Erwin J. Haeberle

Berlin remembers Magnus Hirschfeld

1. Hirschfeld Monument
For some time now, a group of people from academia, business, the arts, and politics has been advocating the creation of a formal Magnus Hirschfeld Monument. A suitable location would be on a river bank right across from Hirschfeld’s Institute that was plundered by the Nazis and finally destroyed in a WW II bombing raid. Prof. Haeberle is a board member of this group.

2. Existing Hirschfeld Mementos
There have already been several successful efforts in Berlin to preserve the memory of Magnus Hirschfeld. Indeed, mostly at the initiative of various gay/lesbian organizations, a few memorials have been set up in some of Berlin’s public places.




Column in front of Hirschfeld‘s first Berlin medical practice across from  Charlottenburg City Hall
Photo: E.J. Haeberle

Column with inscription
on the Spree river bank commemorating Hirschfeld‘s former Institute
Photo: E.J. Haeberle

Columns on the Spree river bank commemorating the struggle for homosexual rights fought by Hirschfelds and others.
Photo: E.J. Haeberle



Street sign on the Spree river bank across from Hirschfeld‘s former
Institute for Sexology,
the first of its kind in the world
Photo: E.J. Haeberle

The Magnus-Hirschfeld-Ufer
Right: A part of the roof the Congress Hall.
(House of World Cultures)
Background center: The Federal Chancellery.

Photo: E.J. Haeberle

3. Publications, Organizations, Exhibitions etc.

In the last thirty years, Hirschfeld’s name has also been honored in other ways: 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1990,
1992, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011

* 1981
June 21. -26. World Congress of Sexology in Jerusalem.  Prof Haeberle commemorates  Hirschfeld and the other German sexological pioneers  in his lecture „The Jewish Contribution to the Development of Sexology“ . The congress participants had never heard any of this before. Their suprise is also confirmed by letters in which the President of Israel, Yitzhak  Navon, and the sex researcher William H. Masters  express their thanks to the author.




Jerusalem 1981:
Congress Proceedings including lecture by E. J. Haeberle
(Click on picture to enlarge)

Jerusalem 1981:
Letter from President. Navon
to E. J. Haeberle
(Click on picture to enlarge)

Jerusalem 1981:
Letter from W.H. Masters
to E. J. Haeberle
(Click on picture to enlarge)

* 1982
In Berlin the
Magnus-Hirschfeld-Gesellschaft  (MGH, i.e. Magnus Hirschfeld Society) is founded.
In the  following years, it publishes a series of Mitteilungen  (Communications) about its research  on Hirschfeld and his contemporaries  as well as two  more comprehensive Schriftenreihen  (Publication Series).  In addition, it organizes  several  exhibitions . Two of these  „ 100 Years of the Gay Movement “ and  „The First Institute for Sexology  in Berlin (1919-1933)“ are shown not only in various German cities, but also in several European countries and in the USA.  in addition, the MHG offers the second of these exhibitions in a permanent online version on its web  site.

A copy of the MHG „Mitteilungen

* 1983
For sexology and the work of Magnus Hirschfeld,  this is a triple anniversary:
75 years since the publication of the first sexological journal “ Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft”  1908 (editor:  Hirschfeld),
70 years since the founding of the first sexological society  1913 (co-founder:  Hirschfeld),
50 years since the Nazi plundering and closing  of the world’s first Institute for Sexology  1933 (founder:  Hirschfeld).
In an opening speech at the 6th World Congress of Sexology in Washington D.C., Prof. Haeberle therefore once again reminds his audience of the German sexological pioneers and, in cooperation with the Kinsey-Institute,  organizes an exhibition of 50 large display boards about “
The Birth of Sexology in Berlin 1908-1933”. This exhibition  is subseqently shown in several  German cities (in Berlin nobody is interested) as well other European countries and  in China.  At the same time, a brochure describing the exhibition is published in both English and German. Today, the exhibitions is shown on our web site under the title “Pioneers”.

