Bent is an influential postwar play about Max, a gay man in 1930s Germany who is arrested along with his partner Rudy and taken to a concentration camp. Max denies his sexuality, pretending to be Jewish instead, and is forced to murder Rudy. While in the camp, he meets another gay inmate, and two begin a relationship in which they can never touch each other for fear of being caught. Shockingly graphic for its time, this play explores the themes of sexuality, identity, and unconventional rebellion.
The novel Time's Arrow tells the life story of a Nazi doctor, Tod Friendly, in reverse. It is narrated not by Friendly himself but by a presence who exists within the doctor but has no connection to his thoughts or actions. The reverse timeline of the story seeks to make sense of the horrors of the Holocaust, particularly the main character's involvement in them. Since things move backwards, the novel doesn't show the doctor as he progresses towards evil, but rather as he progresses back to a life of innocence.