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6th August
2020
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Between World Wars, Gay Community Flourished In Berlin

GROSS: OK, which means this is Claire Waldoff, a cabaret singer and a lesbian performer, recorded in Germany in 1932.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CLAIRE WALDOFF: (Performing in German).

GROSS: which was Claire Waldoff, a track picked for people by Robert Beachy, the writer of this brand new book “Gay Berlin, ” which will be concerning the homosexual subculture in Berlin into the 1920s and very very early ’30s, prior to the Nazi increase to power.

That which was regulations homosexuality that is regarding the ’20s and very very early ’30s in Berlin?

BEACHY: The law had been initially oppression, anti-sodomy statute, and it also criminalized particular intimate functions between males and bestiality. So that the legislation was in fact developed by the first century that is 19th reformed, revised a bit, after which it absolutely was imposed throughout most of unified Germany after 1871. Plus it stayed set up through the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. So that it had been really made more draconian under the Nazis in 1935, and that stayed what the law states of this land in western Germany until it had been finally reformed, starting into the very-late 1960s.

GROSS: Therefore if homosexual functions had been unlawful in Berlin when you look at the ’20s and very early ’30s, exactly how did a gay subculture manage to thrive?

BEACHY: Yeah, that is the big concern. And it also had every thing regarding a remarkably modern and, i believe, many of us would think, tolerant policing policy which was introduced into the town within the belated nineteenth century. (more…)