In her new study Sex and the Weimar Republic. German Homosexual Emancipation and the Rise of the Nazis, Laurie Marhoefer shows that the famed sexual tolerance of the Weimar era was “only obtained at the expense of a minority who were deemed sexually disordered. In Weimar Germany, the citizen’s right to sexual freedom came with a duty to keep sexuality private, non-commercial, and respectable.
Sex and the Weimar Republic examines the rise of sexual tolerance through the debates which surrounded ‘immoral’ sexuality: obscenity, male homosexuality, lesbianism, transgender identity, heterosexual promiscuity, and prostitution. It follows the sexual politics of a swath of Weimar society ranging from sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld to Nazi stormtrooper Ernst Röhm. Tracing the connections between toleration and regulation, Marhoefer’s observations remain relevant to the politics of sexuality today.”
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