Tens of thousands of lesbians and gays are expected to fill the streets for a parade starting near Humboldt University on the city’s boulevard Unter den Linden via the Potsdamer Platz to Berlin´s Victory Column, the Siegessäule.
The city’s openly gay Mayor Klaus Wowereit won’t join the parade for the first time during his mayorship, since on Sunday Wowereit will travel to Vienna for the Germany-Spain Euro 2008 final.
Around 500,000 visitors and onlookers are expected to join the CSD parade on Saturday. This year’s motto is “Have anything against it?” as a play on the word “hate” and “have” in German, which the organizers hope to draw attention to the fact that homosexuals are still subject to violence in this day and age.
And on Saturday morning Bundestag’s Vice President Wolfgang Thierse attended a ceremony at a new memorial in honour of homosexuals persecuted and murdered by the Nazis. The Nazis outlawed homosexuality in 1936 and it is estimated that they sent between 5,000 and 15,000 gays to concentration camps.
The first Christopher Street Parade in Germany took place in 1979 in the cities of Bremen and Berlin, and was inspired by the original New York City Christopher Street Parade in 1969.