A pioneer of the gay movement confronted with Nazism

Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935)

Magnus Hirschfeld (May 14, 1868 to May 14, 1935)
The Memorial of the Homosexual Deportation edits this publication to pay tribute to Magnus Hirschfeld, a pioneer of the homosexual movement, who suffered the peril of exile imposed by the Nazi regime. A brilliant doctor, humanist activist and German intellectual of Jewish faith, Magnus Hirschfeld played a decisive role in his history of his country and in wider Europe. He fought for the decriminalization of abortion, campaigned in favor of maternity protection and the legalization of marriage for governesses and servants. A German physician, Magnus Hirschfeld is however most celebrated with regards to his fight for gay rights. Indeed, even if homosexuality has always existed, Magnus Hirschfeld had the merit to question social acceptance at a time when this issue was reduced to a, largely illegal, sexual practice. A contemporary of French writer Andre Gide, who claimed the "right of citizenship for gays and full citizenship" for homosexuals, the motto of Magnus Hirschfeld was, "Equality of rights through science". Marked by the trial of Oscar Wilde and the suicide of one of his gay friends, Magnus Hirschfeld would start a long battle to change the way society viewed, spoke of and treated homosexuals. The foundation of his Institute for Sexual Science had an international impact on the recognition of this work and the treasures of its collections (tens of thousands of books, photographs, drawings, prints and objects) attracted visitors from around the world. The abundance of initiatives taken by Magnus Hirschfeld made Berlin a stronghold for gay visibility and its Institute of Sexology a haven for homosexuals. A haven of peace, the foundation was unfortunately fragile and ephemeral and suffered a most tragic fate. The courage and perseverance of Magnus Hirschfeld quickly earned him the harshest attacks from conservative Germans. As the Nazis came to power, hatred toward him further increased. Jewish, gay, leftist, avant-garde intellectual, Magnus Hirschfeld alone met multiple identities unacceptable in the eyes of his opponents, who soon made him their scapegoat. Despite being harassed, boycotted, censored, attacked, Magnus Hirschfeld persevered by from throwing all his strength into his struggle: the fight of his life. Magnus Hirschfeld was for gay Germans, what Harvey Milk was to become a few decades later for gay Americans: a founding father! 75 years have passed since then, and no tribute worthy of its name has been made in France for this man of outstanding achievement. Thus, in our own way and through our own resources, we seek to repair this injustice and mark the memory of Magnus Hirschfeld. We wish to extend our thanks to all observers and actors who were willing to give us their testimonies, allowing a more accurate discovery or rediscovery of Magnus Hirschfeld’s life.
BOURGI Hussein, MDH Chairman

Screening / Discussion of the movie Magnus Hirschfeld The Einstein of Sex
Directed by Rosa von Praunheim Country: Germany / Year: 1999 / Duration: 1 hour 38 minutes Summary: A Jewish sexologist, a socialist and a homosexual in Nazi Germany. This fiction tells the extraordinary life of the famous sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, nicknamed "The Einstein of Sex ".

Film for sale at: http://www.bqhl.com/

Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 4pm at The Variety Theatre.
Organized by the festival “Reflets” Rates: www.festival-reflets.org

Friday, May 14, 2010 at 8pm at The Mercury Theater (16 Place Garibaldi)
Organised by the association Polychrome in partnership with MDH at the Festival "Hopes of May" Rates: www.polychromes.fr

Thursday, May 27, 2010 to 6.30pm at the Library Central Community Federico Fellini (Place Paul Bec-Citywide)
Organized by the Collective Against Homophobia in partnership with MDH Free admission www.cch.asso.fr

QuestionDeGenre / GKC Editions published in 2001 a very interesting work including two subjects: The Gay Berlin, 1908 Magnus Hirschfeld The Lesbian Berlin, 1928 - Ruth Margarete Roellig The book explains the theories of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld. This edition is extended with essential appendices such as “sexual intermediaries types" by Mr. Hirschfeld 'Gide and Hirschfeld’ by Patrick Pollard The death certificate and the will of Mr. Hirschfeld - A preface to the book of Ruth Margarete Roellig by Dr. Hirschfeld, calling for tolerance. Available in all good bookstores or directly at www.gaykitschcamp.com Patrick Cardon / GayKitschCamp 5 rue du Pavillon 34000 Montpellier Tel. 06 03 554 566

