I am not alone
The Nazi officer shouts at me when he sees me emerge from one of the barracks.
He has hated me from the day I arrived at camp, blaming me for some teacher he says seduced his son to become homosexual
He would have shot me except I believe he likes to torment me.
So he keeps me alive.
I try to tell him homosexuality doesnít rub off. It isnít taught. It is something that comes from nature.
This only makes him hate me more.
He treats me as bad as he treats the Jews, denying me food the way he often doesnít them, whipping me when I wonít work as hard as they do.
I can not believe this is going on.
How can good German people allow anyone to do this to other humans, Jew or not?
The Jews feel sorry for me, strange comfort from a people I once hated as much as the Nazi officer does.
The Jews even share with me what little food they have -- now that the Red Cross packages had been held up by the war and the priests donít visit as often as they once did.
When I have a hard time working, some Jews even help me with that.
They donít seem to care that I am a homosexual.
They even try to keep me out of sight so that I donít tempt the wrath of the officer.
But in a camp like this, we have very few places to hide.
When the officer seeks me out, he always finds me.
Sometimes, he yanks me into a room with other soldiers and tells me what a freak of nature I cam.
They beat me and toss me out into the cold, telling others nobody better help me again or face getting shot.
Most times I was left to crawl back to my cramped barracks to whimper in my bunk while the Jews above and below me try not to notice.
This last time, it was not the Jews that risked their lives to help me, but several German soldiers, who seemed to feel bad about Germans beating Germans, homosexual or not.
They pull me into a warm space after dark and tell me I ought to be treated better than a Jew.
They feel so sorry for me that they even give me food I have not tasted since I came to camp.
For this reason, I eat hurriedly with some vague thought in the back of my head telling me maybe I might survive this place after all.
I overhear the soldiers talking about gas chambers and how some Jews will soon be shipped to them.
No horror yet inflicted on me touched my German soul so deeply.
We all hear talk of such places, of mass killings, but always dismiss them as far beyond any horrific act even the Nazis would inflict.
To be marked for death for being something different -- something we are born into -- is beyond all comprehension.
And suddenly, that one Nazi who hates me becomes the image of all Nazis, the face of evil itself, creating in the image of Satan not God.
To keep me from being beaten again, the soldiers put me in an isolated cell, where they continue to bring me foot.
I am out of sight of the Nazi officer, who may even believe I am dead.
And for the first time since I prayed to God as a child to make me like other boys -- not a Homosexual -- I pray in thanks for allowing me to be born something other than a Jew.
When the officer discovers that I am not dead, he is so outraged he has the soldiers who helped me shot.
I expect another beating.
But the Nazi officer tells me he has something better in mind for me.
I know then that he plans to send me to the gas chambers with the Jews.
I cry and pray for salvation.
Yet I know that if God failed to answer my boyhood prayers to change me from being a homosexual, God wonít stop this either.
Oddly enough, in the hours before they come to collect me, I am strangely at peace.
Part of it is that death will no longer make me feel different.
Part of it is the sad truth that I will not die alone.
Part of it is the fact that in death I will no longer have to enduring this place, the hunger, pain and cold.
But I think mostly I feel as if there is nothing more the Nazis and his kind can do to me once I am gone.