KONSTANTIN FISCHER, HANIA, CRETE
I HAD COME AS A VISITOR
I had come on a school excursion
thirteen years old, in the early eighties,
with our German and history teachers.
I had come as a visitor and initially it had been
the plethora of colors and shapes that had caught my attention, their order, their system:
black, green, purple, blue and pink. Red and yellow of course, triangles, stripes,
triangles under stripes, triangles forming stars in all possible color combinations.
Yellow for the Jews, as everyone knew, for political prisoners red,
yellow-red stars for Jewish communists, for Jewish Germans caught abroad blue-yellow.
Green for criminals – well, they belonged behind bars, didn't they – and pink:
pink for homosexuals...
Criminals and homosexuals: nobody had told us in class.
in the dark basement of a camp turned into a museum
that word – not “criminal”, the other one –
that word that so often had been lurking for me
at the bottom of a page, in a book, in a newspaper,
suddenly, for the first time, for a split-second, that word applied to me.
As a visitor. Damn! I had come as a visitor.
Konstantin Fischer, 2013