Monday, June 28, 2010 at 6.30pm at the Auditorium of the Hotel de Ville in Paris Entry 5, rue Lobau (Paris 4th)
Métro Hotel de Ville (line 1) Organized by the MDH http://deportation-homosexuelle. blogspot.com / or Registration required at mdhcontact@yahoo.fr 06 89 81 36 90

Public and floral tribute to the grave of Magnus Hirschfeld Nice Caucade Cemetery Friday, May 14, 2010 at 6pm


Key dates in the life of Magnus Hirschfeld by Gérard Koskovich

1868 - Born May 14 in Colberg on the Baltic coast (in Germany at the time, now in Poland). 1888-1892 - Studied medicine at Strasbourg, Munich, Berlin Heidelberget.

1919 - In July, opening of the Berlin Institute for Sexual Science, of which Hirschfeld was the founder and CEO. 1928 - Creation of the World League for Sexual Reform, which Hirschfeld was one of the founders, with the English sexologist Havelock Ellis and the Swiss psychiatrist Auguste Forel . 1930-1931 - Travel and tour of conferences in the United States, Asia, Indonesia, India and the Middle East, which Hirschfeld told in a book published in German in 1933 and translated in French in 1938 under the title Le Tour du Monde d’un sexologue. 1931 - At the Institute of Sexology, the first ever vaginoplasty conducted to help the transition "man to woman" of a transsexual. 1932-1933 - Faced with the rise of the Nazi party and Adolf Hitler in Germany, Hirschfeld run away from danger, never to return again in Germany. He stood first in Czechoslovakia, then in Switzerland. 1933 - In February, Nazis authorities closed the Institute of Sexology. On May 6, a group of students organized by the SA sacked the Institute, then the Nazis threw in flames most of its library and archives in a big bonfire in front of the Berlin Opera on the evening of May 10. On May 14, the day of his 65th birthday, Hirschfeld settled permanently in exile in France. His apartment and practice room are placed in Paris at avenue Charles Floquet 24, opposite to the Champ de Mars. 1934 - In late November, move to Nice. Hirschfeld's apartment was at Promenade des Anglais 63, in the building Gloria Mansions I. 1935 - In April, publication of the last book published during his lifetime Soul and love, sexological psychology. The original edition was published in French by Gallimard. On May 14, Hirschfeld died in Nice on the day of his 67th birthday. He was buried in Nice at the Caucade Cemetery. .

1896 - Opening his medical cabinet in Charlottenburg (in the suburbs of Berlin at the time, now in Berlin). First publication on homosexuality: Sappho und Socrates, Wie erklärt sich oder die Liebe der Männer und Frauen zu Personen in eigenen Geschlecht? (Sappho and Socrates, or How to explain the love of men and women for people of their gender?). 1897 - On May 15, Berlin, creation of the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, the first association in the world who campaigned for the rights of homosexuals. First petition calling for the repeal of Paragraph 175, the German law which punished homosexual sodomy. 1899-1923 - Publication of the Jahrbuch für sexual Wissenstufen (Almanac of sexual intermediaries types), which Hirschfeld was the editor. 1901 - Publication of a booklet to attract public support for the campaign against Paragraph 175: Was soll das Volk vom dritten Geschechts wissen? (What should I know about the third sex?). 1904 - Publishing of Berlins Drittes Geschlecht, translated into French in 1908 under the title The Gay Berlin. 1910 - Publication of Die Transvestiten (Transvestites), the first monograph devoted entirely to psychology and sociology of transvestites and other transgender people. 1914 - Publication of Mannes und Homosexualitatis of Weibe (Homosexuality between men and women), a masterly monograph 1067 pages.

Gérard Koskovich is a journalist and bookseller. He is a founding member and volunteer for 25 years at the GLBT Historical Society, Museum and LGBT Archives Centre of San Francisco.

