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The Daily Agenda for Friday, August 17

Jim Burroway

August 17th, 2012

TODAY’S AGENDA:
Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Allentown, PA; Columbia, MO; Copenhagen, Denmark; Galway, Ireland; Hampton Roads, VA; Kelowna, BC; Lafeyette, IN; London, UK (Black Pride); Madison, WI; Mocton, NB; Montréal, QC; New York, NY (Black Pride); Prague, Czech Republic; Reno, NV; San Jose, CA; Taos, NM; and Waterford, Ireland.

AIDS Walk This Weekend: Reno, NV.

Other Events This Weekend: Ascension Beach Party, Fire Island, NY; Dunas Festival, Gran Canaria; Tropical Heat, Key West, FL; Louisville LGBT Film Festival; Louisville, KY; Schwules Straßenfest, Munich, Germany; Provincetown Carnival, Provincetown, MA.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY:
Kurt Hiller: 1885. The German essayist and political journalist was an early influential writer of the German gay rights movement in the first few decades of the twentieth century. In 1922 he published §175: Die Schmach des Jahrhunderts! (“Paragraph 175: The disgrace of the century!”), the title of which referred to the German penal code which criminalized homosexual activity between men. It was widely distributed, including to members of the Reichstag, during the debates on the sexual penal code in the 1920s. In 1929, Hiller took over as chairman of the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, the world’s first organization to advocate for gay rights, after the Committee’s founder, Magnus Hirchfeld, stepped down to focus his attention on the Institute for Sexual Research.

After the Nazis came to power, they banned both the Institute and Committee. Hiller, who was a gay pacifist socialist Jew, had more than enough reasons to land on the Gestapo’s radar. He was arrested and spent time in various concentration camps before being released on the brink of death in April of 1934. He fled to Prague later that year to avoid another arrest. He then fled Czechoslovakia for London in 1938 just ahead of the German armies. While in London, he continued to write for the German exile press. In 1955, he returned to Hamburg, and tried to resurrect the Scientific Humanitarian Committee in 1962. That idea didn’t take root, but Hiller nevertheless continued to write on behalf of the gay rights movement. He published numerous articles and essays in the influential Swiss gay magazine Der Kreis. In 1965, Der Kreis returned the favor with a five-page commemoration for Hiller’s 80th birthday. Hiller died in 1972.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?

Comments

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F Young
August 17th, 2012 | LINK

Thanks for the article on Kurt Hiller. I don’t recall hearing of him before.

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