review; branded by the pink triangle



Branded by the Pink Triangle
by Ken Setterington

A review of the book detailing the gay community within the concentration camps. today, cause no one else will talk about them

<i>Before the rise of the Nazi party, Germany, especially Berlin, was one of the most tolerant places for homosexuals in the world. Activists, including Thomas Mann and Albert Einstein, campaigned openly for the rights of gay men and women, and tried to repeal the old existing law against homosexuality. But all that would change when the Nazis came to power and existence for gay people turned into one of fear. Raids, arrests, prison sentences and expulsions became the daily reality. When the concentration camps were built, homosexuals were imprisoned along with Jews and any other groups the Nazis wanted to suppress.</i>

I read this book last year and I read it very quickly because I simply could not put it down. This book deals with the treatment of gay individuals during the second world war within Germany. This sort of thing has been lost to history because in figures those detained for being homosexual were nowhere near the number of Jews systematically murdered. We are conditioned to think of the holocaust as simply the murder of Jews but that is simply wrong. The holocaust was a mass attempt at genocide against anyone that Hitler and his followers did not deem worthy of life. That included travellers, Jews, homosexuals, communists, political activists, anyone deemed too religious, eastern Europeans deemed less worthy, non-aryans…ie most people. To make the holocaust simply about Jews does a disservice to its other victims of which there were many, hundreds of thousands, if not millions. These victims were the ones that simply didn’t appear on records. We can only guess.

I decided to write this on holocaust memorial day mostly because it reminded me that I had read this book. Then I thought of how most of the documentaries and commentaries will focus on the main group impacted in the Jewish population. I was also outraged that any documentaries talking about it will not appear until late tonight. That strikes me as wrong.

I have a genuine fascination with the Weimar Republic aka the time in Germany before Hitler came to power. They had the most democratic constitution in the world and yet still succumbed to Nazism. I think anyone can see how that alone could be fascinating. But they also had a vibrant society that was so liberal before the Great Depression. Berlin was a hub of accepting people who hung out at clubs and cafes and could be open with sexuality.

I loved reading the memories of that and getting a first person point of view of just how that happened. Berlin was seen as the hotspot of Europe for people just wanting to be themselves and yet it became their prison. Even within the camps they were treated as less than others. Homophobia created a hierarchy of prisoners. No one wants to talk about that though. No one wants to think that maybe the Jews in the camps did something wrong. Stories from others out of the camps show it was a dog eat dog world or perhaps more importantly one dog eats and the other starves.

Not all victims were equal. People did not just forget their upbringing or politics when within the camp. And as the book says gays or those accused of being so were branded by the pink triangle. It is a humanizing piece. Those put into camps with that triangle have never received a pay off. Most of the time they are never even acknowledged. For the most part it is like they do not even exist.

And that is why I take this day to talk about them. Because today will talk about everyone else.



and a happy new year

Harry New Year!


Now back to diabetic business. I stopped that diet I mentioned a few posts ago. It seems cutting out most bread, crisps, biscuits and so on is not all that great for me. I was going hypo left right and centre with no patterns to speak off. I culled insulin. I hovered over my results and did extra tests but continued to drop, drop and drop some more. I need my carbs. It just seems to be what my body prefers. Basals would remain perfect one day and without any change at all send me into horrendous hypos the next. I dropped so low once during the night that when I ‘came to’ out of my daze I was surrounded by a half empty packet of biscuits a sweet drink and was mindlessly munching my way through a long buried packet of crisps. I have not been that bad in years.


So I stepped away from the diet, started having two pieces of toast in the morning  and generally eased up on things. The hypos stopped. Whether I ate the biscuit in the afternoon or I didn’t the hypos stopped. I don’t totally understand why but I’m glad things are better now.


It does show though that certain diets don’t mix with certain conditions. Sometimes being bigger is better it seems. Overall I still think my diabetes will be better if I can shift a stone or so but this has really shown me that that is secondary. I mean I knew that before but I always had it in my mind that if I put effort into a diet, I’d lose weight and my diabetes would be grand and yay~ Well not so.


My sugars were great over Christmas…where I ate, you know, everything in site. Carb counted like a boss which I was proud of myself for! I do need to work on my pump though because I would rise a bit before I dropped again and I’d rather get that steady line so many seemed to have perfected. Doctors think it is just something my body does. It frustrates my nurse to no end.  My nurse deserves a better diabetic than me given how new she is to nursing. She deserves diabetics whose bodies follow the textbooks not mine which prances along ripping the pages out.


I’m going to need to order new pump supplies a fortnight early because of all my eating lol Though I am thinking of changing to the site meant for more athletic people, the one that goes into the skin at an angle for my animas vibe. Frankly too many of my other sites are failing. It was a concern enough that I had to go demonstrate to my nurse that I was putting them in right which was really <i>really</i> humiliating.  I’m clearly a wriggling worm in my bed. I seem to damage the inserts overnight at least one a fortnight where I crack the plastic. It isn’t like I’m a size 26 and putting a lot of weight on them or anything. I just…I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t help that I have an orthopaedic really hard mattress. But surely if the athletic one can handle falling down a mountain skiing then it can handle me?


In general though they are just not taking. It has got to the point where I know upon impact if it took or not. I always wait to see the confirmation but I’m right basically 100% of the time. I need to feel a pinch. If I hear the click and feel a hit but no pinch…I know it never pierced the skin. I should  not have to live like that though, assessing my pain threshold to see if a set took.  It should just take! When I didn’t have my pump I missed it like hell. It felt like being back in time but I also miss the safety of mdi. Very rarely did an injection fail. Pumps leave you wondering if you are ok or steamrolling towards DKA every few days and it is that serious for me. I riseSO quickly it is scary.  And of course a pump never needs replaced at a convenient time when you don’t need to eat or when there is no carb free version. I’ve seen me get anxious at uni and have to up my basal and the result us I need to change my set when I also need to eat and there is no carb free option and no time to go get one so I bolus and change and hope.  In those situations I want to have more faith in my set.


I used to be horrified at the idea of a sort of permanent implant, something that always connected to your pump and was inserted in a way that the body could not properly eject it. I’m not saying a transplant but those early ideas of a pump that you could disconnected but that the connection space was always there. People freaked out and cried android. I wouldn’t mind it. I’m going to be connected to it 24/7 anyway. My days off it last year, due to a fault, showed me I can never go back to MDI so…why not? It would remove so much stress if all I had to do was get a cartage full and make sure insulin came out the end before sticking that in a hole.


Times change people.  I have learned that too. I am no longer so set in my beliefs. Maybe that is what growing up is. The doctors only know the most recent finds. Question them at all times! I would be in a whole world of terrible if I listened to them as a child. They didn’t know kids could be different and then turn out ok. They do now. Great.


Over the break the diabetic online community could be heart-warming and heartbreaking. Some went through the whole time with bloods sitting between 5 and 6 and I admit, I seethed. Getting no rise after a meal? I’d love that but it just doesn’t seem to happen for me. But then I had people like @grumpy_pumper not saying numbers as such but boldly stating he was carbing up and having fun and I needed that.


I found my own way over Christmas and I’m still finding it now. I still want to lose weight but I’m doing it a different way from others in my home and I think it will come slow this time and that is ok. D first. Scales later.