Tuesday, April 19, 2011

One man's story.

An excerpt of a survivor of the Holocaust, Pierre Seel.
Pierre was a Frenchman who was persecuted for being gay. He was arrested and put in prison, tortured, raped and abused.
He wrote an auto biography, 'I, Pierre Seel: Deported Homosexual' in which he wrote about his experiences of the war.

"One day the loudspeakers ordered us to report immediately to the roll-call site. Shouts and yells urged us to be there without delay. Surrounded by SS men, we had to form a square and stand at attention, as we did for morning roll call. The commandant appeared with his entire general staff. I assumed he was going to bludgeon us once again with his blind faith in the Reich, together with a list of orders, insults and threats -- emulating the infamous outpourings of his master, Adolph Hitler. But the actual ordeal was far worse: an execution. Two SS men brought a young man to the center of the square. Horrified, I recognized Jo, my loving friend, who was only 18 years old. I hadn't previously spotted him in the camp. Had he arrived before or after me? We hadn't seen each other during the days before I was summoned by the Gestapo.

"Now I froze in terror. I prayed that he would escape their lists, their roundups, their humiliations. And here he was, before my powerless eyes, which filled with tears. Unlike me, he had not carried dangerous letters, torn down posters, or signed any statements. What had happened? What had the monsters accused him of? Because of my anguish I have completely forgotten the wording of the death sentence.

"The loudspeakers broadcast some noisy classical music while the SS stripped him naked and shoved a tin pale over his head. Next, they sicced their ferocious German shephards on him: the guard dogs first bit into his groin and thighs, then devoured him right in front of us. His shrieks of pain were distorted and amplified by the pain in which his head was trapped. My rigid body reeled, my eyes gaped at so much horror, tears poured down my cheeks, I fervently prayed that he would black out quickly.

"Since then I sometimes wake up howling in the middle of the night. For fifty years now that scene has kept ceaselessly passing and repassing through my mind. I will never forget the barbaric murder of my love -- before my eyes, before our eyes, for their were hundreds of witnesses..."

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