Hirschfeld further expanded his activities, encouraging the formation of militant groups outside Germany, contributing to the creation of the World League for Sexual Reform in 1921. Tragically, the work of Hirschfeld remained unfinished. His taste for publicity combined with his overexposure earned him much criticism within the gay and lesbian movement at the time. He never managed to unify homosexuals in their fight for rights. Posing himself as apolitical, he often lacked insight: requesting gays to vote for leftist parties who supported decriminalization whilst multiplying calls to the more conservative parties who he hoped, in vain, would rally to his cause. The abolition of § 175, although passed in 1929, never entered into force and the repression was ever stronger during the Nazi regime. In 1933, the Institute for Sexual Science was ransacked by the Hitler Youths and valuable material was thrown into the fire. Hirschfeld, abroad at the time, never returned to Germany. His health ruined, he died in Nice in 1935 without having managed to restore his institute. The documents he had managed to save were by in large dispersed. While the struggle for human rights is still far from complete and the history of homosexuality is just beginning in France through the recognition of homosexuality as a field of Study on its own right, it is now time to remember Magnus Hirschfeld and to work together in the footsteps of his legacy.

Magnus Hirschfeld: An unrecognized pioneer of the LGBT movement by Florence Tamagne

Renowned sexologist, tireless activist for gay rights, Magnus Hirschfeld appears today, 75 years after his death, as a pioneer of the LGBT movement. If, in the first half of the twentieth century, his fame reached far beyond the borders of Europe, he remains unknown to the general public today, particularly in France. Yet, it was to this country that the German doctor of Jewish origin, hated by the Nazis, fled after Hitler’s rise to power. Between successes and failures, the course of Magnus Hirschfeld life is symptomatic of the uncertainties in the fight for LGBT rights from the nineteenth century to the present day. Rejecting the pathological approach that dominated the work of most doctors and psychiatrists, Hirschfeld preferred, in the tradition of KH Ulrichs, to locate homosexuals among the "intermediate sex", a category which also included transvestites, transsexuals and intersex. Although scientifically challenged and opposed by activists such as Adolf Brand, who defended a misogynist and elitist vision of homosexuality derived from the Greek pederasty, the theory of "third sex" identity construction influenced many gays and lesbians.

Hirschfeld had also founded in May 14, 1897, in Berlin, WhK (Wissenschaftlich-humanitäre Komitee, Scientific Humanitarian Committee), the first homosexual activist movement. In 1919, Hirschfeld founded the Institute for Sexual Science in Berlin, which soon became famous throughout the world, providing both shelter and documentation for the "third sex". Andre Gide and René Crevel, for example, visit the centre. During the 1920s,

Florence Tamagne is a lecturer in Modern History at the University of Lille III. She wrote, among others, History of Homosexuality in Europe: Berlin, London, Paris, 1919-1939 (Seuil, 2000).

There was little reaction to the Nazi book burning, with the exception of the creation of "libraries of books burned” in London, New York (inaugurated by Einstein) and Paris (Cité fleurie, Boulevard Arago 65, Paris 13e). Largely owing to the initiative of the immigrated writer,Alfred Kantorowicz, the German Free Library was created. It opened in Paris May 10, 1934, marking the first anniversary of the burning. On the Support Committee, were present, among others; Lion Feuchtwanger, André Gide, Heinrich Mann, Joseph Roth, Anna Saghers and Ernst Toller. The call for the creation of a section devoted to writers blacklisted by Hitler in the libraries of the great capitals of the world was never achieved outside of Paris. These Free German libraries aimed to collect all those books banned, censored and/or condemned by the Nazis as well as those present in the libraries of immigrants. They also included, any book useful for the study of Hitler's fascism and stood as the archives for the international anti-fascist resistance. Along with writers such as Egon Erwin Kisch and Alfred Kerr, Magnus Hirschfeld held a key position as representative of German science. The Free German library remained an activity center for the German resistance of leftist intellectuals, most notably through its exhibitions (1937) and numerous publications. This continued until the occupation of Paris (1940). This library was seized in 1940 by the French police, integrated into the National Library, and transported to Bordeaux. p.8