* 1984
Seventy years after its first publication, Hirschfeld’s great study of homosexuality is republished with a new introduction by  Prof. Haeberle .



* 1986 The gay publishing house Rosa Winkel republishes a work by Hirschfeld: “Von einst bis jetzt



A work by Hirschfeld newly published in Berlin

Proceedings of the Hong Kong  congress

* 1990
 May 18. -22. The first international congress  Sexuality in Asia”  is organized in Hong Kong with participants from many Asian countries.  On this occasion, the Goethe-Institute supports  the display of the exhibition “The Birth of Sexology in Berlin 1908-1933” which, among other things, reminds its visitors of Hirschfeld‘s  trips to Japan, the Philippines, China, Indonesia, and India.  As the initiator and author of this exhibition,  Prof. Haeberle  presents a lecture at the congress under the title “Hirschfeld, Asia and Sexology”, which is published in the congress proceedings.

* 1990
For the first international sexology congress in the reunited city of Berlin,  Prof. Haeberle designs a
Hirschfeld Medal.  As president of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für sozialwissen­schaftliche Sexualforschung (DGSS) and  as congress organizer,  he then awards the medal to two deserving Jewish sexologists who had been victims of Nazi persecution  -  the Dutch  Herman Musaph and the Austrian Ernest Borneman
The congress under the title  „Bisexualities“ meets in the Reichstag, where, in 1926, another  international sexology congress had held its opening ceremony. The organizer at the time had been
Albert Moll, a competitor and declared enemy of Hirschfeld’s. The latter had not been invited, but since his institute was nearby, most congress participants used the opportunity to visit it. 
(Since 1990, the Hirschfeld- Medall in its two versions - for Sexual Research and for Sexual  Reform  -  has been awared to many other deserving foreign and German personalities.)


* 1992
 July 16. – 19. In the Senate Hall of Humboldt-University an International  Conference for Sexology is held under the title. „Sexuality, Law, and Ethics“ . The organizers are three German sexological societies and the HU-Institute for Human Ontogenetics. Conference patron is the Senator for Science and Research, Berlin.  All participants receive a folder containing copies of original documents relating the 100th anniversary of Hirschfeld’s  doctoral examination  1892. He had  received his medical degree at this very university which, at the time, was still called “Friedrich-Wilhelms-University”. His examiners had been  Virchow, Bardeleben and Gerhardt : 


* 1993 
- On Hirschfeld‘s 125th birthday, May 14th Mai 1993, Prof. Haeberle presents a Lecture at Humboldt-University devoted to Hirschfeld and his colleagues, the birth of sexology in Berlin, and its subsequent world-wide development. The lecture is published by the university as a booklet in its own series of  „Public Lectures”,



-  June 7.-11. The 9th International AIDS-Conference is held at the ICC Berlin. With the support of the Wellcome Foundation, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für sozialwissenschaftliche Sexualforschung (DGSS) is able to provide all the many thousands of participants with a free brochure „Sexology Today -  A Brief Introduction“. It contains a historical chronology written by DGSS president Prof. Haeberle detailing the work of Hirschfeld and that of other Pionieers of Sexology.

* 1997 
17. Mai - 17. August 1997. „Goodbye to Berlin: 100 Years of the Gay Rights Movementan exhibition of the Schwules Museum and the Akademie der Künste, Berlin. The exhibition  celebrates the hundredth anniversary of the first gay rights organization founded by Hirschfeld and others in 1897 - the Wissenschaftlich-humanitäre Komitée (Scientific Humanitarian Committee). For the exhibition Prof. Haeberle lends his complete edition (25 vols.) of the Jahrbücher für sexuelle Zwischenstufen from his Archive. There is also an accompanying program of special events and lectures. As part of the lectures series, Prof. Haeberle and Prof. Liu Dalin (Shanghai) give a joint presentation on „Homosexuality in ancient China“.

