Coming out in Weimar: Crisis and homosexuality in the Weimar Republic

Thesis Eleven 111 (1):48-65 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The perception of the Weimar Republic as the high-point of ‘classical modernity’ in which all areas of society were permeated by a fatal sense of crisis has been revised as an explanatory model in recent historiography. Historians have returned to this period with a new sense of the openness of the crisis environment, particularly in areas of social and cultural history. Male homosexuality emerged as a central theme of Weimar social and cultural crisis as it became possible for homosexual men to imagine an identity and a ‘life’ for the first time. These men began to understand their lives as a continuum in terms of their sexuality and to express their lives in writing. The discourse of masculinist homosexuality, which emerged during the first decades of the 20th century, was used by some homosexuals as a means to self-identification and self-validation in the open environment of post-war early Weimar. However, this speculative framework of masculine comradeship and warrior ethos became less and less tenable as the internal contradictions as well as the socio-political pressures of the Republic increased. The paper explores the internal tensions between homosexuality and masculinist identity in two literary works from the Weimar Republic, Max René Hesse’s Partenau and Thomas Mann’s ‘Mario and the Magician’



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 79,898

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles


Added to PP

77 (#167,596)

6 months
1 (#479,521)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Peter Morgan
Birkbeck College