In the 1920s, Berlin was home to a thriving transgender community, with trans-focused magazines, famous drag clubs, and Magnus Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Science, where some trans people went for gender-affirming care. Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 changed everything. In this talk, Laurie Marhoefer (he/they) explores what happened trans people under the Nazi state, beginning with pre-war Berlin and then under the repressive Nazi regime. Marhoefer will look specifically at violence against trans women that was recorded in police files from the era.
Laurie Marhoefer is the Jon Bridgman Endowed Professor of History at the University of Washington. His work has been influential in international debates about the Nazi State and lesbians and transgender people, and in the public memory of the early gay rights movement, Magnus Hirschfeld, and the Weimar Republic. He is the author of two books, most recently a biography of Hirschfeld and his student Li Shiu Tong, Racism and the Making of Gay Rights: A Sexologist, His Student, and the Empire of Queer Love, and of a number of essays and articles on queer and trans histories.