The most prominent spokesman of the Magnus Hirschfeld homosexual emancipation movement of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth (1868–1935) centuries, Magnus Hirschfeld founded by James D. Steakley the world’s first homosexual rights organization, the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, in 1897. Tirelessly active as an author, researcher, and organizer, Hirschfeld achieved international recognition as Germany’s leading authority on sexuality. In his final years, his life and work were disrupted by the Nazi regime’s rise to power. Born to the family of a noted physician in the Pomeranian city of Kolberg on Germany’s Baltic coast on 14 May 1868, Hirschfeld affiliated with the Social Democratic Party and began writing newspaper articles as a teenager. He enrolled at the universities of Strasbourg, Munich, and Heidelberg to study medicine, completing his M.D. degree at Berlin in 1892. As a university student, Hirschfeld embraced a secular worldview informed by Darwinism and consequently ceased describing his religious confession as Jewish. As a physician, Hirschfeld initially specialized in naturopathy, a holistic form of therapy. Many traditional physicians take a dim view of naturopathy, and practicing it schooled Hirschfeld in defying received wisdom. From the 1890s onward, Hirschfeld made joint cause with naturists, antivaccinationists, and teetotalers who participated in what was termed the “life reform movement.”

Hirschfeld’s early involvement in this movement provided him with practical experience in public speaking and mobilizing support for hygienic and political reform that he would later apply to the cause of homosexual emancipation. A final impetus that pushed Hirschfeld in the direction of homosexual emancipation was the 1895 trial of Oscar Wilde, which elicited widespread discussion beyond England. To Hirschfeld, the time seemed ripe for public enlightenment on homosexuality, and in 1896 he gave up his naturopathic practice and moved to a suburb of Berlin, where he increasingly specialized in sexology and psychiatry. His first sexological treatise, Sappho and Socrates, or, How Is the Love of Men and Women for Persons of Their Own Sex to Be Explained? (1896), was released under a pseudonym, but Hirschfeld instructed the publisher to reveal his identity to anyone who inquired. The ensuing contacts led in 1897 to the founding of the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee. The committee set as its primary goal the repeal of §175, the statute of the German criminal code that criminalized sodomy, and to this end it submitted a petition to the Reichstag. Written by Hirschfeld and widely circulated between 1897 and 1930, the petition was eventually endorsed by thousands of prominent Germans. Hirschfeld recognized that eliminating popular prejudice was even more important than law reform, and to this end he gave numerous public addresses and wrote the booklet What Should People Know about the Third Sex? (1901); 50,000 copies were in print by 1911. Hirschfeld was first and foremost a naturalist, and his favorite method was to make a series of observations and to develop conjectures from this evidence. In 1898 he published the first version of an extensive sexological questionnaire that underwent repeated revisions and expansions up to its seventh and final printing in 1930.
p.10 Hirschfeld and his friend Li ShiuTongjust after they arrived in exile in France (1933). Voilà weekly cover, No. 119 (July 1, 1933). p.11

He gathered detailed data on the sex lives of 30,000 individuals. He also explored firsthand the bars and other venues of the homosexual subculture in Berlin and other European, American, and North African metropolises prior to publishing a thousand-page monograph, The Homosexuality of Men and Women (1914). From Hirschfeld’s perspective, homosexuals, transvestites, and hermaphrodites were all part of a broad array of “sexual intermediates” whose very existence demonstrated the fallacy of simplistic, binary, male–female thinking. In 1899 the first volume of the Yearbook for Sexual Intermediate Types appeared under the Hirschfeld’s editorship. Uninterrupted even by World War I, this monumental journal appeared until 1923, and in encyclopedic fashion it surveyed the fields of medicine, law, psychology, anthropology, sociology, religion, history, art, and literature. Hirschfeld enjoyed growing support and public recognition until his 1907 appearance in court as a sexological expert in the Eulenburg affair (1907-1908), which turned on allegations of homosexuality within the entourage of Kaiser Wilhelm II leveled by the journalist Maximilian Harden (1861–1927). Harden’s vindication in court, attributable in part to Hirschfeld’s testimony, elicited an anti-Semitic and antihomosexual backlash from promonarchist conservatives, and the homosexual emancipation movement was forced into quiescence until the Kaiser’s abdication in 1918. Hirschfeld revived his campaign on behalf of homosexual rights during the years of the Weimar Republic, and in 1919 he fulfilled a vision he had cherished since the turn of the century by founding the Institute for Sexology, a center for research and education, sexual counseling and therapy, and advocacy on behalf of sexual privacy and reproductive rights. Hirschfeld’s purview now extended well beyond homosexuality to include, among

