Monday, May 12, 2008

Berlin Street Named After Pioneer Scientist

Magnus HirshfeldOnly a few days before the 140th anniversary of his birth (14 May), the city of Berlin honoured the memory of Magnus Hirshfeld.

A promenade located along the Spree river, right in the political centre of the German state, was re-baptised the Magnus-Hirschfeld-Ufer by the German Justice Minister on 6 may after the pioneering physician, sexologist and gay rights advocate who was persecuted by the Nazi. The chairwoman of the Berlin Jewish community, the sexologist Martin Dannecker, representatives of the City also joined members of the gay community in the event which happened at the initiative the Gay and Lesbian German Federation (LSVD).

On the 10 May 1933, Hirshfeld's Institute for Sexual Research (which he founded in 1919) was pillaged by the Nazi. His books and records were destroyed. On the occasion of the ceremony, the LSVD launched a subscription for the installation on the newly named street of a replica of bust of the scientist which was destroyed by the Nazi when they attacked the Institute.

27th May will see the inauguration in Berlin of the a monument commemorating LGBT victims of the Holocaust (more info)

Magnus Hirshfeld

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