Like gay men far and wide, most of those forced into Nazi concentration camps (and trapped there long after the War) were vivid individuals of flair, sensitivity and accomplishment. Yet their status was lowest of the low among prisoners, a life of relentless bullying, physical torment, and violation. Many were castrated or destroyed in medical experiments. Thousands died gruesomely, to the sound of jeers.
This image honours these despised and beautiful souls - kindred to me, like brothers, and now mostly forgotten - for their dignity at the heel of unimaginable terror and suffering.
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.
- W. H. Auden, from "September 1, 1939"
TITLE - "Camp Clown"
WHERE - Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Museum, Oranienburg, Germany (2015)