One-Day Symposium, April 28, 2000
This program is a unique opportunity to hear from eight leading international scholars whose research, analysis, and insights have greatly advanced the study of Nazi persecution of homosexuals.
Speakers from the United States and Europe addressed how and why homosexuals were persecuted; medical experimentation specifically conducted on them; why many victims remained silent for decades after the war; and new research opportunities in the field.
This program was made possible by a generous grant from the Wortman Family Trust.
Session I: Opening Remarks
Welcoming Remarks—Paul Shapiro, Director, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Paul A. Shapiro is Director, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM. He served earlier as Assistant to the Museum Director for Special Projects. Before joining the Museum, Mr. Shapiro was involved for over a decade in the development of the Museum’s archival collections. A specialist in the Holocaust in Romania and a former editor of the Journal of International Affairs (New York) and Problems of Communism (Washington), Mr. Shapiro holds degrees in government, international affairs, and history from Harvard University and Columbia University.
Background Presentation—John Fout, Professor, Department of History, Bard College, New York
John Fout is a professor of History at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. He received his BA in 1963 and MA in 1964 from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and his PhD in 1969 from the University of Minnesota. Professor Fout was a Fulbright Scholar in Heidelberg, Germany from 1964 to 1965 and a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Homosexuality and the Journal of Men’s Studies. He was also coeditor of European Women, A Documentary History, 1789–1945 and American Sexual Politics: Sex, Gender, and Race since the Civil War, and editor of German Women in the Nineteenth Century, A Social History and Forbidden History: The State, Society, and the Regulation of Sexuality in Modern Europe. Professor Fout has authored numerous scholarly articles, including “The Moral Purity Movement in Wilhelmine Germany and the Attempt to Regulate Male Behavior” (1992), and is the founding editor of the Journal of the History of Sexuality, published quarterly by the University of Texas Press. He is currently the editor of the Chicago Series on Sexuality, History and Society, which is published by the University of Chicago Press.
Session II: Persecution of Homosexuals in Nazi Society
Homosexual Panic and Nazi Youth—Geoffrey Giles, Professor, Department of History, University of Florida
Geoffrey Giles was born and educated in England. He examined the ideological indoctrination of university students in Nazi Germany for his doctoral dissertation at Cambridge University and received his PhD in History in 1975. Dr. Giles acquired a position shortly thereafter at the Institute for Social and Policy Studies of Yale University and in 1978 joined the faculty of the History Department at the University of Florida, a position he continues to hold today. Professor Giles has firmly established himself as an expert in Holocaust and German history, as well as in the history of education, the social history of alcohol, and the history of sexuality. He is one of three honorary consultants to the Holocaust Educational Foundation, founded in 1994, and has sat on the editorial board of German Studies Review since 1990. Professor Giles was one of several specialists to speak at a path-breaking symposium on the Nazi persecution of homosexuals that was held in Saarbrücken, Germany in October 1996. He has also spoken and published extensively on Nazi attitudes towards sexuality, including “Sterilization, Castration and Nazi Justice” (1989), “The Pink Triangle: Nazis and Homophobia” (1996), and “Gays in the Holocaust: An Historical Perspective” (1997).
The Campaign Against Homosexuality and Its Effects on Lesbians—Claudia Schoppmann, Historian, Center for the Research on Antisemitism, Technical University, Berlin, Germany
Claudia Schoppmann is currently an historian at the Center for Research on Anti-Semitism at the Technical University in Berlin, Germany. She studied German language and literature, History, and Journalism in Münster and Berlin, acquiring her doctorate in 1990. Dr. Schoppmann has since established herself as an expert on the persecution of German lesbians by the Nazis. Dr. Schoppmann has several books and articles to her credit on the history of lesbians in the Third Reich, including Nationalsozialistische Sexualpolitik und Weibliche Homosexualität (1991) and Days of Masquerade: Life Stories of Lesbians during the Third Reich (1996). She also coedited a history of Jewish women born in Germany after 1945, entitled Nach der Shoa geboren: jüdische Frauen in Deutschland (1994) and edited a volume on German women authors living in exile during the Third Reich, entitled Im Fluchtgepäck die Sprache: deutschsprächige Schriftstellerinnen im Exil (1995).
