oppose to something” (“sich querlegen”) are further associations which the term “QUE(E)R” provokes. "QUE(E)R" builds a bridge across 2time. It is memory, it breaks (traditions) and permanently opens new ways and makes waves.

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.



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