Magnus-Hirschfeld-Gesellschaft e.V. Forschungsstelle zur Geschichte der Sexualwissenschaft

Hirschfeld's Legacy: Unlocking the Foundation files


When Magnus Hirschfeld established the foundation (Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld-Stiftung) for the Institute for Sexual Science he had founded in 1919, he wrote: “In the event that the foundation is to be abolished, the assets are to be transferred to the University of Berlin or, should that university refuse to accept them, another university…” The Foundation was abolished with the destruction of the Institute by the National Socialists on May 6, 1933; at that time, the University of Berlin did not accept this legacy.

The history of the Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation before 1933 is traced via the founding documents of his new Institute (in exile), using Hirschfeld’s papers and documents in English archives. The second part of the book documents the failures of reparations and attempts to make these assets available to Berlin’s universities since 1982.

The work was supported by the Forschungsstelle Archiv für Sexualwissenschaft (German).