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LGBTQ* People In History (of Great Importance)

The “Einstein of Sex”: Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld

14 May 1868 – 14 May 1935

Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld was a scholar, physician, sexologist, and arguably the first outspoken gay and transgender activist in modern history. 

Why he rocks?

Hirschfeld’s Accomplishments:

1. Jewish gay* identified doctor, fought to end Paragraph 175 in Germany ( a law that made homosexuality punishable by law)

2. Founding member of Wissenschaftlich-humanitäres Komitee(WhK) ( English: The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee), which acted advocacy group to many underrepresented individuals (including the queer* population).

3. Led the FIRST congress for sexual reform

4. Co-wrote and acted in the 1919 film Anders als die Andem  (“Different From the Others”)

5. Created a way of cataloging identities, 64 of them, outside of “gay/lesbian,” including many ways to identify oneself outside of cisgender identification. Hirschfeld is one of the earliest scholars and advocates for the transgender community in Western culture. 

6. Created the Institute for Sexual Research, which became a safe haven for queer* individuals in Berlin

7. Joined the Bund für Mutterschutz (League for the Protection of Mothers), fighting for women’s equality and the decriminalization of abortions

8. Lost his entire library and most of his life work to the Nazi party but was able to flee and save his life (and rumored to have saved a few others). Nazi soldiers burned the entire institution’s contents on May 6, 1933 (80 years ago this month).

Imagine what the world might be if we still had all of his notes and the stories of hundreds of queer* identified and trans* identified individuals.

 

  1. (Photo Source:Magnus Hirschfeld)
  2. (Photo Source 2/3: International Sexological Congresses)
  3. (Photo Source: Institute for Sexology)
  4. (Photo Source: Nazis burning Hirschfeld’s Institute’s contents)

 

LGBTQ* History In The News
Pride Month News You Should Know
(the following text from JPost.com)
Last gay Jewish Holocaust survivor dies
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, 
Gad Beck, a resistance fighter during World War II, passes away in Berlin days before his 89th birthday
BERLIN – Gad Beck, an anti-Nazi Zionist resistance fighter and the last known gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, died on Sunday in Berlin. He passed away in a senior citizens’ home six days before his 89th birthday, which would have been on June 30.Beck was a pioneering gay activist and educator in a severely anti-homosexual, repressive post-World War II German society. He was famous for his witty, lively style of speaking.On a German talk show, he said, “The Americans in New Yorkcalled me a great hero. I said no… I’m really a little hero.”Perhaps the single most important experience that shaped his life was the wartime effort to rescue his boyfriend. Beck donned a Hitler Youth uniform and entered a deportation center to free his Jewish lover Manfred Lewin, who had declined to separate himself from his family.The Nazis would later deport the entire Lewin family to Auschwitz, where they were murdered.Speaking about his life as a gay Jew, Beck invoked a line frequently cited about homosexuality: “God doesn’t punish for a life of love.”
Read more HERE

For more KNOWhomo posts on the Pink Triangle/gay Holocaust persecution:

A Survivor’s Story — Read Here
Paragraph 175 — Read Here
Pink Triangle History — Read Here
(Upsetting) Post-Camp History — Read Here
Pink Triangle Memorial — Read Here 
Photo Blog Series — Look Here
Theatre/Play about Pink Triangles: Bent — Read Here
Graphic Novel, including a Hitler Youth Homosexual Relationship —Read Here

LGBTQ* History In The News

Pride Month News You Should Know


(the following text from JPost.com)

Last gay Jewish Holocaust survivor dies

Gad Beck, a resistance fighter during World War II, passes away in Berlin days before his 89th birthday

BERLIN – Gad Beck, an anti-Nazi Zionist resistance fighter and the last known gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, died on Sunday in Berlin. He passed away in a senior citizens’ home six days before his 89th birthday, which would have been on June 30.

Beck was a pioneering gay activist and educator in a severely anti-homosexual, repressive post-World War II German society. He was famous for his witty, lively style of speaking.

On a German talk show, he said, “The Americans in New Yorkcalled me a great hero. I said no… I’m really a little hero.”

Perhaps the single most important experience that shaped his life was the wartime effort to rescue his boyfriend. Beck donned a Hitler Youth uniform and entered a deportation center to free his Jewish lover Manfred Lewin, who had declined to separate himself from his family.

The Nazis would later deport the entire Lewin family to Auschwitz, where they were murdered.

Speaking about his life as a gay Jew, Beck invoked a line frequently cited about homosexuality: “God doesn’t punish for a life of love.”

