Andre was a famous Swiss TV reporter who shocked the world in 1985 by appearing on TV and telling the world that he was gay and had AIDS. He seems to have been the first to make such a declaration and became quite famous in Europe for doing so.
Andre and I were good friends, whom Jeno Vincze introduced when I arrived in Berlin. He was, at the time, the lover of the artist Uwe Serger, who indulged in odd masochistical behavior and had the peculiar habit of sleeping in a coffin. To my knowledge, Andre did not indulge in sadistic behavior with Uwe, and Uwe had another friend who satisfied that need.
But they lived together in the top floor apartment in an old surviving building, left standing during the War, and the walls were lined with old stove tiles that all his friends had collected for Uwe so he could paint them. See the four tiles on this page:
Hundreds of such tiles lining the walll was a sight hardly equalled anywhere.
Andre was studying at the University in Berlin and we became good friends.
This link will take you to the Wikipedia page in German: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/André_Ratti
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