-The Gates of
©2020 Gay Military Signal
I was born just outside the
gates of hell; so
close, I could hear the screams of horror and
smell the stench of immutable despair.
My parents were Jewish German
Refugees from the genocidal Nazi Holocaust.
I was born in America in the autumn after the
close of World War II in the mid 1940s.
Some six million Jews and
more than a million homosexuals had been
martyred by the Nazi Holocaust of Germany’s
genocidal war on humanity. We children,
born in freedom, bore the burden of replacing
those relatives who had not survived, those
who's ashes were buried beneath the rubble,
barbed wire and snow in the mass graves of the
death camps of Eastern Europe. I was among
the chosen to replace their souls in a new land,
in freedom. I grew up in a refugee
community where every adult had escaped via a
life and death journey; hiking through cold
forests in the dark of night fearing barking
dogs on the trail of their scent; stumbling ever
west towards a border into the next country;
starving, in stinking cloths worn for weeks.
They tried to be invisible on trains as conductors walked right past them
pretending not to see them, not to smell them,
Found shivering in barns, local farmers hid them
and fed them even though their own food was
rationed as warring armies rumbled across their
ruined fields. In those desperate
days of wartime Europe no one had any money and
money had no value; but the compassion of
strangers, risking their own lives, was worth
its weight in gold.
They crossed the Atlantic Ocean below
decks, in cheap steerage; only allowed into the
fresh air on deck when the ship arrived in New
York Harbor, sailing past the Statue of
Liberty at dawn; with refugees crowded shoulder to
shoulder; as Lady Liberty hove into view holding
its torch of freedom aloft, everyone burst into
tears, "AMERICA! OH MY GOD, AMERICA!
SAFE, SAFE AT LAST!" My own mother arrived
that very way, as an illegal immigrant, without
papers. She was allowed to stay.
Our parents didn't want us to
know what had come before. They didn't
tell us. How could we not have known.
Every adult in our refugee community had lost
parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and
cousins in the Nazi death camps. If one of
us children laughed, they burst into tears.
Where they came from, where they had lived in
silent hiding for years, if a child laughed it
led to Heimat (Homeland) Security, the Gestapo,
kicking down doors and sending entire families,
including children, to the gas chambers and
ovens of Auschwitz.
I was born with the baggage
of my parent's sorrows; the nightmares and angst
of humanity. I remembered all that they
wished to forget, things that I was never told,
things they intended for me not to know. Doom
was not something that might someday happen; it
had already consumed them. That was my
childhood, to me it was normal; I didn't know
I grew up anyway, and during
Vietnam I volunteered to serve, to pay my
country back for my family's freedom. Life
went on, I got old. And now, all these
years later, as I see the president's Haimat
Security army, like the Gestapo, invade Portland,
just as Hitler invaded Poland,
arresting ordinary people and 'disappearing'
them, my childhood's inherited horrors
have been reawakened. Suddenly I'm
remembering those dead ghosts of Holocaust
martyred Jews and gay men that were somewhere in
my childhood's archetypal
memory; woven into my genetic zeitgeist, and
blended with my wounded ethnic hand-me-down
Jewish Queerness. And I think, "NOT AGAIN!
Oh My God, Not Again!"
In 1942 Hitler revoked the
German citizenship of all German Jews, by
dictatorial decree. That left my mother,
already in America, stateless. In fact, it
advanced her application for American
citizenship. My father, an international
lawyer, actually helped to write the postwar
German legislation giving the right of return
German citizenship to the children and
grandchildren of those wartime refugees, such as
my mother, whose citizenship was revoked by
Hitler. So now, if I cared to, I could
fascism as an
American refugee entitled to democratic German
As I write these words, my father would be
turning over in his grave, if he could.
Who the hell
are these devils in the president's American Haimat Security army?
They are the same soulless border patrol Gestapo who tore
screaming terrified little Hispanic migrant children from their
parent's arms, drove them away forever, and
threw them in cages without food nor toilets nor
any adult care. Monsters!
their semi automatic rifles at unarmed American
protestors in Portland, they aimed their semi
automatic rifles at a 'wall of mothers'
protecting the protestors, and aimed them at our
sacred American veterans! MOTHERS AND
In 1943 a Nazi Feld Marshal found out that there were still
Jews living in Berlin. They were registered
slave laborers who were the husbands of
Christian wives. Outraged, he ordered them
rounded up and arrested. They were held in
an old schoolhouse on Rosen Strasse for
processing and shipment to a death camp.
My grandpa was one of those men. Their
wives held a protest in the winter cold and
snow, for weeks, demanding the release of their
husbands. The Feld Marshal sent a truck
with Gestapo national troops who set up machine
guns in the street to kill them. A
powerful Baron intervened at the last moment,
the troops were withdrawn, and the men were
released. My grandma was one of the 'Rosen Strasse Women.' I remember, I
And now, the
president of the Unites States of America has
sent in his own Gestapo national troops to
Portland, ready to fire on mothers! NEXT,
he will declare martial law and cancel the
Presidential election. I remember, I
remember everything! It has happened
before, and the descendent of a racist Nazi
immigrant is reenacting his grandfather's hate.