Archive for Sexology

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Herbert Lewandowski (1896-1996).

The following sampler gives a first impression of the documents in our collection, which contains many more items than are shown here. The entire collection can be studied on location at our archive during regular opening hours.

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The writer, cultural historian and sexual ethnologist Herbert Lewandowki was born in Kassel (Germany) and received his doctoral degree (Dr. phil.) at the University of Bonn in 1923. In the same year, he moved to Utrecht (Netherlands) where he opened a book dealership together with a Dutch partner and married his devoted wife Martha Berkowsky. In late 1926, he published, in German, his illustrated study "Das Sexualproblem in der modernen Literatur und Kunst" (The Sexual Problem in Modern Literature and Art). This pioneering work was well received and put him in touch with many sexological pioneers, such as Th. van de Velde, the author of "Ideal Marriage", who became a close friend. Lewandowki also spoke at two congresses of the World League for Sexual Reform (WLSR): Vienna 1930 and Brno 1932. As a consequence, he also came to know Magnus Hirschfeld quite well. As a German-writing and German-born Jewish author, Lewandowki encountered increasing difficulties in the 1930s and finally left the Netherlands in 1937, beginning a difficult exile in France and later Switzerland. The years 1942-1945 he spent in a Swiss internment camp near Montreux, where he wrote a diary (later published) as well as several works of fiction and cultural history. After the end of WWII, he remained in Switzerland. There followed a productive period, in which his numerous publications elaborated on the role of sex and eroticism in literature and art. The later years of his life he spent with his wife in an apartment in Geneva.

For a list of Lewandowki's writings, click here.

1. Herbert Lewandowski reading his biography of Paul Gauguin (ca. 1950). [31K] 2. Title page of Lewandowki's study "The Sexual Problem in Modern Literature and Art" (1926/27). [58K] 3. Leaflet advertising Lewandowki's cycle of poems "The diary of Caspar Hauser: A Gift for the Lonely" (1927 pp.90). [75K]

4. Herbert Lewandowski at the piano in Vienna during the 1930 congress of the World League of Sexual Reform (WLSR). Lewandowski had presented a paper on "The Three Forms of Sexual Morality". Behind Lewandowski: Magnus Hirschfeld (seated). Standing behind Hirschfeld: Norman Haire. [69K]. 5. Magnus Hirschfeld and Herbert Lewandowski in front of the Masaryk University medical school in Brno, Czechoslowakia 1932. The ocasion was the last congress of the WLSR. Lewandowski presented a paper on prostitution in the Netherlands. [65K] 6. First page of an unpublished manuscript by Herbert Lewandowski "The History of Sexology". The ms runs to a total of 13 pages. [715K]
For full translation, click here.

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