Archive for Sexology


Another area of sexological activity that deserves to be recalled is the production of films. Iwan Bloch, even before the end of the first World War, served as an advisor for a dramatic film about the problem of syphilis: Es werde Licht ("Let There be Light", 1916-18). This film was also supported by the Medical Society for Sexology and eventually grew into a project of several parts. Its director was Richard Oswald, later also successful with nonsexological films in Berlin and Hollywood. Oswald further made several films in close collaboration with Magnus Hirschfeld, of which the best known is perhaps Anders als die Andern ("Different from the Others", 1919), a plea for the decriminalization of homosexual behavior. In this film, Conrad Veidt, who later played the Nazi officer in "Casablanca" opposite Humphrey Bogart, appears as a homosexual violinist who is blackmailed and commits suicide. It was the first popular film ever to deal with homosexuality, and at least parts of it are preserved in various film archives. How many of the other films made with Hirschfeld are still in existence is unclear. Hirschfeld himself mentions five films in his last list of publications.

Full-length dramatic and documentary films made with sexologists as advisors

1. Scene from the film "Es werde Licht" ("Let There be Light") 1916-18. This dramatic film in several parts was directed by Richard Oswald. It educated its audiences about syphilis. [135K] 2. Magnus Hirschfeld (left), playing himself, and Conrad Veidt in "Different from the Others" (1919). This film was also directed by Richard Oswald. [130K] 3. Stills from the "Steinach Film" (1923), presumably showing the rejuvenation effects of hormonal treatment. The film is still being preserved by the "Bundesarchiv/Filmarchiv" in Berlin. [31K]

Another important contribution was the Steinach Film (1923), produced with Austrian support by the Berlin film company Ufa. In documentary fashion, it introduced a wider public to the endocrinological studies of Eugen Steinach. This full-length sexological film was also briefly shown in New York before the Medical Society, but did not find an American distributor.

page up back to services

Note: Our directories depend on the input of interested readers. For corrections, additions, and suggestions, please contact: