/ The Amsterdam Guide
Amsterdam — By Marianne on October 14, 2009 at 4:34 am

Amsterdam’s Pink Triangle

A pink granite triangle straddles the square behind the Westerkerk. It symbolizes the sign homosexuals were forced to wear during Nazi occupation. The monument commemorates gay men and lesbians who were imprisoned or executed during WWII.

In 1970 gay activists laid a lavender wreath at the foot of the national monument on Dam Square during the annual national memorial service on 4th May. The intention was to draw public attention to the atrocities to homosexuals during the war years. This lavender wreath laying continued all through the 1970s. Each year the police removed the wreath before the official ceremony began.

homomonument westermarkt amsterdam

In the early 1980 the government granted approval for a homo memorial. Funds were raised and the pink triangle was embedded in the pavement in 1987.

One side of the triangle points to Keizersgracht and represents the jetty from which gays embarked trains heading for concentration camps.

The ground level triangle points to the Anne Frankhuis. The inscription reads: Naar vriendschap zulk een mateloos verlangen, a quote from the Dutch gay poet Jacob Israel de Haan (1881-1924), and translates as Such an Endless Desire for Friendship.

homo monument amsterdam

 The raised triangle points to COC, the Dutch Association for Homosexuals.

Across the square is Pink Point, a souvenir-cum-info centre. Pick up free leaflets of gay, lesbian bars, clubs, restaurants and events.

If you are in Amsterdam the first week of August, be sure to get information about Amsterdam Gay Pride Festival when canals, streets and squares colour pink.


photo credit: carmen_seaby and arthur-a

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