Virtual Memorial
 Projekte der MHG (chronologisch)  

Räume des WhK im Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, 1919-1933

Virtual Memorial for the Institute
Memorial Book for the Murdered Homosexuals

The following two projects are funded through the United States of America's share of the International Nazi Persecutee Relief Fund and are commissioned to the Magnus Hirschfeld Society. An additional exhibiton project on the life of a gay survivor in Berlin is commissioned to the Schwules Museum Berlin.

top A Virtual Memorial for the Destroyed Institute for Sexual Science

The aim of this project is to erect a virtual memorial for the former Hirschfeld Institute, its staff members, its visitors and guests, as well as to reflect and to remember their fights and visions.
Until now, there is no monographic publication on the Hirschfeld Institute describing the immense material and immaterial losses the Nazi politics caused for the national and international lesbian, gay, transvestite, and transsexual movement.
Since 1982 the Magnus Hirschfeld Society (MHS) is working to reconstruct the history of the former Institute for Sexual Science founded by Magnus Hirschfeld in 1919, which was destroyed by the Nazis 1933 and later fell into oblivion for a long time. During the time of the Weimar Republic, this Institute was the political center for homosexual men and women, for transvestites, and transsexuals and all their organizations. The Institute's groundbreaking and taboo-breaking research on homosexuality was employed to advocate changes of the penal codes as well as for education of the general public. Furthermore, the Institute was a very popular place for socializing and for meetings of individuals in "gender trouble" kind of a refuge. The ransacking of the Institute early in May, 1933, marked the beginning of the total destruction of the German homosexual organizations as well as their intellectual live and their (sub)culture.
The documentary shall thus thus make available still existing but submerged knowledge to a broad public. In line with this aim the MHS has curated and sponsored a travelling exhibit on the former Institute, which was displayed in German for the first time in 1994, and many more times since then. An English version is travelling the US since 1997, and was on display in many cities, among them New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The MHS recently donated this English version of the exhibit to the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection of the University of Minnesota where future arrangements for lending can be made.
This virtual memorial shall consist of three "columns":
  1. A comprehensive book (in German and in English) presenting texts and photographs, emphasizing five fields of interest
    • the scientific research
    • the sexual policy
    • medical and psychological practice
    • biographical studies on the Institute‘s staff members, (most of them of Jewish origin), including their fate after 1933
    • the ransacking of the Institute, the destruction of its library, collections, and archives, and the suppression of the Weimar homosexual and sex reform movement.
  2. An internet Website based on the material of the travelling exhibit (in German, English, and Spanish), with additional material on the exile of Magnus Hirschfeld.
  3. A CD-ROM version of the website/exhibit for offline browsing to be used in libraries, schools, and universities. It should be possible to include the Hirschfeld bibliography by James D. Steakley and a full bibliography of the Institute for Sexual Science.

top Memorial Book for the Murdered Homosexuals of Berlin

There are Memorial Books for the Murdered Jews of Berlin and of several other German Cities. This project proposes the creation of such a Memorial Book for the homosexuals murdered by the Nazis. The Book would offer an alphabetical list of the names of all the murdered homosexual men and women together with the dates of their births and their deaths, and thus be a document of terror and losses. The book shall be distributed to public libraries in Berlin and all over Germany. It can be used as a basis for a commemoration, e.g. a public reading of all the names.
Basic research needed for the compilation of the Memorial Book has already been completed or can be done comparably easy: The names of the murdered can be extracted from existing data bases on the prosecution of homosexuals by Nazi courts and from the lists of homosexual inmates of concentration camps. These data have been collected in different contexts and projects. Therefore the researchers who were involved in these earlier projects need to be asked to take part in this project. Main task of the project proposed here is to coordinate the compilation of the names and the composition of the Memorial Book. A short, popular introduction about the Nazi politics against homosexuals should be part of the book as well.

 Magnus-Hirschfeld-Gesellschaft e.V. - Startseite (ohne Frame) - Übersicht/Sitemap - Aktualisierung: 09.01.2003