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Out in East Berlin - Lesbians and Gays in the GDR

by Jochen Hick, Andreas Strohfeldt

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Unlike in the Federal Republic, by 1968 homosexuality was already de-criminalised in the German Democratic Republic’s penal code. But the ‘workers’ and farmers’ state’ did not exactly welcome its gay and lesbian citizens with open arms; their sexuality was taboo and they were often marginalised from public life. The generation of gay men and women who had seen the war and were now trying to live lives of inconspicuous normality felt threatened by younger homosexuals who came out and demanded spaces in which to express themselves. Thirteen moving biographies depict the private and political developments which led to opposition against the state apparatus.

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