Dangerous Territory

BY : Rhov
Category: +. to F > Attack on Titan /Shingeki No Kyojin
Dragon prints: 2485
Disclaimer: I do not own “Shingeki no Kyojin” and do not make money from this fanfic.

Chapter 13

Nursing the Sick

 

Eren awoke to a sky colored bruised purple and the smell of old shoes. He flinched at the stench and realized there was a bare foot smashed against his cheek. As he blinked out his eyes, he remembered Levi making himself a place to sleep in his bed. His foot had slipped out from under his blanket in the night and found warmth on Eren’s feverish face. Although the smell was atrocious—he made a note to order his men to let Levi take a bath—he found the situation comical.

In bed with a Jew! Hitler would be furious.

Slowly, his hand slid forward, and in the pre-dawn darkness he put two fingers on Levi’s ankle, just to feel it.

Hairy legs, just like him. So normal!

He was not sure what he had expected, but after a lifetime of hearing about how Jews were lower than animals, being this close to one fascinated him. They really were not different at all.

Levi’s toes were so tiny, it was honestly adorable. Eren touched one, tracing the length of it. Levi let out a small moan of displeasure; that was also cute and made Eren bite back a silly grin. He traced the next toe, and Levi shifted his foot away, taking it off Eren’s cheek. Levi moaned again, finding the cold not to his liking, and his foot smashed back against Eren, this time landing across his mouth. Feeling a little playful, Eren stuck his tongue out and gave the bottom of Levi’s foot a wet lick.

Levi let out a shriek and leaped from the bed. He tangled up in his blankets, landed hard on the floor, and scurried away, breaking free from the covers like escaping prison bonds.

C’était quoi, ça? Putain, c’est dégueulasse.” What the hell was that? Fuck, that’s gross.

“Sorry, sorry,” chuckled Eren.

Levi heard English, and he realized he was in an actual house, not the dungeon. “Que diable … Eren!” he cried out in outrage. “What the fuck is wrong with you?”

Just then, the door banged open, and Jean stood in pale long johns with his gun drawn. “Keine Bewegung!” Freeze!

Eren called out quickly, “Es ist sicher, alles ist gut.” It’s safe, all is good. “Sorry, Jean. He shifted in his sleep, so I hit him.” That was a lie, but there was no way he could admit what he had actually done.

Jean slowly lowered his gun. “Maybe I should hit him too for waking me up.”

“It’s fine now. Thank you.” Eren broke into coughs. “I don’t want to bother you, so is it okay if the Jew uses the kitchen to make me some tea? I also want him to bathe. He stinks.”

Jean sighed. “Whatever. If he escapes, though, this is all on you.”

“The fate of his people is bound to my survival. He knows that. He won’t run, and he won’t poison me.”

Jean mumbled, “That’s a risk I sure wouldn’t take.”

Down the hall, they heard Connie sleepily asking, “What’s going on?”

“The lieutenant is beating the Jew so he’ll make him breakfast. Go back to sleep.”

Connie groaned and closed his door. Jean sighed and turned away.

“Seriously, this is all on you, Jäger. Don’t bring the rest of the squad down with you.”

“I won’t. And thank you.”

“Don’t thank me. I should be talking you out of this, not turning a blind eye. Still, this Jew is useful, if only to translate. If he can save your pathetic life, it’s worth it, and if he can hook me up with that cute French nurse, then I owe him one.”

“I’ll ask him to tell her all about your redeeming qualities,” Eren laughed, but it turned into coughs again.

Jean’s eyes softened with concern. “Seriously, don’t you dare die on us. And you, Jew!” He glared at Levi, who was still crouched on the ground. “If he dies under your care, I’ll shoot you myself.” With that stern but loyal warning, Jean left.

Eren coughed again, feeling gurgling moisture in his lungs. “Ich hasse es, krank zu sein.” I hate being sick. He looked down to Levi, whose eyes were still narrow and leering at him. “I’m sorry.”

He kept his voice down even as it seethed in loathing. “Tu as léché mon pied, espèce de pervers.” You licked my foot, you fucking pervert.

“Your foot was smashed into my mouth.”

“You could have tapped me on the leg. Merde! What is wrong with you?”

Eren bit his lip and looked away. “It was a joke.”

