The large, gray rectangular block — 11.8 feet (3.6 meters) tall and 6.2 feet (1.9 meters) wide — is breached only by a small window on one side through which visitors can view a 90-second black-and-white art film of two men kissing.

The vandals smashed the window.

The following day, openly gay Mayor Klaus Wowereit joined a demonstration at the site, saying: ”An attack against this memorial is clearly directed against homosexuals — that can be said without waiting for further police investigations. We must show our condemnation of this
act of intolerance and homophobia
.”

A still from the film loop that played inside Berlin's memorial
A still from the film loop that played inside Berlin's memorial

Ironically, the $942,000 box — designed by the Danish-Norwegian duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset and paid for by the federal government — is accompanied by a plaque that reads, ”A simple kiss could land you in trouble.”

In many parts of the world people are still persecuted because of their sexual identity, homosexual love is a criminal offense and a kiss can spell danger,” it says.

The memorial, unveiled May 27, sits in the Tiergarten park, half a block from the Brandenburg Gate across from the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

Some 54,000 homosexuals were arrested by the Nazis and 7,000 were exterminated.