Archive for Sexology

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Max Marcuse (1877 - 1963).

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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Max Marcuse was a dermatologist in Berlin. As a student, he had been called to the scene of a botched illegal abortion that resulted in the death of the mother. As a result of this experience, he became an outspoken supporter of the womenís movement. He edited an early sex reform journal "Sexual Problems". In 1909, this journal incorporated Magnus Hirschfeldís Journal of Sexology, which had folded by the end of 1908. It was then refounded in 1914 by Iwan Bloch and Albert Eulenburg, but reached ist greatest importance, when Marcuse assumed the editorship in 1919. He continued to edit it until 1932, when it had to cease publication under the double threat of a severe economic depression and the approaching Nazi dictatorship. Marcuse also distinguished himself as a sexological expert witness in criminal trials, becoming the first officially recognized sexologist in German courts.
In spite of his liberal leanings, he was able to cooperate for many years with the very conservative Albert Moll, who despised both Hirschfeld and Freud. In contrast to most of his sexological colleagues, however, Marcuse was receptive to the ideas of Freud, whom he persuaded to write original contributions to a voluminous "Hand Dictionary of Sexology" (over 800 pp). This dictionary (actually more of an encyclopedia) is Marcuseís second great contribution to the new science. Marcuse fled into exile in Palestine in 1933 and died, largely forgotten by the German academic world, in Israel. It is truly unfortunate that, in the 1950ís and early 1960ís, no one bothered to conduct and record lengthy interviews with him, who knew all important sexological pioneers personally and had himself been actively involved in the birth and growth of the new science. Some of Marcuse's unpublished manuscripts are being preserved at the Kinsey Institute.

For a list of Marcuse's writings, click here.
For a tribute to Marcuse by his son Yohanan Meroz, click here.

1. Max Marcuse in his dermatological practice. The dueling scars on his face indicate that he had been a menber of a dueling fraternity, in those days an unusual circumstance for a Jewish medical student. [40K] 2. Title page of Marcuse's book "The Dangers of Sexual Abstinence for Health", published in 1910. [29K] 3. Front cover of a journal edited by Max Marcuse: "Sexual Problems - Journal for Sexology and Sexual Politics" (vol. 7, 1911). Among the regular contributors are listed both Sigmund Freud and Magnus Hirschfeld. [322K]

4. Title page of the "Hand Dictionary of Sexology". [44K] 5. Front cover of the "Journal of Sexology", edited by Max Marcuse 1924. [139K] 6. Newspaper article by Max Marcuse "The Forensic Physician and Psychopaths", Berliner Morgenpost April 25, 1927. [505K]

7. Front cover of the "Journal for Sexology and Sexual Politics", 1931. The addition "and Sexual Politics" reflects the editor's life-long concern with social issues. More than twenty years earlier, Marcuse's first journal had already mentioned sexual politics in its subtitle. [195K] 8. and 9. Front cover of a French journal and first page of an article written by Max Marcuse in German "Sexual Problems in the Kibbuz", May 1938. The international journal was devoted to the protection of health of Jewish populations, which, by that time, had begun to face increasing persecution, not only in Nazi Germany, but also in several other countries. [172K and 258K]

10. Israeli newspaper article in German honoring Max Marcuse on his 80th birthday (Jedioth Chadashot, April 15, 1957). The article mentions that Marcuse's eldest son, Yohanan Meroz, is working at the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. He later became the embassador of Israel in Bonn. [236K] 11. Max Marcuse's last book, published in Germany in 1962: "ABC Guide to Sexuality and Eroticism". [61K] 12. Max Marcuse in old age. [42K]

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