“I’ve said it before: you have a sick sense of humor. Who teases another man like that except for—” His words broke off, and he stared at Eren in the pale glow of the coming morning. Levi let out a sigh and shook his head. “That’s impossible,” he whispered. Then Eren coughed again. Levi’s rage and curiosity drifted away. He stood up, wiped his wet foot on the edge of the rug, and walked back over to the bed. “Do you need anything?” His hand went to Eren’s forehead. “Mon dieu, you’re burning up. I’ll get you medicine.”

“If you could, Jean gave you permission to use the kitchen. Make that tea the nurse left. It worked last night. Then you can make us both breakfast.”

“Both?” Levi looked uncertain. “I can eat your food?”

“Sure. Although, don’t dip into the spices too much. Thomas is really strict about that.”

“But … But I can have food? Real food?”

Eren’s eyes softened. “Of course you can. Make us both something good. We should have … Eier und Würstchen … I don’t know English food words that well. Egg? Sausage?”

“Sausage?” Levi whispered, looking like this was a dream come true.

“You can help yourself.”

“No,” he said sternly. “I can’t eat the same food you do.”

“No, really—”

“Eren!” He cut him off sharply, but Levi sighed. “You’re a good man, but the world is not a good place. I will take only enough to fill my stomach. Some bread, that’s all.”

Eren pouted in displeasure at the idea. “I will lose my appetite if you don’t eat well.”

“Then lose it!” he snapped, and Levi left the bedroom. “Putain! Tu es vraiment trop naïf.” Fuck! You’re really too naïve.

He crept down the stairs, keeping a wary eye out so no other spooked Nazi soldiers pulled their guns on him. He tiptoed to the kitchen and lit a lamp to search around.

A real kitchen! It had been years since he worked in one.

He pulled out a basket of eggs and some small sausages. He checked out what pans they had—well stocked with cast iron pans, nice!—and he got to work. He cracked open the eggs and put a kettle of water on to make tea.

A memory floated back to him, cooking eggs and veal sausages, looking out the kitchen window, and seeing Petra in her garden wearing a wide-brimmed hat, snipping off parsley. He could not see her face, but the memory made him feel warm inside, yet deeply sad. He would never cook her breakfast again.

Now, he looked out the window and saw a building that had been hit by a bomb, bricks shattered apart, exposing part of what had once been a nice parlor. His country had been shattered, like that building, invaded by Germany, like the Nazis that had taken over this house. Levi kept his eyes down as he cooked so he did not have to look at reality.

Without even thinking about it, he had begun to make breakfast for two.

Putain,” he cursed under his breath. So much for his noble idea of not making life harder for himself by eating the food allotted to soldiers.

He pulled out a large tray and set up two plates, a pot of tea, and two cups. He set out silverware and even found a small jar of sugar. With all of that balanced on the tray and the lantern dangling on his wrist, he went back up to the bedroom.

He shoved open the door and began to say “Okay, bastard,” but his words were cut off by the sound of snoring. Eren had sat up in bed to read, but he fell back to sleep, the book on his lap, his head flopped down toward his chest. Levi sighed and shook his head.

What had he done in his life to be punished with playing nurse to an idiotic Nazi?

As Levi set the tray on a small table, he realized something.

He could run. Easily!

No one was awake yet. Few guards would be patrolling this area of the village. There was just enough light outside to see as he sneaked around. He could head to the river, follow it to the forest…

… and in doing so, damn his fellow Jews to death.

Merde,” he whispered with a sneer. He couldn’t! He tried once, thinking he could simply live with the guilt, but he personally experienced how brutally they were punished for just one young woman escaping; the whip scars still ached at times. He was more important to these Nazi swines, needed for translation work. The collective punishment for him escaping would be far more vicious.

Especially for Eren.

Not that he should care about some Nazi officer!

Eren began to choke up, and he jolted awake to hideous coughing. He grabbed a handkerchief sitting beside the bed and hacked up phlegm into it. Levi came over and rubbed his back to help break up the mucus inside.

“You’re really not doing well,” he muttered in worry.

Eren coughed out something thick and spat it into the handkerchief. “Can’t … leave you. They’d kill you.”

“Seriously, you could die.”

“I won’t!” he insisted with austere stubbornness. “But promise me something.” He looked down at the handkerchief he had coughed the sickly phlegm into. “If anything happens to me, if they take me away to a hospital, or if I…” He cut off the fatalistic words. “Promise me: get out of here! If I do die, then let me die knowing I saved your life.”

Levi studied him as Eren finally managed to breathe clearly. “Are you saying you’d die for me?”