other things, the legalization of abortion, and this campaign brought him into a productive alliance with the newly founded German Communist Party as well as the Social Democratic Party. In 1928 Hirschfeld cofounded the World League for Sexual Reform, which lauded the sexual politics of the pre-Stalinist Soviet Union as exemplary. Success appeared within reach when, late in 1929, a Reichstag committee supported reform of the entire penal code, including §175—but a new election brought a staggering rise in support for the Nazis. Brutally assaulted by fascists as early as 1920, excoriated in the Nazi press, and challenged by rivals within the homosexual emancipation movement for his medicalizing approach to sexuality, his political leanings, and his Jewishness, Hirschfeld departed in late 1930 for a lecture tour of the United States and Asia, residing upon his return to Europe in Switzerland and France. The Institute for Sexology was closed by the Nazis in February 1933, and the bulk of its library publicly burned on 10 May 1933. Hirschfeld lived in exile in France for the last three years of his life, initially in an apartment near the Champ de Mars in Paris. He later move to Nice, where he died on 14 May 1935, his sixty-seventh birthday. James D. Steakley is professor of German at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is the author of The Homosexual EmancipationMovement in Germany (Arno Press, 1975),The Writings of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld: A Bibliography (1985), and numerous articles on the history of homosexuality in 20th-century Germany.

Rather expressionistic drawing representing the Institute of Sexology in Berlin around 1930. According to a reproduction in the wafer-Pearl Titus. Scientific preparation of sex hormone. Berlin-Pankow, Titus chemicalpharmaceutical factory, [1930].


Karl Giese, a friend of Hirschfeld, made a tour of the museum at the Institute of Sexology in Berlin in 1920. Photograph published in L'Aufklarung, No. 5 (June 1929) Cover the plate founder of the Scientific and Humanitarian Committee, What should you know about the third sex? (1901). The text calls for the repeal of Paragraph 175



Hirschfeld also enjoyed walks along the Promenade and through the city. Many photos of him, together with his Chinese pupil and lover Li Shiu Tong (Tao Li) and visitors, figure in a guest book that Hirschfeld kept, and that has survived. The couple also planned brief outings to Monaco or to the nearby artist’s colony of Haut-de-Cagnes where, after the war, Suzy Solidor would settle down. But Hirschfeld’s final days in Nice were also filled with hard work. Perhaps feeling that death might be near, and yet still hoping to continue and promote his sexological research in France, Hirschfeld worked arduously on French versions of his work.

A Lion in Winter: Magnus Hirschfeld’s Final Days in Nice (1934-1935) by Hans P. Soetaert and Donald W. McLeod

Few people know that Magnus Hirschfeld, the great gay movement pioneer, spent the last months of his life in Nice (or Nizza, as the Germans say), and that he is buried there. The moderate winter climate was presumably one of the main reasons why Hirschfeld decided to move from Paris to Nice at the end of November 1934. Since his world lecture tour of 1930–32, Hirschfeld’s health had been unstable. He settled into one of the posh hotels along the Promenade des Anglais: Hôtel de la Méditerranée (n°25, now demolished). A few months later, in February 1935, Hirschfeld moved into an apartment at the (still) sumptuous, six-storey Gloria Mansions I, along the same Promenade des Anglais (n°63). Hirschfeld lived on the fifth floor, probably in the apartment furthest west, looking south over the sea. Hirschfeld was born in Kolberg, on the Baltic coast, and was always fond of the sea. From the balcony of his apartment he had a great view of the Baie des Anges. In a newspaper article written after his death, a local journalist wrote that Hirschfeld identified somehow with Napoleon who, at St. Helena, had looked out over the sea and thought of his exile from his native land. Unfortunately, Hirschfeld’s former view is nowadays blocked by the Gloria Mansions IV, built in the 1950s in the front garden of Gloria Mansions I.