Exhibition catalog

Selection of lectures

* 1997
June 25. – 27. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für sozialwissen­schaftliche Sexualforschung (DGSS), together with the HU-Institut für Humanontogenetik, organizes an international congress in the Senate Hall of HumboldtUniversity: „100 Jahre Schwulenbewegung“ (100 Years of the Gay Movement). The Hirschfeld Medals are awarded to the lesbian pioneer of sex education in Sweden, Maj-Briht Bergström-Walan (for Sexual Reform) and the American gay historian Jonathan Ned Katz (for Sexual Sciencet).

* 1997
Rosa von Praunheim
shows his documentary film  „Schwuler Mut  -100 Jahre Schwulenbewegung.  The film also honors Hirschfeld‘s struggle for the rights of humosexuals.,7cqIG8YS_VFn9B1lHxirwfsQp7X+dQMQtrVDqAbsGoWTZaaa1jeypqummZmWo3EbPPAMoHUvV+gtcc36gmM6ew==.jpg

Photo for the film „Schwuler Mut – 100 Jahre Schwulenbewegung

* 1999
23.- 27. August. The World Association for Sexology (WAS) organizes its 14. World Congress of Sexology in Hong Kong.  On this occasion, Prof. Haeberle and WAS president Prof. Eli Coleman edit a free broschure which is distributed to all congress participants. The brochure with the title „Sexology World-Wide“ presents excerpts from our Archive for Sexology  - then still with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) -  for example The History of Sexology, Chronology of Sex Research, World-wide Directory. These texts remind the readers of Hirschfeld’s outstanding contributions.

Cover of Directory edited by E. Coleman and E. J. Haeberle:
The History of Sexology, Chronology of Sex Research, World-wide Directory

* 1999 
Rosa von Praunheim
shows his biographical film about Hirschfeld: „Der Einstein des Sex: Leben und Werk des Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld“. The film dates back to a joint seminar which the film maker and  Prof. Haeberle had offered in the winter semester 1993-94 when the latter had been a visiting professor at  Humboldt University. The film is subsequently also shown on television and thus reaches a very large audience which now learns about this German pioneer of sexology and fighter for gay rights.

The Einstein of Sex: Life and 
Work of Dr. M. Hirschfeld

Film poster

* 2000
June 29.i – July 2. As Secretary General of the European Federation for Sexology (EFS) and President of the German Society for Social-Scientific  Sex Research (DGSS) , Prof. Haeberle organizes the largest international sexological congress ever held in Berlin. Participants from all continents and 34 countries meet in the modern Kongresshalle (Haus der Kulturen der Welt).  As everyone proudly recognizes, the  conference is taking place quite close to the site where Hirschfeld’s institute once stood. The printed program contains a  Greeting  from one of the most powerful men in China:  Prof.  Wu Jieping, founder of the
China Sexology  Association and Vicepresident of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. For the duration of the congress,  the film  “Anders als die Andern” (1919), directed by Richard Oswald in collaboration with Hirschfeld, is shown repeatedly in the lobby, so that all congress participants have a chance to see it.

* 2001
A critical biography of Hirschfeld by Manfred Herzer is published under the title “Leben und Werk eines jüdischen, schwulen und sozialistischen Sexologen”.      


* 2001
Moving from the Robert Koch-Institute  to Humboldt University, Prof. Haeberle renames his electronic Archive “Magnus Hirschfeld Archive”. The Archive provides, among other things, a very large, continuously growing online library and a curriculum of 6 courses (6 semesters) in sexual health. The Archive is devoted to the principle of “open access”, i.e. it is freely accesible to any user anywhere. Since its information is provided in 12 languages,  it registers millions of hits and several hundred thousand “visitors”  every single month – more than Hirschfeld’s original institute in all 14 years of its existence.



