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The homosexual group Gesellschaft für Reform des Sexualrechts (Association for the Reform of Sexual Laws) and the 1950ies Berlin
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Gay People - promotion, surveys, self-identity

In the 1950s and 60s the Gay movement used the opinions of Magnus Hirschfeld about the hereditary nature of homosexuality. Hirschfeld was a doctor and the founder of the Gay movement and his opinions evolved into models for Gay self-identity. The sexual researchers, who were interested in Gay emancipation began all over again using Hirschfeld's methods.

The first of these was Rudolf Klimmer, who had taken up Hirschfeld's biological arguments, in the post war period and called for the decriminalization of the status of Gay people. He was followed by the Berlin WhK activist Werner Becker, who had rewritten the Psycho-biologische Fragebogen (Psycho-biological Questionnaire) developed by Hirschfeld in 1928, for his own dissertation Ätiologie und Differentialdiagnose der Homosexualität (Etiology and Differential Diagnoses for Homosexuality) in 1948. The research questions from Becker corresponded to his thesis on biological heritage and in the same way to the natural inclinations of "genuine" Gay feelings. He dedicated his dissertation to the people who had answered his questions.

In the mid 1950s Wilhart S. Schlegel began the return to Hirschfeld's hypothesis of biological constitution based on body measurements. He used that to go beyond the questions of Gay self-image and on the social experiences of Gays. He then founded the Institut für soziologische Forschung (Institute for Sociological Research) and his publications found a big response within the Gay movement.

At the same time but with a different point of view, Hans Giese, approached Hirschfeld's biological theories from a psychiatric perspective. By the end of the 1950s Giese's questions were oriented towards his thesis about the dangers of Gay socialization because of "single Gays". Giese characterized his relationship with Gays and with the reform efforts coming from the Gay movement in his book Der homosexuelle Mann in der Welt (The Homosexual Man in the World): "the Institute for Sexual-Research and my private person were in those days in Frankfurt am Main in Gay circles very frequently considered as 'Pioneering' and as reputable justification for help against criminal judgements. That these narrow-minded opinions were only half correct and not mere tolerance, deserves especially to be mentioned. And, the personal confidences later on proved useful for my scientific work...".

From the WhK to the Gesellschaft für Reform des Sexualrechts e.V. (Registered Society for the Reform of Sexual Laws) 1948 - 1951

The Gesellschaft für Reform des Sexualrechts e.V. (Society for Reform of Sexual Laws registered association) 1951 - 1960

The Struggle for Law and Against Persecution

Gay Locations in Berlin

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