Eren’s eyes shot up to him, and while it looked like an answer was immediately on his lips, he held it back.

Levi sighed in frustration and looked away. “Don’t talk about dying. It’ll bring misfortune.”

Eren flopped backward, tired from the struggle just to breathe. Levi poured out some tea for him and added a little sugar. Eren gladly took it and sipped. Then he saw the two plates.

“Ah! You made yourself breakfast after all. Das ist ja wunderbar!” That’s wonderful!

“It was a mistake. I wasn’t paying attention.”

Eren ate some eggs. “Mm! You’re an amazing cook. I almost feel like a spoiled husband, with you cooking breakfast for me.”

Levi blushed at the compliment and silently ate some sausage. “You need to watch yourself.”

“I’ll take my medicine without complaint, if you’re the one giving it to me.”

Levi sneered. “This is what I mean.”

Eren paused and saw Levi with a scowl pinched between his eyebrows. “What’s the matter?”

Levi’s gray-blue eyes slowly turned to him, filled with skepticism and more than a little worry. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but sometimes the way you act, the things you say, the way you look at me, it’s like you desire me.”

Eren’s whole body went still and his gaze remained fixed. Slowly, he swallowed his mouthful of food. “Is that so? I should watch myself.”

“You really should! Nazis do not tolerate people like that.”

“I would know that better than anyone.”

Levi glared at how he said that. “You like women, don’t you?”

Eren laughed and sipped some tea. “What sort of question is that? Of course I do.”

“I just want to be sure you’re not going to rape me in the middle of the night.”

Now Eren looked furious. “Don’t you dare say I’d do something like that. Why would I want to do that to someone like you when I can have any woman I want?”

Levi sighed in relief and nodded. “I just need to be sure. I’d hate to slit your throat.”

“Rest assured, I have never done anything lewd to men. Perhaps you’re confusing lust with thinking of you as a … as a little pet.”

“A pet!” Levi bellowed in outrage.

Eren smirked playfully. “Quiet, pet, or you’ll wake the house.”

He sneered. “A khalerye.” A curse on you.

Eren tilted his head in curiosity. “Is that Jewish? French has a romantic sound to it, but sometimes you say things that are very different, harsher, almost German in sound except not the right words.”

“Yiddish,” he muttered.

“Do Jews like to cuss in Yiddish?”

“No, but we can curse.”

“What’s the difference?”

Levi folded his arms. “A cuss word is crude and simple. It profanes the mouth.”

“But you cuss all the time.”

“I’m not a very good Jew,” Levi admitted. “A curse hopes that harm shall fall upon another without profaning the mouth with crude words. A curse is a wish wrapped in thorns.”

“So, you can say you hope they eat shit, but not call them a piece of shit?”

Levi snorted at the simplicity. “Something like that.”

“But you say merde and shit a lot.”

“As I said, I’m not a very good Jew. I didn’t care about any of that before this damn war.” He looked down at his sausage. “Like this.” He poked it with a fork. “I bet there’s pork in it. Before the war, I wouldn’t have cared. I loved ham and bacon. Now, I know there are Jews out there dying rather than give up their beliefs, so I feel a bit guilty. The logical side of me says, ‘food is food, it keeps you alive.’ My heart says, God told us not to eat that for a reason, so I should feel guilty.”

“Guilt is a delusion forced upon us by Jews to weaken those with a wavering mental fortitude.” Eren had taken Kitz Woermann’s words to heart. The struggle of feeling guilty about his actions really was a roadblock in his life.

Levi glared at him. “Whoever told you that should have their throat slit! But I do believe that guilt weakens us. Hell, I could have run away this morning, but if I did, I’d feel guilty for causing the deaths of all the others. That’s a guilt I can’t live with, yet I’m probably going to die for that choice.”

“Don’t say that.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t go down without a fight, and I won’t let guilt get me killed.” He stabbed the sausage and ate it, showing his stubborn determination to survive, even if it meant eating forbidden food. “In times like this, we do what we must to survive.” His eyes drifted off, remembering Petra again. “Vis, peu importe le prix.

“What does that mean?”

“Live, no matter the price. They were the last words my wife said … before they shot her.” He shifted the scrambled eggs around on his plate. “Our neighbor had chickens, Petra grew herbs and potatoes, so we traded. I used to make her eggs every morning. Sometimes with sausage, sometimes latkes.”

“What are latkes?” Eren asked with interest.

