Sex and the Weimar Republic: German Homosexual Emancipation and the Rise of the Nazis

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University of Toronto Press, 06.10.2015 - 360 Seiten

Liberated, licentious, or merely liberal, the sexual freedoms of Germany’s Weimar Republic have become legendary. The home of the world’s first gay rights movement, the republic embodied a progressive, secular vision of sexual liberation. Immortalized – however misleadingly – in Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin Stories and the musical Cabaret, Weimar’s freedoms have become a touchstone for the politics of sexual emancipation.

Yet, as Laurie Marhoefer shows in Sex and Weimar Republic, those sexual freedoms were only obtained at the expense of a minority who were deemed sexually disordered. In Weimar Germany, the citizen’s right to sexual freedom came with a duty to keep sexuality private, non-commercial, and respectable.

Sex and the Weimar Republic examines the rise of sexual tolerance through the debates which surrounded “immoral” sexuality: obscenity, male homosexuality, lesbianism, transgender identity, heterosexual promiscuity, and prostitution. It follows the sexual politics of a swath of Weimar society ranging from sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld to Nazi stormtrooper Ernst Röhm. Tracing the connections between toleration and regulation, Marhoefer’s observations remain relevant to the politics of sexuality today.

 

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Inhalt

The Opening Night of the Institute for Sexual Science July 1919
3
1 Homosexual Emancipation Censorship and the Revolution of 19181919
20
2 Lesbianism Reading and Law
52
3 Female Prostitution Modern Heterosexuality and the 1927 Venereal Disease Law
80
4 Male Prostitution Homosexual Emancipation and the 1929 Vote to Repeal the Sodomy Law
112
The Röhm Scandal 19311932
146
6 The Politics of Immoral Sexuality in the Fall of the Weimar Republic and the Rise of the Nazis
174
The Weimar Settlement on Sexual Politics
202
Notes
219
Bibliography
297
Index
327
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Über den Autor (2015)

Laurie Marhoefer is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Washington.

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