The Seduction of Youth: Print Culture and Homosexual Rights in the Weimar Republic

By Javier Samper Vendrell

© 2020

A simple man from the provinces, Friedrich Radszuweit merged popular culture, consumerism, and politics as the leader of the League for Human Rights, Germany’s first mass homosexual organization. The Seduction of Youth is the first study to focus on the League and its leader, using his position at the centre of the Weimar-era gay rights movement to tease out the diverging political strategies and contradictory tactics that distinguished the movement.

By examining news articles and opinion pieces, as well as literary texts and photographs in the League’s numerous pulp magazines for homosexuals, Javier Samper Vendrell reconstructs forgotten aspects of the history of same-sex desire and subjectivity. While recognizing the possibilities of liberal rights for sexual freedom during the Weimar Republic, the League’s "respectability politics" failed in part because Radszuweit’s own publications contributed to the idea that homosexual men were considered a threat to youth, doing little to change the views of the many people who believed in homosexual seduction – a homophobic trope that endured well into the twentieth century.

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Product Details

  • Series: German and European Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 280 pages
  • Illustrations: 14
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
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  • PUBLISHED APR 2020

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    ISBN 9781487525033
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  • PUBLISHED APR 2020

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The Seduction of Youth offers a new perspective on the history of the Weimar Republic by exploring the intersection between the homosexual movement, print culture, and homophobic fears about the seduction of young boys.

The Seduction of Youth: Print Culture and Homosexual Rights in the Weimar Republic

By Javier Samper Vendrell

© 2020

A simple man from the provinces, Friedrich Radszuweit merged popular culture, consumerism, and politics as the leader of the League for Human Rights, Germany’s first mass homosexual organization. The Seduction of Youth is the first study to focus on the League and its leader, using his position at the centre of the Weimar-era gay rights movement to tease out the diverging political strategies and contradictory tactics that distinguished the movement.

By examining news articles and opinion pieces, as well as literary texts and photographs in the League’s numerous pulp magazines for homosexuals, Javier Samper Vendrell reconstructs forgotten aspects of the history of same-sex desire and subjectivity. While recognizing the possibilities of liberal rights for sexual freedom during the Weimar Republic, the League’s "respectability politics" failed in part because Radszuweit’s own publications contributed to the idea that homosexual men were considered a threat to youth, doing little to change the views of the many people who believed in homosexual seduction – a homophobic trope that endured well into the twentieth century.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: German and European Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 280 pages
  • Illustrations: 14
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    "Discussing the role that anxiety played in the topic of youth and homosexuality in the 1920s and 1930s, The Seduction of Youth tackles this subject as well as several other underappreciated issues that were used in an effort to mobilize cultural and government action against the homosexual movement."
    Clayton Whisnant, Department of History, Wofford College

    "Javier Samper Vendrell has combed through many rare and not easily accessible journals from the 1920s, contributing to the book's extensive and insightful research on homosexuality and the League for Human Rights."
    Geoffrey J Giles, Department of History, University of Florida
  • Author Information

    Javier Samper Vendrell is an assistant professor of German Studies at Grinnell College.
  • Table of contents

    Dedication
    Acknowledgements

    Introduction

    1. Theories of Adolescent Sexuality and Homosexual Seduction

    2. The League for Human Rights, Print Culture, and Homosexual Rights

    3. The Allure of Youth in the League for Human Rights’ Publications

    4. The 1926 Trash and Smut Law, Youth Protection, and Homosexual Publications

    5. The Pitfalls of Boy Love

    6. Male Prostitution, Age of Consent, and the Decriminalization of Homosexuality

    Conclusion: The Seduction of Youth, Respectability, and the End of Weimar’s Homosexual Rights Movement

    Endnotes
    Bibliography

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