Read more HERE


For more KNOWhomo posts on the Pink Triangle/gay Holocaust persecution:


A Survivor’s Story — Read Here

Paragraph 175 — Read Here

Pink Triangle History — Read Here

(Upsetting) Post-Camp History — Read Here

Pink Triangle Memorial — Read Here 

Photo Blog Series — Look Here

Theatre/Play about Pink Triangles: Bent — Read Here

Graphic Novel, including a Hitler Youth Homosexual Relationship —Read Here

LGBTQ* (Young Adult) Fiction You Should Know
Gravity by Leanne Lieberman
Ellie Gold is an orthodox Jewish teenager living in Toronto in the late eighties. Ellie has no doubts about her strict religious upbringing until she falls in love with another girl at her grandmother’s cottage. Aware that homosexuality clashes with Jewish observance, Ellie feels forced to either alter her sexuality or leave her community. Meanwhile, Ellie’s mother, Chana, becomes convinced she has a messianic role to play, and her sister, Neshama, chafes against the restrictions of her faith. Ellie is afraid there is no way to be both gay and Jewish, but her mother and sister offer alternative concepts of God that help Ellie find a place for herself as a queer Jew. (from Amazon.com)

LGBTQ* (Young Adult) Fiction You Should Know

Gravity by Leanne Lieberman

Ellie Gold is an orthodox Jewish teenager living in Toronto in the late eighties. Ellie has no doubts about her strict religious upbringing until she falls in love with another girl at her grandmother’s cottage. Aware that homosexuality clashes with Jewish observance, Ellie feels forced to either alter her sexuality or leave her community. Meanwhile, Ellie’s mother, Chana, becomes convinced she has a messianic role to play, and her sister, Neshama, chafes against the restrictions of her faith. Ellie is afraid there is no way to be both gay and Jewish, but her mother and sister offer alternative concepts of God that help Ellie find a place for herself as a queer Jew. (from Amazon.com)

LGBTQ* People You Should Know
LGBTQ* and Jewish 
(click graphic for larger image)

LGBTQ* People You Should Know

LGBTQ* and Jewish

(click graphic for larger image)

Aug 5
LGBTQ* Historical Novels To Keep On Your Radar
 
Aimée & Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943

BASED ON A TRUE STORY
Written by: Erica Fischer (Edna McCown translator)

Acclaimed in Germany and England, this tragic and remarkable real-life love story won a Lambda Literary Award when it was first published in America in 1995. Lilly Wust (“Aimée”) was a conventional middle-class mother of four, estranged from her philandering husband, when she met Felice Schragenheim (“Jaguar”) in 1941. Their passionate affair unfolded against the backdrop of the deportation of Jews from Berlin, but several months passed before Felice could even bring herself to tell Lilly that she was Jewish and living illegally on the streets. “I knew, of course, what it meant,” Lilly recalled in old age. “Not for a moment did I think that I too could be in danger. On the contrary, all I wanted to do now was to save her.” Lilly’s heroic efforts to conceal and protect Felice through the next two years make for painful and inspiring reading. Felice was arrested in August 1944 and sent her last letter to Lilly four months later. In 1981 Lilly was awarded the German Federal Service Cross, though no one could read this as a happy ending. —Regina Marler

LGBTQ* Historical Novels To Keep On Your Radar

Aimée & Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943


BASED ON A TRUE STORY

Written by: Erica Fischer (Edna McCown translator)


Acclaimed in Germany and England, this tragic and remarkable real-life love story won a Lambda Literary Award when it was first published in America in 1995. Lilly Wust (“Aimée”) was a conventional middle-class mother of four, estranged from her philandering husband, when she met Felice Schragenheim (“Jaguar”) in 1941. Their passionate affair unfolded against the backdrop of the deportation of Jews from Berlin, but several months passed before Felice could even bring herself to tell Lilly that she was Jewish and living illegally on the streets. “I knew, of course, what it meant,” Lilly recalled in old age. “Not for a moment did I think that I too could be in danger. On the contrary, all I wanted to do now was to save her.” Lilly’s heroic efforts to conceal and protect Felice through the next two years make for painful and inspiring reading. Felice was arrested in August 1944 and sent her last letter to Lilly four months later. In 1981 Lilly was awarded the German Federal Service Cross, though no one could read this as a happy ending. —Regina Marler


May 7
World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Jews
http://www.glbtjews.org/  —
The World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews: Keshet Ga’avah consists of around 50 member organizations in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The World Congress holds conferences and workshops representing the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual, & transgender Jews around the world. The focus of these sessions varies from regional, national, continental, to global.
The Hebrew subtitle Keshet Ga’avah - Rainbow of Pride - emphasizes the importance of Hebrew and of Israel to the World Congress.

World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Jews

http://www.glbtjews.org/  —

The World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews: Keshet Ga’avah consists of around 50 member organizations in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The World Congress holds conferences and workshops representing the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual, & transgender Jews around the world. The focus of these sessions varies from regional, national, continental, to global.

The Hebrew subtitle Keshet Ga’avah - Rainbow of Pride - emphasizes the importance of Hebrew and of Israel to the World Congress.