Pommes de terre rissolées. Hash browns.” Still, Eren looked confused. “Potatoes, shredded and fried? Have you never had them?”

“Potato? A food? Sorry, I don’t know English words for food. Maybe my father never talked about food. I know a few words, like apple.”

Levi rolled his eyes. “Whatever. I made breakfast for Petra every morning. I was thinking about her in the kitchen, which is why I automatically made enough for two.”

“Well, keep doing it. I like having breakfast with you.”

Levi’s eyes narrowed. “I told you to watch yourself.”

“What? I said I like to have someone to talk with while I’m eating breakfast. I grew up eating every meal in the school kantine, all of us together, talking about the coming day or how our classes were going. Then in the army, we all ate together. Even here, we eat together. Eating alone is no fun. It’s lonely.”

“I prefer to eat alone,” Levi said dourly.

“Did you hate eating with your wife?”

He shot a glare at Eren, but the young man looked earnestly concerned. “That was different. Every minute with her was a joy, even eating together.”

“You sure finished your breakfast quickly eating with me.”

He looked down and saw that, indeed, he had finished the food. “I’m probably going to shit all that out fast. I haven’t eaten like that in … a long time.”

“I want to make sure you eat well while you’re caring for me. In fact,” Eren said suddenly with a smug smile on his face, “you have to eat whatever I eat. You’ll make a meal big enough for us both, and you’ll show me you didn’t poison it by eating the same thing.”

Levi rolled his eyes. “You really are an idiot. If I wanted to poison you, I’d simply sprinkle it on after I cooked it.”

“And maybe I’ll switch the plates around on you, so you have to eat mine.”

“I’d obviously use a poison I have an immunity to.”

“You’ve never actually poisoned someone before, have you?”

“Not my style.”

“And what’s your style? You mentioned you were sent to Africa to kill a rebel, you slit a man’s throat in Poland while working, you’ve said that you’ve killed many people, and you worked in London for eight years, but you would not say what you did.”

“You’re better off not knowing that part about me.”

“Oh!” he cried out with a gleam in his eyes. “Did you work with the Deuxième Bureau? I’ve heard of them, France’s military intelligence agency. I bet you were a French spy, right?”

Levi smirked. “If I told you, I’d have to kill you.”

Eren chuckled and finished off his tea. “May I have more?”

Levi took his cup and poured in some more tea. Eren watched closely. As much as Levi snapped at him, he saw a faint turn to the corners of his lips. Perhaps God did listen to prayers, and he was answering Levi’s prayers by getting him a soft place to sleep, a hot meal, and a chance to smile, if only for a moment.

“Really, Levi, what did you do for a living?”

“I minded my own business,” he said, focused on the teacup.

“And killed people?”

He stirred in some sugar. “It happens in the military.”

“Did you like being a soldier?”

Levi took a moment to think over that question, before answering as he handed the steaming cup over to Eren. “Yes. For a time, I thought that was all I could ever be good at doing, until I was asked to do what I simply could not do.”

“What’s that?”

“Kill a child.”

Eren hummed and nodded. “Same. I’ve never been asked to kill civilians, but we hear stories, whole villages slaughtered, women and children. I can’t imagine it. I think I’d disobey.”

“Because you’re a good man.”

Eren began to blush, and his eyes shifted hard to the side. Before he could bask in the praise, his brows pinched together. Why was he so damn happy just because Levi praised him a little?

“Are you okay?” Levi asked, seeing the pained look on Eren’s face. “Do you hurt anywhere? Is your fever going up? Your face is red.”

“Maybe I need more sleep,” he grumbled. “Can you bathe while I rest? You really smell bad.”

“Fuck you.”

“You’re allowed to use our bathroom. Ah, but maybe a sign to warn the others so they don’t walk in on you.” Eren grabbed a sheet of paper and a pen, and in a flowing script wrote simply Juden. “That should give you privacy. No one would walk in on a Jew.”

“They put signs like that on the latrines when we’re cleaning them. Do you want me to clean your toilet?”

“No, your duty is to attend me, not clean up after my men.”

“My duty is to stay alive, even if that means keeping some Nazi swine alive. Regretfully unavoidable symbiosis.”

Eren’s face drew up, not sure what that meant. Rather than explain, Levi snatched the paper away and left to the bathroom, hoping to finish before the soldiers woke up and got mad at him for using their bathtub.

Once he was gone, Eren let out a long sigh. He stared at the two empty plates as the conversation replayed in his head.

