A Rent Boy in the Third Reich
Publication date: June 2011
Digital Book format: PDF (Adobe DRM)
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Description The liberalism of the old Weimar republic was replaced by its opposite- the brutality of the Third Reich. Berlin particularly had seemed a liberal, tolerant city, but the gay bars and cabarets, the organizations campaigning for gay-straight equality, were obliterated with the emergence of Hitler. This difficult novel is about a homosexual teenager, Hans, who leaves conservative Bavaria in the German South and heads to a Berlin that appears to be more liberated. He becomes a waiter in a night club, and, simultaneously, a rent- boy. He sells himself for sex. What is being debated is exploitation, oppression, and death. Germany would no longer accept gay love under Hitler. Gays were hounded, gays were spied on, gays were imprisoned, gays were murdered... The narrative includes the Night of the Long Knives, Kristallnacht, and the insanity of war after 1939. The book jerks irregularly through time, with flashbacks by the doomed Hans as he considers his past from his unhealthy bunk in a Nazi death camp. The ultimate destination of this story is the gas chamber... About the Author Zekria Ibrahimi (born in 1959) is defined by his schizophrenia. It first hit him long ago, in his late teens. He is fifty one years old now, grey and frail, almost a pensioner, with all the aches and injuries of age, and he does not always want to remember how, as an adolescent in the late 1970's, he suddenly became afraid of everything surrounding him, and, worst of all, of himself. He would run around the countryside and knock at the doors of strangers because he feared the apocalypse was pursuing him ... He would pick up rubbish outside in alleys and streets and hoard it in his not very palatial lodgings ... He was always wandering away from home, searching for ... what would never be found again ... the straight route, the level way ... He was a tramp, freezing during the nights in public toilets where he had various unsavoury insects as company on the cold concrete... There were years of pain when his schizophrenia became almost his only companion- albeit a sadistic one, punishing him even as he hugged it. Perhaps, to echo both R. D. Laing and Emily Dickinson, it is the entire globe, it is general society, that is truly insane. Schizophrenics simply burrow all too deeply under the surface. They reach the very core of the savage reality in us all. Most varnish over the anarchic truth within through the superficial sham paraded as 'civilization'. Schizophrenics prefer to be uncomfortably honest barbarians. Eventually, after much psychotic shouting on Hammersmith Broadway, the hapless Zekria was confined at the Charing Cross unit in the West London Mental Health Trust. Following the unsafe unstable freedom of his schizophrenia, came the restrictions of Section 3. He would not have survived without the multi- racial compassion of the individual doctors and nurses in Charing Cross. Yet the overall SYSTEM remains an ogre of rules and restraints, and the INSTITUTION of psychiatry can be as cold and vicious as in the days of lobotomy and insulin shock. Now he is elderly, but still he muses about being locked up, drugged up, about how, with schizophrenia, the treatment can be worse than the disease...