Sexuality and German Fascism

TitleSexuality and German Fascism
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsHerzog, Dagmar
JournalJournal of the History of Sexuality
Date Published01/2002

A special issue of the Journal of the History of Sexuality.

What is the relationship between sexual and other kinds of politics? Few cultures have posed this puzzle as urgently, or as disturbingly, as Nazi Germany. The answers are multiple and as yet unresolved; each emerging answer raises further questions. What exactly were Nazism's sexual poli? tics? Were they repressive for everyone, or were some individuals and groups given sexual license while others were persecuted, tormented, and killed? How should we periodize transformations in the history of sexuality in Germany? How do we specify the continuities and ruptures that mark the transition from the Weimar era into the Third Reich, and how do we periodize changes that occurred in the course of both eras? How do we make sense ofthe evolution of postwar interpretations of Nazism's sexual politics? What do we make ofthe fact that scholars from the 1960s to the present have repeatedly assumed that the sumed that the Third Reigh was "sex-hostile," "pleasureless," and characterized by "official German prudery," while in films and popular culture there has been a countervailing tendency to offer lurid and salacious anecdotes as a substitute for serious engagement with the complexities of

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