Research and Teaching

Living conditions of lesbians, gays, transsexuals and Intersexuals in Frankfurt am Main 1933 to 1994

Researcher: Dr. Alexander Zinn

Funding: Stadt Frankfurt am Main (Kulturamt)

The research project examines the living conditions of homosexual women and men, transgender and intersex people in Frankfurt am Main between 1933 and 1994. The period covers a phase marked by intensified repression and persecution of homosexuals in the Nazi and postwar periods, but also by gradual liberalization, the rise of the new lesbian and gay movements in the 1970s, and the final abolition of the anti-homosexual Paragraph 175 in 1994. The implementation and effects of this persecution policy in the urban space will be examined, as well as the changes in everyday life, stigma management and subcultural structures. The focus is also on the forms of self-organization of lesbians, gays, transsexuals and intersexuals, the significance of Frankfurt for the sexual emancipation movements in the Federal Republic and for the change in the social climate.

The study will examine this change on the basis of four historical phases: First, the Nazi period will be illuminated, which was characterized by an »action against homosexuals« that included Gestapo measures and massive criminal prosecution of gay men. A second chapter examines the postwar period up to the first reform of Paragraph 175 in 1969, which was marked by a renewed wave of persecution in 1950/51, but also by clear liberalizing tendencies, which were decisively advanced by the sexologist Hans Giese and the Hessian Attorney General Fritz Bauer. The third section illuminates the changes in the 1970s: it examines the testing of new forms of life and love and investigates its influence on everyday lives and stigma management of »ordinary« homo-, trans- and intersexuals. Finally, the 1980s are examined, which were marked by the AIDS crisis and significantly changed the forms of political action of the lesbian and gay movements.