Thursday, 9 September 2010

Paris and I ~ 'Rainbow of Regret'

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Rainbow of Regret ~

Rainbow of Regret, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

The Nazi coloured triangle system - the 'badges of shame' used in the concentration camps to identify the inmates' 'crimes' - as seen here on Ile de la Cité, just across from Notre Dame de Paris, is as fascinating as it is chilling.

The Jews had the 'honour' of wearing their own sacred symbol, the star of David, effectively two superimposed yellow triangles, with the word 'Jew' in the middle (lest we forget...).

Male homosexuals had the famous pink triangle (also used for rapists and paedophiles), normally larger than the others, as the Nazis wanted them to particularly stand out. National Socialists could barely bring themselves to acknowledge the existence of lesbians, however, who were hastily lumped into the black triangle category (the so-called 'Anti-socials'), along with prostitutes, vagrants, murderers, thieves, the mentally ill, alcoholics, pacifists and those who threatened to dilute the Aryan blood line by having sex with them.

Red triangles were for political dissidents, no doubt symbolising communism, green for criminals, purple for Jehovah's Witnesses, blue for emigrants and brown for Gypsies.

In addition to all this gaiety, triangles and other symbols could be combined in a myriad of ways. A pink triangle on a yellow one, surmounted by a pink bar, all over a black and red target shape, for example, would indicate a homosexual Jewish multiple offender suspected of trying to escape. An inverted yellow triangle over a black one would indicate a female 'race defiler', or an Aryan woman convicted of canoodling with a non-Aryan miscreant.

A whole rainbow of originality then, labelled and lined up to be smothered and stamped out under the fascists'... black boot.

(A Paris iPhone street photograph by Sab Will for the 'Paris and I' photo blog)

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