“You like women, don’t you?” he repeated quietly, and he slowly shook his head. “Scheiße!” He wiped sweat off his brow, slid down into the bed, and yanked the covers up to his chin. “Scheiße,” he whispered, blaming the deep shivering on the fever.

He was still hiding away when the door creaked open and Armin peaked in, looking sleepy with his blond hair sticking out.

Guten Morgen.” Good morning.

Eren chuckled. “Dein Haar ist durcheinander.” Your hair is a mess.

Armin tried to slick down the golden cowlicks. “The Jew is in the bathroom,” he whispered, thumbing back at the bathroom.

“Yes. He smells, so I ordered him to bathe.”

Armin smiled and stepped inside. “After making sure he had a good breakfast, I see. Why are you hiding like that? Are you cold?”

“I felt chills,” he muttered.

Armin stepped inside and rested his hand on Eren’s forehead. “You’re still burning up.”

“I’m fine,” he said, pulling away. “Armin, be honest: would you consider me manly?”

“You’re a strong soldier, Eren. Everyone gets sick from time to time. It doesn’t make you weak.”

“No, I mean … oh, nothing,” he sighed. “Have you ever wondered what we’d be doing right now if there wasn’t a war? Like, would you be married by now? Kids? What job would you want?”

Armin pitied Eren, assuming that the sickness was making him think about mortality. He settled down on the edge of the bed. “I’d like to get married one day and have a little family. I’m an only child, so I don’t think I could handle more than three kids. As for a job, I’d probably follow in the footsteps of my father and be a teacher.”

“I can imagine you teaching at a big university.” Eren chuckled and stared up at the ceiling. “Do you plan on finding a wife as soon as you’re out of the army?”

“Not right away. I think I need time to … well, to get back to normal.”

Eren hummed and nodded. After the horrors they had seen in this war, they all needed time to adjust back to normal life.

“But,” Armin went on, “it would be nice to fall in love. I’ve never even kissed a girl.”

Eren chuckled. “Really? Not even a childhood kiss? Wasn’t there ever some girl back home, a classmate, a neighbor’s daughter?”

“Not really. I was a small child and the girls picked on me. What about you?”

Eren’s eyes drifted off with a sad smile. “I’ve kissed two people.”

“Really?” Armin said in shock. “No offense, sir, but you normally seem to avoid women, or you treat them distantly.”

Eren hummed in consternation. “Does it seem that way?”

“Yes! Especially when we were in Paris. You turned down women all the time, and usually Jean picked them up as they recovered from your rejections. I shouldn't say this, but Connie once joked that maybe you were homosexual. Don’t be too mad, he was drunk.”

Eren shook his head, gazing out with feverish cheeks. “I just never saw the point. I’m not like Jean, I don’t want to fuck a woman just to get it out of my system. I … have never fallen in love with a woman.”

“But at least you’ve kissed a few.”

He shrugged. “We were children, it was an experiment.”

“Still more than me. Don’t worry, sir. You’ll find a nice wife one day.”

Eren shrugged without much concern for that. “I can’t imagine settling down. To be honest, I’m not sure if I’d want to raise children. I don’t really see myself that way.”

“You … You do plan on getting married someday, right?”

Eren hummed and muttered, “I guess I just can’t see my life outside of war. Once it’s over, I wouldn’t have the slightest idea what to do. My whole life has been one long training session to fight a war.” He looked over at the door, thinking about what Levi said, that he once thought being a soldier was the only thing he was good at. Obviously, he somehow settled into a pastoral life after years of killing. “I wonder what he did before the war. He was married, you know.”

Armin looked amused. “You’re learning a lot about our little Jew.”

“Yet I feel like I know nothing about him. Oh hey, where’s that Jewish book I gave you?”

“He left it in his cell.”

“Shit! Can you go get it? If that book is discovered, he could get into a lot of trouble.”

“That book is important, isn’t it?”

Eren’s eyes softened as he remembered listening to Levi read from the Tanakh. “It belonged to his mother and is the most precious thing in the world to him.”

“So why do you have—” Armin’s words cut off. “You’re not keeping it out of blackmail; that’s not like you. No, you’re protecting it. For him!”

“It keeps him in line.”

“He sure seems to stay in line without you holding onto it. He volunteered to watch over you, and he even fixed you breakfast.” Armin chuckled with envy. “I think he’s grown fond of you.”