The Dominance of Experts: The Role of Physicians in the Realization of Nazi Policies Against Homosexuals—Günter Grau, Historian, Gay and Lesbian Studies, University of Bremen, Germany
Günter Grau is currently a faculty member of the Department of Sociology at the University of Bremen, Germany. His prior professional appointments include positions at the Institute of Medical History at the University of Leipzig, Germany, and at the Institute of Medical History at the Charité, Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. Professor Grau’s areas of scholarly expertise include the history of sex research and the history of homosexuality in Germany. His first publication on state policy towards homosexuality in postwar East Germany, entitled Lesbians and Gays–What Now?, appeared in 1991. Professor Grau also edited a collection of articles entitled Hidden Holocaust? Gay and Lesbian Persecution in Germany 1933–1945, which were published in the United States in 1995, and he authored an article on political attitudes towards homosexuals in postwar East Germany entitled “Sozialistische Moral und Homosexualität: Die Politik der SED und das Homosexuellenstrafrecht 1945 bis 1989–ein Rückblick” (1995).
Session III: Research Trends on the Persecution of Homosexuals in Nazi Society
Magnus Hirschfeld and the Legacy of the Institute for Sexual Science—Rainer Herrn, Scientific Director, Research Center for the History of Sexology, Magnus-Hirschfeld-Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany
Rainer Herrn has been Director of the Research Center for the History of Sexology of the Magnus Hirschfeld Society in Berlin, Germany since 1992. He previously held a research fellowship in the Philosophy Department of Humboldt University in Berlin (1989–1991), and was a Scientific Fellow and Director of the Institute for Population Genetics at Karl Marx University in Leipzig, Germany (1986–1989). Dr. Herrn specializes in behavioral studies and the history of Sexology, and is the author of several books and articles. His history of the gay movement in Germany entitled Anders bewegt: 100 Jahre Schwulenbewegung in Deutschland was published in 1999, as was his study of gay lifestyles, entitled Schwule Lebenswelten im Osten: Andere Orte, andere Biographien–Kommunikationsstrukturen, Gesellungstile und Lebensweisen schwuler Männer in den neuen Ländern. Dr. Herrn’s article “On the History of Biological Theories of Homosexuality” appeared in the Journal of Homosexuality in 1995. Dr. Herrn has also curated several historical exhibitions concerning homosexuality, including “100 Years of the Gay Rights Movement in Germany,” which he created for the Goethe Institute and which appeared among other places in New York, San Francisco, London, England, and Sydney, Australia. He is also currently active in developing strategies to prevent the spread of HIV in the former East Germany.
Commemoration and Community: Gays, Lesbians, and the Collective Memory of the Holocaust—Erik N. Jensen, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Erik N. Jensen attended Harvard University, receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in History in 1989. Mr. Jensen is currently completing a doctoral degree in Modern European History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His dissertation is entitled "Körperkultur: Sport, Gender, and the Emergence on the Modern Body in Weimar Germany." Mr. Jensen received a Fulbright Fellowship from 1997 to 1999 in order to conduct research for his dissertation in Berlin. Since 1996, Mr. Jensen has also worked on the emergence of collective memory within the gay and lesbian communities of the United States and Germany, and its relationship to the commemoration of the persecution of homosexuals by the National Socialist regime.
Current Trends in Research: Problems and Possibilities—Rüdiger Lautmann, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Bremen, Germany
Rüdiger Lautmann has been a professor of Sociology at the University of Bremen, Germany, since 1971. A specialist in the study of gender and the sociology of human sexuality, Professor Lautmann is an expert on the reaction of German society to homosexuality in the twentieth-century. For over two decades, Professor Lautmann’s work has been at the center of studies on the persecution of homosexuals by the Nazis. His notable achievements in the field include the publication in 1977 of a comprehensive socio-historical study on all known homosexuals who were incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps. Dr. Lautmann has edited several books since the late 1970s, among them a historical reference work on the discussion of homosexuality in the German scientific community. Professor Lautmann is also the author of several journal articles about homosexuality in Germany, two of which were published in the United States in the Journal of Homosexuality.
Session IV: Closing Remarks
Portraits of Gay Survivors and Their Lack of Profile in Memorial Culture—Klaus Müller, Project Director for Western Europe, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Klaus Müller is currently Project Director for Western Europe for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Muenster, Germany in 1990. Dr. Müller assists the Museum’s efforts to collect Holocaust-related documents, photos, films, and artifacts in Europe. In this capacity, Dr. Müller also develops cooperative projects with European research, cultural, and publishing institutions, and advises the Museum on matters concerning the Nazi persecution of homosexual men. Dr. Müller was the curator of Do you remember, when...?, an online exhibition for the Museum concerning the lives of the Jewish Youth Group in Berlin, 1941-42, and he was director of research for the recently released film Paragraph 175, which deals with gay survivors of Nazi persecution. In addition, he was the assistant director of the film . . . But I Was a Girl, which was released in 1999 and recounted the life of the lesbian resistance fighter, Frieda Belinfante. Dr. Müller also teaches seminars on film history at the University of Amsterdam and contributes film reviews for a daily German newspaper.