The homosexual group Gesellschaft für Reform des Sexualrechts (Association for the Reform of Sexual Laws) and the 1950ies Berlin
Wir über uns
After the end of WW II applications and appeals were used to demand the abolishment of Paragraph 175. At that time the attempt was ineffective because of the continued existence of the priority of National Socialist Party (NS) [Nazi] law. The attempt had been tied to an emancipation strategy originated during the Weimar Republic (1919-1933). 1949 saw the beginning of a new Wissenschaft-humanitäre Komitee (WhK) (Scientific-humanitarian Committee). The first encouragement for this came from Berlin.
February 1948 The Berlin journalist Erich Ritter corresponded with Kurt Hiller, who was then in exile in England, to establish a new WhK; Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) founded the WhK in 1897, and Hiller had been a member of the Board of Directors, Hirschfeld's WhK was disbanded at the beginning of the NS-dictatorship.
March 1949 A young medical student from Berlin Werner Becker in the Swiss Gay magazine Der Kreis (The Circle) called for the re-establishment of the WhK and made an appeal to the Dresden psychiatrist Rudolf Klimmer, who was involved in the abolishment of Paragraph 175 in East Germany, he also made contact with Swedish und Dutch Gay groups.
October 1949 The Frankfurt psychiatrist Hans Giese announced in Der Kreis the re-founding of the WhK.
November 1949 In association with Giese's Frankfurt WhK the WhK-Gruppe Groß-Berlin (WhK Group of Grater Berlin) attempted to register with the city council. The board of directors besides Giese and Becker listed the journalists Harald Jaehn and Eva Siewert as well as doctor of sexual medicine Georg Helm, with help from both Erich Ritter and the lawyer Curt Kleemann.
April 1950 Giese organized a conference in Frankfurt, and with that, formed the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sexualforschung (The German Society for Sexual Research) separating it from the Gay movement; and stating that the Frankfurt WhK stood for research, and his association would no longer be associated with the Berlin chapter of the WhK, which would now be independent.
July 1950 The West Berlin Mayor Ernst Reuter was against the registration of the association, the Berlin WhK, however, still wanted to be registered.
September 1950 The WhK had been denounced in March for counseling Gays in the Zehlendorf association office; the police held an investigation and issued a summons from the district council, which resulted in the activities of the WhK being monitored.
October 1950 A new association board of directors was confirmed and went into effect with: businessman Hans Borgward, lawyer Werner Hesse, psychiatrist Alexander Boroffka and constitutional lawyer and historian Walter Anderssen. The new association office was to be in Schöneberg where Borgward and Hesse lived.
March 1951 Within the association a new name for the WhK, Gesellschaft für Reform des Sexualrechts (GfRdS) (Society for the Reform of Sexual Laws), was chosen, avoiding the use of the word homosexual. The renewed effort to registration with the city council and the lower district courts also took place under the new law for associations passed on the 29th of September 1950.
"The association scientifically studies the sexual life of society and takes a contemporary position on: sexual research, suitable reform of sexual laws, and in particular the punishment for sexual acts."
January 1952 It was officially entered into the registrar of Berlin associations: the GfRdS with that became the only Gay organization in Germany, that was successful in the 1950s in achieving association status.