Eren sputtered and blushed as he shouted, “Wh-What do you mean…”

Just then, Levi stepped into the room, his black hair damp and steam clinging to his clothes.

“You really like to look out for him,” Armin said in amusement, standing up from his perch on the bed. “I’ll get the book after breakfast. Any chance I can take your little maid and have him fix me food as well?”

Eren laughed and grabbed Levi by the wrist, yanking him toward the bed. “Finde deinen eigenen Juden.” Find your own Jew.

Du bist so besitzergreifend!” You’re so possessive! Armin laughed as he walked away and left the bedroom.

Meanwhile, Levi yanked his arm back. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

Eren leaned back and rested his eyes. “We were joking about who gets to keep you as a pet.”

“Fuck you both.” He put his hand on Eren’s forehead. “You’re still burning up. Dammit, I can’t get you more paracetamol yet.”

Eren hummed and felt his head drifting. “Wadenwickel und Schafgarbe. Like what I did for you.”

“I’m not bathing you, takhshet.”

Eren giggled softly. “Every time you call me that, it’s like you’re calling me darling.”

“I’m calling you a brat, asshole.”

“Like how a mother calls her child names.”

“Seriously, shut up. You’re rambling nonsense. Try to sleep off the fever.”

Ja, liebe Mutter.” Yes, mother dear. His voice drifted off, and Eren was quickly out.

Levi pouted and felt his forehead again. Eren really was burning up. He took a towel and went to the kitchen to wet it. Then he wrapped it around Eren’s legs, like what Eren had done when Levi was feverish with illness. He stroked some sweat-soaked strands of hair off Eren’s forehead.

He muttered to the sleeping soldier, “With a mere child like you, of course I act like a doting mother, you asshole.” His hand rested on Eren’s hair, and his eyes softened. “Takhshet,” he whispered.

He heard the bathroom door open, and Levi’s hand yanked back off Eren’s head. He cursed under his breath and walked to the window as he saw Armin’s shadow shuffling through the hallway. Outside, the sun was just starting to rise, casting long shadows in the street as soldiers changed shifts and began their morning patrols.

He heard a groan behind him. “Levi?”

He turned around and saw Eren with his face pinched in a feverish nightmare. Levi walked back over, smoothed out the tension in his brow, and Eren slipped into better dreams with a sigh.

Es tut mir leid,” Eren apologized in a mumble without waking up.

Levi stroked Eren’s head and softly sang a lullaby.

"Do, do, l'enfant do,
L'enfant dormira bien vite.
Do, do, l'enfant do,
L'enfant dormira bientôt."

A relaxed smile melted over Eren's flushed cheeks, so boyish, and he drifted off into a calm sleep. Levi kept caressing Eren's head as he whispered, "Fais de beaux rêves et un bon rétablissement." Sweet dreams and a speedy recovery.

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Levi is singing an old French lullaby, "L'enfant do." Here in the United States, we learned a few French songs in elementary school, including this one. - https://youtu.be/11P4zsDr6Ss

Before 1933, Germany had a vibrant gay community. Many openly gay men joined the Nazi Party, including Ernst Röhm, co-founder of the Sturmabteilung (SA) and close friend of Adolf Hitler. The Nazi Party had strong anti-gay policies, but Hitler tried to protect Röhm at first, insisting that rumors about his homosexuality were lies spread by Jews, although Röhm was fairly open about his sexuality. As soon as Hitler felt Röhm was a liability and his party was determined to wipe out all gay people, Hitler had him murdered.

Shortly after the deaths of Röhm and many other prominent gay men in the Nazi Party, Heinrich Himmler became very active in the suppression of homosexuality. He exclaimed: "We must exterminate these people root and branch… the homosexual must be eliminated." Himmler created a special division of the Gestapo, Reichszentrale zur Bekämpfung der Homosexualität und Abtreibung (Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion).

A non-Jewish homosexual could escape prison and death by agreeing to marry the opposite sex and having a child. The Nazi's key point was that in order to create a "master race," Germans were expected to procreate prolifically. Thus, a gay man or lesbian woman decreased Germany's population growth and served no purpose to Aryan society.

One million Germans were accused of being homosexual, 100,000 were arrested, 50,000 refused to conform and were imprisoned, hundreds were castrated, and an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 were sent to concentration camps. There, homosexuals wore a pink triangle and received particularly sadistic treatment, with a death rate of 60%.

So Levi was right: Nazis do not tolerate homosexuality.



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