Gay History #3, Part 2

By Charles Alexander

Parting Glances

During the Nazi terror reign that culminated only in Germany's defeat by the Allies in 1945, about 15,000 gay men were incarcerated in the camps where an estimated 60 percent were brutally worked to death.

Those homosexuals who somehow survived found liberation by British and American soldiers of short duration. As criminals under Germany's Paragraph 175 penal code they were sent back to prison.

Gad Beck, a Jew and gay - as well as a resistance fighter - was fortunate to be liberated after only one year of incarceration. In his autobiography he tells of an incident that occurred during up-at-dawn roll call.

The unfortunate gay prisoner, starved, freezing, did not call out his ID number loud enough. As penalty a milk bucket was placed over his head, his hands tied, and prisoners standing next to him were forced to whack a wooden board over, and over, and over, and over against the bucket.

Beck, who died last year at age 88, was what the 1935 Nazi-imposed Nuremberg Jewish Laws classified as a mishling - half Jew, half gentile. This "status" allowed him to live longer than most full Jews. Beck was also a courageous underground resistance fighter, at one point daring to try to rescue his Jewish lover from certain concentration camp death.

Beck stole a German Youth uniform, entered the Auschwitz concentration camp, and requested the release of his friend for a fake road building defense project. Beck's pretense worked. His friend was granted escorted leave; but then told Beck with much sorrow and strong family loyalty that he could not leave his parents behind. He and his family perished.

Recently some members of biblical Fundamentalist mental low-wattage have stooped to a new egregious low by telling yet another Big Lie - one might add, just like the Nazis propagandists once did - claiming that homosexuals in Nazi Germany are responsibility for the Holocaust.

(Conversely, let's try this on for ill logic. In the final defeat of Germany there were some American homosexuals - albeit closeted - and it was these who were responsible for winning the war. Call it a Big Pink Lie!)

Fundamentalists don't seem to be aware that the Gospel of St. John is an anti-Semitic book, blaming Jews not Romans for Jesus' death. Nor do these Bible-belters know that Martin Luther, founder of Lutheranism, wrote an eight-item diatribe of how he felt Jews - killers of Christ - should be treated. It's chilling. Homes and synagogs were to be burned.

Shamefully, and point by vicious point, Luther's recommendations were implemented by the Nazis on Kristal Nacht, 1938. The skies were filled with suffocating terror. Gas chambers and flaming ovens followed soon after. Should today's Christians be blamed?

In May of this year Carolina Pastor Charles L. Worley, of Providence Road Baptist Church, suggested airlifting all the "queers and homosexuals" and dropping them off into electric fenced pens until they all die.

There's a slogan making the rounds these days in many mainline churches. It goes, "God is good all the time, all the time." One can only wonder. Maybe good just some of the time. For some of the people. Jews and gays not included.

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