* 2002
The German parliament (Bundestag) decides to create a  Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation, which, provided with the necessary financial support,  shall try to make up for the injustices suffered by  homosexuals at the hands of the Nazi regime. In support of this goal, several gay-lesbian groups form an Aktionsbündnis (action alliance).



* 2004
The China Sexological Association invites  Prof. Haeberle as the main speaker at its 10-year anniversary celebration in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. Present at his lecture is also the Association’s founder  Prof.  Wu Jieping.  Given 80 minutes speaking time, Haeberle  reminds  his audience of Hirschfeld’s trip around the world, his visit to  China in 1931, and his Chinese disciple Li Shiu Tong. The speaker then demonstrates his own  English e-learning curriculum as a possible model  for the future world-wide disseminationl of sexual health  information.  As a result of this live demonstration,  Chinese colleagues produce a translation of the Archive curriculum into Chinese.

Erwin J. Haeberle 
The Global Future of Sexology 

This invited lecture, together with a live demonstration of the author's own e-learning courses,
was given in Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Oct.16, 2004.

….As you may know, modern Western sexology originated in Berlin in the early 20th century. Berlin was the birthplace of the first sexological journals, organizations, congresses and, indeed, the first Institute for Sexology. The blossoming of this new science was the work of many men, but the most important of these was the Berlin physician Magnus Hirschfeld.

One lifetime ago - in 1930 - Hirschfeld embarked on a lecture tour around the world, introducing his new science to many countries from Germany to the USA, East Asia, India, the Near East, and back to mediterranean Europe. In the summer of 1931, this 2-year journey also took him to China, where he lectured to great acclaim at all Chinese National Universities. Indeed, an old photo shows him at the Central National University here in Beijing. This photo is an important historical document for a special reason: It also shows Hirschfeld's last disciple and heir - Li Shiu Tong, a medical student from Hong Kong….

0x01 graphic
Hirschfeld with faculty members of the Central National University, Beijing 1931.
On the steps on the right (circle) is Li Shiu Tong.

* 2006
From March 29 -30., Prof. Haeberle visits Atlanta, GA, where he gives two presentations at the invitation of the Goethe-Institute (German Cultural Center). On March 29, he introduces the first of a “German Gay Film Series” by presenting the 1919 silent movie “Different from the Others” (“Anders als die Andern”), directed by Richard Oswald in cooperation with
Magnus Hirschfeld. On March 30, his 70th birthday, Prof. Haeberle gives a live demonstration of his Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology under the title “Transatlantic Knowledge Transfer – The Growing Role of the Internet”. The lecture emphasizes the continuity of this work based on Hirschfeld’s international efforts in the 1920’s and - 1930’s (a.o. his World League for Sexual Reform and his trip around the world.)
(From the left) Dr. Michael Nentwich, Director of the Goethe Institute, Atlanta,
Prof. Haeberle

* 2007
The Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung is founded at the initiative of the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD).  Its aim is the protection of human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

* 2008
May 7 - September 14,  2008. The Magnus Hirschfeld Society organizes an exhibition in the Berlin Medical Historical Museum of the Charité:  Sex burns:  Magnus Hirschfeld's Institute for Sexual Science and the Book Burning

* 2009
. The World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) invites Prof. Haeberle to give a “Hirschfeld Lecture” at its 19th World Congress in Gothenburg, Sweden. This lecture, commemorating Hirschfelds pioneering contributions, stresses the importance of his early international efforts as a basis for meeting the global challenges of today.  

2. Opening of the Haeberle-Hirschfeld-Archiv in the central library of Humboldt University (Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm-Zentrum). The Archive contains sexological books, journals, and historical documents as well as various relevant collections.

Prof. Haeberle in the Haeberle-Hirschfeld-Archiv

 * 2011
The complete  Jahrbuch für sexuelle Zwischenstufen (Yearbook for Sexual Intermediate Stages, 25 vols.) , edited by Magnus Hirschfeld,  is republished  in Leipzig with a new introduction by Prof. Haeberle.