Many other German Jewish exiles had already “landed” in Nice by the time Hirschfeld arrived. One of them, novelist Hermann Kesten, even spotted Hirschfeld the day he died. When sitting at the Café de France in the Rue de France (n° 64, now in the process of being demolished) Kesten saw Hirschfeld on what was to be his last morning walk, probably alongside Ernst Maass, his nephew visiting from Milano, and Robert Kirchberger, Hirschfeld’s live-in secretary in Nice. Hirschfeld died on his birthday, May 14, 1935, around noon, after this walk. Even though Hirschfeld had stipulated he did not want a religious funeral, a ceremony led by Nice’s rabbi Samuel Schumacher was held a week later. Hirschfeld’s cremated remains lie under a beautiful and expensive tomb in the Cimetière de Caucade. Hirschfeld himself once wrote about visiting the graves of gay movement pioneers, as a mark of respect. A strange thing happened to Hirschfeld’s own grave. For years, a porcelain cross was affixed to the granite slab. We believe the cross was placed there by a close relative shortly before the war in an effort to protect the site from possible anti-Semitic vandalism. The cross was removed in 2009 by cemetery staff. Today, only small stones left by visiting admirers stand witness at the grave of one of history’s greatest sexologists.


Hans P. Soetaert is a philosopher. Engaged in a part-time in the service sector, he is cofounder and a former member of the Board of Trustees Susan Daniel, the Center for Archives and Documentation Gay and Lesbian Belgium. Donald W. McLeod is a librarian at the Library Research John P. Robarts of the University of Toronto. He works as a volunteer at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

Magnus Hirschfeld in the Congress of the World League for Sexual Reform in London (1929). Photograph published in The Enlightenment, No. 8 (September 1929). p.18 p.19

it. That's what makes the rediscovery of his work so difficult today, and explains that a tribute and a recognition, even late, is still expected to be done. It’s because only fragments of Hirschfeld's work was translated into other languages. During his lifetime, in fact, scientists spoke German - or at least could read it. His countrymen have made sure that this is no longer the case. They chased the author Hirschfeld, and almost destroyed his work - but only almost - and managed to dive it completely into oblivion. 75 years after the death of Hirschfeld, historical reconstruction is still incomplete. It is urgent to protect his legacy. Particularly in France, where, hidden somewhere, works and documents that were saved from Germany before the Nazis came, or the ones he could buy them back. It is time to uncover this treasure.

Magnus Hirschfeld: neither forgotten nor really known by Ralf Dose

The gay movement and what has resulted, namely the LGBT movement for which there is no word in German are beginning not only to remember one of their elders, but also to seize his memory : 75 years after his death in exile in France, Magnus Hirschfeld is no longer a forgotten figure, although it is still not really known. It was otherwise in his time: just mention the names of Andre Gide and Sergei Eisenstein, Emma Goldman and Margaret Sanger to get an idea of the intellectual universe in which Hirschfeld has evolved. The original idea of Hirschfeld - at the end of the nineteenth century! - was to open to gay men (and women) a perspective of life in which their sexuality was seen as one of many possible variations of human sexuality, as a viable sexuality and worth living. This concept was unheard of at the time, but it opened thus an even larger perspective, the infinite variations of sexuality - despite (should we mock it?) of all attempts of Hirschfeld and others - just beyond any systematization and classification. Hirschfeld was not a theorist, but the treasure that is his theoretical work forms - always based on practice and medical advice - is just waiting to be uncovered, if only one speaks its language or at least one understands

Ralf Dose is founder and director of the company Magnus Hirschfeld in Berlin. He is the author of a biography of Hirschfeld in German: Magnus Hirschfeld. Deutscher, Jude, Weltbürger (Hentrich & Hentrich, 2005).

Historical Image of Gloria Mansions I (c. 1925-1930), Hirschfeld's building where he lived in Nice



Cover photograph Hirschfeld around 1930. Frontispiece of Pearls Titus plate. Scientific preparation of sex hormone. Berlin-Pankow, Titus chimicopharmaceutique Manufactures, [1930].

"Memory, the warder of the brain"
Macbeth, I, 7
William Shakespeare
© Hans Soetaert

Publishing Director: Hussein BOURGI Coordinator of publication: Gérard KOSKOVICH Graphics: jerome.bedelet@orange.fr Photographs: Print Collection Personal Gerard Koskovich, except page 21 Hans Soetaert


Hirschfeld around 1925. Frontispiece of Magnus Hirschfeld. Geschlechtskunde auf Grund dreißigjähriger Forschung und Erfahrung, tome I. Stuttgart, Julius Püttmann, 1926.