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Prejudice comes in many forms

I have followed recent Press coverage on anti-Semitism with interest, but also with a certain knowledge that prejudice is not limited to non-Jews.

In 1981, I visited Dachau concentration camp. To be brought face to face with the agonies suffered there was indescribable.

I felt a hand on my shoulder. It belonged to a Jewish gentleman wearing a skullcap. I fancied he had seen my distressed state. He asked me in German how I was feeling.

"How is one supposed to feel after seeing all that?" I asked him rhetorically. He had lost family members in the Holocaust.

He asked if I had lost anyone here. I replied that I hadn't, that I was not even Jewish and had not suffered. But if I was here, it was largely to pay my respects to another group of men who were imprisoned here along with the Jews and the gypsies, the homosexuals.

The hand on my shoulder was removed. He inquired if I was homosexual. I answered that I was.

"Es tut mir leid, aber Ihr habt's verdient," came his reply. ("I'm sorry, but you lot deserved it.")

DR MICHAEL JOHNSON

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