Erwin J. Haeberle
remembers Magnus Hirschfeld
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.
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
front of Hirschfeld‘s first Berlin medical practice across from Charlottenburg
on the Spree river bank commemorating Hirschfeld‘s former Institute
on the Spree river bank commemorating the struggle for homosexual rights
fought by Hirschfelds and others.
sign on the Spree river bank across from Hirschfeld‘s former
Institute for Sexology,
the first of its kind in the world
Right: A part of the roof the Congress Hall.
(House of World Cultures)
Background center: The Federal Chancellery.
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
-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.
Congress Proceedings including lecture by E. J. Haeberle
(Click on picture to enlarge)
Letter from President. Navon
to E. J. Haeberle
(Click on picture to enlarge)
Letter from W.H. Masters
to E. J. Haeberle
(Click on picture to enlarge)
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“
For sexology and the work of Magnus Hirschfeld, this is a triple
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
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”.
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
of the Hong Kong congress
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
For the first international sexology congress in the reunited city of
Berlin, Prof. Haeberle designs a Hirschfeld
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
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
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 :
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.
17. Mai - 17. August 1997. „Goodbye to Berlin:
100 Years of
the Gay Rights Movement“ - an
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
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“.
Selection of lectures
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).
Rosa von Praunheim shows
his documentary film „Schwuler Mut -100 Jahre Schwulenbewegung“.
also honors Hirschfeld‘s struggle for the rights of humosexuals.
Photo for the film „Schwuler
Mut – 100 Jahre Schwulenbewegung“
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
Rosa von Praunheim shows his biographical film about Hirschfeld: „Der Einstein des Sex:
Leben und Werk des Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld“. The
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.
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
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
A critical biography of Hirschfeld by Manfred Herzer is
published under the title “Leben und Werk
eines jüdischen, schwulen und sozialistischen Sexologen”.
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.
The German parliament (Bundestag) decides to create
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
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
invited lecture, together with a live demonstration of the author's own
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….
with faculty members of the Central National University, Beijing 1931.
steps on the right (circle) is Li Shiu Tong.
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 left) Dr. Michael Nentwich, Director of the Goethe Institute,
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
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
1. The World Association for Sexual
Health (WAS) invites Prof. Haeberle to give a “Hirschfeld
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.
Haeberle in the Haeberle-Hirschfeld-Archiv
The complete Jahrbuch für sexuelle
Zwischenstufen (Yearbook for Sexual Intermediate Stages, 25 vols.)
, edited by Magnus Hirschfeld, is republished in Leipzig with a
by Prof. Haeberle.