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It's finished! The monument to the world's first homosexual emancipation movement, instigated by the Lesbian and Gay Association of Berlin-Brandenburg (LSVD), has been inaugurated directly on the embankment opposite the Federal Chancellery. Now open after a long approval process, it is worth a visit on account of its unique visual impact.
Stromnetz Berlin is one of the companies supporting the construction and installation of this important symbol. Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Stromnetz Berlin, cut the opening ribbon together with Senator of Justice Dr Dirk Behrendt and other partners. As a partner of the city, the company previously provided lighting for the entire Magnus-Hirschfeld-Ufer, which is now fully functional again. In addition, Stromnetz Berlin installed the power supply system so that the monument can be illuminated and reveal its unique impact. In addition to this work, the distribution system operator is also responsible for cleaning and for repairing any faults.
"We are campaigning with the other members of the Alliance Against Homophobia for a life free of discrimination. One part of this work is the active support of this important monument," said Thomas Schäfer in his welcoming address. "We are proud that we have been able to play an active role and that for the next nine years we will be able to enliven and illuminate the monument as one of its supporters."
Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Stromnetz Berlin, at the inauguration, Image: Tajana Meyer, LSVD
Supporters' welcoming speeches, Image: Tatjana Meyer, LSVD
In November 2015, a jury chose the "CALLA" monument design. The six, roughly four-metre-high CALLA lilies in rainbow colours appear confident and positive and have an impressive long-distance impact – right up to the Federal Chancellery. The CALLA lily has female and male flowers on one plant and is therefore a symbol of the normality of sexual and gender diversity in nature.
The first homosexual emancipation movement began 120 years ago with the foundation of the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, on 15 May 1897. It was the first organisation in history to bring people together to collectively campaign against anti-homosexual criminal laws. The Jewish doctor and sexual scientist Dr Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) was the initiator and authoritative representative of this movement.
Since December 2015, Stromnetz Berlin has been the first company from the energy sector to join the Alliance Against Homophobia. Among the projects it supports are the Christopher Street Day in Berlin and the Schöneberg Rainbow Festival.