Tag Archives: §175

Interview with Dr. Nina Reusch

We did an Interview with Dr. Nina Reusch, historian at the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institute in Berlin and member of the Public History Project “LSBTTIQ in Baden-Württemberg

  • What is the stand of research on the continuities of paragraph 175 after National Socialism?

Since the 1970s, considerable research has been done in the context of the homosexual emancipation movement. In the meantime, the subject is becoming more and more important in the academic circles as well, which is good not only for research, which can be broadened and diversified, but for the discipline of History as well, engaging now with queer questions and research topics.

  • Could you tell us a little bit about public history projects and the way queer history is being taught in German schools?

Overall, queer history is not included in the in German schools’ standard curriculum, but there are various projects that can be used as a starting point. Here, in Berlin, February is always the Queer History Month; during this time some school classes engage with queer history and other queer-related topics in terms of content or art. The project’s homepage offers lessons and materials for teachers who would like to bring queer topics into history lessons. Beyond school, public history projects also bring queer history to a general audience – such as the exhibition ‘Homosexualities’ in the Schwulen Museum* and the Deutsches Historisches Museum, or, as it is currently in Baden-Württemberg, Public History connects queer history to research projects. Last year, a project was launched that brings together research, public history and regional queer history creating opportunities for a greater participation.

  • What are your thoughts on the project by Minister Maas and the discussions on rehabilitation for victims of paragraph 175?

The rehabilitation of men who were convicted under paragraph 175 is a much welcomed and almost overdue project. A reasonable compensation for the victims of this homophobic legislation should also be implemented.

  • Do you think this project reflects the discussion on paragraph 175 in the German public space?

I think that before the announcement by the Minister of Justice, many people were not even aware that homosexual relationships among men were prosecuted for so long in the Federal Republic. The discussion has created a certain awareness and therefore it should be welcomed.

This Year’s Focus

Dear moviegoers,

both on the national and international levels, on the silver screen and in real life, the queer community has claimed many victories during the past decades. Nevertheless, much needs to be accomplished! TEDDY has been the vitrine of many of these fights, setting the Berlinale’s spotlight on international queer cinema, broadening what it meant to fight for queer rights.

Just having turned 30 last year, TEDDY isn’t going to slow down! The fight continues and the 31st edition is paying respect to both the community past and present generations.

Already at the turn of the century, TEDDY recognized the importance of remembrance and praised Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s “Paragraph 175”, an outstanding documentary about the dreadful German law criminalizing homosexuality. Almost two decades later, historians have shown how homosexuals suffered under National Socialism and many have fought for the memory of the victims. Lesser known is the fate of countless homosexuals after the war, the appalling story of the continuities of such an injustice into the success story of the Federal Republic.

This year’s focus is on the struggle of the members of our community who made it through these dark times, but also on the injustice of such a crime, still lingering like an open wound in German history. TEDDY is seizing the momentum of the present discussions on rehabilitation and reparations for the survivors and victims of paragraph 175. Our focus is on the unjust and unrighteous treatment of homosexuality in Germany after the war until the complete repeal of the law in the 1990s.

This year focus on paragraph 175 will allow TEDDY to educate the new generations, to remember the dead and to celebrate the future. It is necessary to draw the lines between the stories told by the award winners of the last 3o years, the task ahead of us as we demand justice, and the possible parallels to the stories voiced by our brother and sisters across the world.

Beloved movie aficionados, we have the responsibility to never forget the past victories, but also to reflect on the dark times in our history! Please join us as we applaud our living vibrant queer community and concentrate on the fights to come. For its 31st anniversary, TEDDY is more alive than ever and ready to dive into the current discussion. Like every year, you can expect top-notch movies, captivating stories, engaging events and one of the best audiences of the Berlinale.

Stay tuned!