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Queer histories

Seminar questions:

What was the legal situation of gay women in Nazi Germany? In what ways did it change to Weimar Republic? How did it relate to men?

Why the struggle to commemorate the persecution of queer women by the Nazis?

How do you explain the homophobia of the prisoner society?

Core readings:

Laurie Marhoefer, “Lesbianism, Transvestitism, and the Nazi State: A Microhistory of a Gestapo Investigation, 1939-1943,” The American Historical Review 121:4 (2016): 1167-1195.

Wanda Półtawska, And I am afraid of my dreams, trans. Mary Craig (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1987), pp. 57-59.

Linda Breder's video interview from the University of Southern California Visual History Foundation (segment 22)

Further readings:

Bibliography on lesbian and trans women in Nazi Germany:

A Special Day, dir. Ettore Scola (1977).

Cathy Gelbin, "Double Visions: Queer Femininity and Holocaust Film from Ostatni Etap to Aimée & Jaguar," Women in German Yearbook: Feminist Studies in German Literature & Culture, 23 (2007), pp. 179-204.

Geoffrey J. Giles, “‘The Most Unkindest Cut of All’: Castration, Homosexuality, and Nazi Justice.” Journal of Contemporary History 27, no. 1 (1992): 41-61.
Geoffrey Giles, “The Denial of Homosexuality: Same-Sex Incidents in Himmler’s SS and Police,” in Sexuality and German Fascism, ed. Dagmar Herzog (New York: Berghhahn, 2005), pp. 256–290.
Heinz Heger, The Men with the Pink Triangle (London: Gay Men's Press, 1994).

Anna Hájková, "Queer History and the Holocaust," Notches blog, January 2019,

Samuel Huneke, The Duplicity of Tolerance: Lesbian Experiences in Nazi BerlinLink opens in a new windowThe Journal of Contemporary History. First published 3 April 2017

Richard Plant, The Pink Triangle, The Nazi War against Homosexuals (New York 1986).

Andreas Pretzel, "Homosexuality in the Sexual Ethics of the 1930s: A Values Debate in the Culture Wars between Conservatism, Liberalism, and Moral-National Renewal," After the History of Sexuality: German Genealogies With and Beyond Foucault, ed. by Scott Spector, Helmut Puff, and Dagmar Herzog (New York: Berghahn, 2012).

Javier Samper Vendrell, The Case of a German-Jewish Lesbian Woman: Martha Mosse and the Danger of Standing Out,” German Studies Review, 41,2 (May 2018): 335-353.

Claudia Schoppmann, Days of Masquerade: Life Stories of Lesbians During the Third Reich, trans. Allison Brown (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997).

Claudia Schoppmann, “‘This Kind of Love:’ Descriptions of Lesbian Behaviour in Nazi Concentration Camps,” Getuigen tussen geschiedenis en herinnering/Testimony between history and memory (125, 2017): 82-90 (translated chapter from Schoppmann 1997).

Claudia Schoppmann, “Denounced as a Lesbian: Elli Smula (1914-1943), working woman from Berlin,” Getuigen tussen geschiedenis en herinnering/Testimony between history and memory 125 (2017): 91-94.

Pierre Seel, I, Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual (New York: Basic Books, 1995).