Archive for Sexology
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Magnus Hirschfeld (1868 - 1935).
- World League for Sexual Reform
The following sampler gives a first impression of the documents in our collection, which contains many more items than are shown here.
The entire collection can be studied on location at our archive during regular opening hours.
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The World League for Sexual Reform (WLSR) was created in 1928 on the occasion of a sexual reform congress in Copenhagen. The League
had three presidents: the German Hirschfeld, the English sex researcher Havelock Ellis, and the Swiss psychiatrist Auguste Forel. Its
international advisory board contained many prominent names of the time, from Alexandra Kollontai (Russia)
to Harry Benjamin (USA). The goals of the League were spelled out in a list of ten
principles, of which the first was the equality of the sexes. The league organized three more congresses - in London (1929), Vienna (1930),
and Brno, Czechoslovakia (1932). Other congresses were planned in Moscow and Chicago, but could not be organized because of the rise of
Stalinism on the one hand and a deepening Great Depression on the other. Moreover, the League began to be split into a revolutionary
faction led by Wilhelm Reich, and a reformist faction led by the English gynecologist Norman Haire. Finally, the League dissolved in the
|1. Session of the "International Conference for Sex Reform on a Sexological Basis", organized by Hirschfeld 1921 in Berlin at the Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus. (Hirschfeld, leaning forward, is seated just beneath the lectern.) The This was the first sexological congress held anywhere, and it laid the groundwork for the Copenhagen congress of 1928.
||2. Founding congress of the World League for Sexual Reform in Copenhagen, July 3, 1928. Group photo of participiants. Note that the caption is in Esperanto, an official language of the congress.
(During sessions, smoking was prohibited.) [157K]
||3. WLSR congress 1930 in Vienna: Group photo with (from the left) H.J. Leunbach, Norman Haire, Hirschfeld, Pierre Vachet, Josef K. Friedjung. Prominent speakers at this congress were, among others, Wilhelm Reich, Herbert Lewandowski, and the German expressionist playwright Ernst Toller.
|4. Plenary session of the last WLSR congress in Brno, 1932. Hirschfeld is seated in the front row left, between Leunbach
and Haire. Next to Haire: Karl Giese, Hirschfeld's assistant in Berlin. Directly behind Haire: Li Shiu Tong, Hirschfeld's disciple and,
after Giese's suicide in 1938, sole heir. (He refused to claim the inheritance.) [157K]
||5. Presiding table at the Brno congress. From the left: Norman Haire, Hirschfeld, J. H. Leunbach, unidentif. man, Dr. Weisskopf (local congress organizer). Note: The blackboard behind Haire announces a film - for physicians only - "The Gräfenberg Ring", i.e. one of the first intrauterine contraceptive devices.
||6. Front cover of the WLSR quarterly "SEXUS", published in 1933. (It had originally been founded as a monthly in 1931).
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