Wednesday, August 6, 2008

So, What Happened to These Early German Gay Movements?



-The picture at the top is a Nazi book burning.

-The picture on the bottom is the library of Magnus Hirschfeld's Sexual Studies Institute after the Nazis plundered it in 1933.

There is very little known about most of the early German gay political and cultural movements, especially from the time of the Weimar Republic when they flourished, because the Nazis were so thorough in destroying the archives and publications of these organizations.

Magnus Hirschfeld was away in France on a speaking tour when his offices were raided. He never returned to Germany. He died of a heart attack in Nice on his 67th birthday.

Adolph Brand was relentlessly threatened by the Nazis until he publicly recanted all of his life's work. He spent the rest of his life in dire poverty. He and Elise died in the allied bombing of Berlin in 1945.

3 comments:

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

The public burning of the Library of the Hirschfeld Institute on the corner of Beethovengasse 3 was filmed. I remember seing it on Swedish television in the 1960ies.

It seems to be the only one filmed (or even the only one?), but I am not sure the speaker mentioned it...

Counterlight said...

The book burning in the photograph that I have reproduced may be that destruction of Hirschfeld library, though I'm not certain.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

I don't really think there were that many bookburnings...

At least I haven't heard of many.