Montag, 27. Mai 2024
Montag, 27. Mai 2024
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Homosexuality in the Empire (Kaiserreich) from 1897 to 1918

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The 20th century heralded the beginning of the end of an era: the dawning of the last 18 years of the empire. To examine the development of gay culture in Germany more closely, the following even go a few years back in time before the beginning of the 20th century: this marks the development of Paragraph 175.

Nearly 30 years later, fervid resistance arose in response to the law. The petitions signed by numerous scientist, politicians, and other important  concerning the abatement of Paragraph 175 received neither attention nor accolade.  

During this period, homosexuality was often used as a political weapon; a well-known victim being Friedrich Alfred Krupp.


Code § the 175 is passed, forbidding the “fornication” between men, thus making it a punishable offense


Establishment of the Scientific-Humanitarian Commitee (WhK) by Magnus Hirschfeld, Max Spohr, Franz Josef von Bülow, Eduard Oberg;  the goal: abolishment of penal code §175 of (RStGB).


First attempt at liberalisation of code §175 by August Bebel (SPD chairman) fails.


Prominenten-Outing: Friedrich Alfred Krupp goes through “Vorwärts” (central executive body of the SPD); Krupp dies one week later to 22.11.1902, the cause of death is unknown


Due to a legal offense, Magnus Hirschfeld is condemned. He inquired students and workers as to their sexual habits; Result of these inquiries: 2.3% of the men were gay


The Reichstag denies petitions calling for  for cancellation of code §175.


the SPD takes an anti-homosexual stance stating: “We are opponents of homosexuality, because it is an impulse against the laws of nature…”


Scandal: Prince Philipp zu Eulenberg und Hertefeld is arrested due to suspicion of homosexual tendencies; the sentence  followed on 29.6.1908, however, it was renounced just three weeks later and never taken up again.


The Petition Commission calls for the intensification of code §175.


The publish Adolf Brand goes to court due to publics acts of homosexuality; however, he receives no kind of sentence.

Page translated into English by Latané

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