Siegessäule - NEWS/COMMENTS

Berlin in English

Mapping our history

In tandem with the new Homosexualities exhibition opening at the German Historical Museum and Gay Museum, you can navigate the city with our pull-out map of queer history on page 11 of the July issue

12.07. – Organized by decade, the Gay History Map provides you with a chronological overview of memorial sites and gay locations all over Berlin – some of which are still active meeting spots today, others of which are now buried in the seemingly most unlikely of places. Of course, many of the points of interest are in Schöneberg, which has remained the city's gay quarter since the 19th century, but you'll also find places to visit in other districts like Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg. If you'd like to learn even more about the fascinating evolution of Berlin's gay history, you can join a comprehensive three-hour Queer Berlin Tour, happening every Saturday – see the map for details. We’ll take a walk through Schöneberg, tracing the history of the world’s first gay emancipation movement and its pioneers. We’ll focus on the remarkable career of Magnus Hirschfeld , the first notable researcher of transgenderism and founder of the Institute for Sexual Science way back in 1919. During the Weimar period, Berlin offered a thriving landscape for people with nonconforming genders; we’ll visit the locations of several popular meeting spots, such as the legendary Eldorado. One of Dr. Hirschfeld’s associates and patients, Karl M. Baer, a Jewish trans man living in Berlin, published one of the earliest narratives on gender transition before emigrating as the Nazi regime tightened its grip. We’ll also examine the legacies of creative figures such as Christopher Isherwood, who mythologized Schöneberg's cabaret scene; gender-bending performer Marlene Dietrich; the tragically fated dancer Anita Berber; and Otto Dix, one of the key painters of the Weimar era. We'll explore how Berlin has pioneered LGBTI* rights since the late 19th century (despite the notorious anti-homosexual Paragraph 175 of the German penal code) and see how the contemporary scene has evolved – and how it continues to flourish today.

Finn Ballard

Learn more about Finn Ballard's special tour in English here


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