Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category

So I have finally just finished the book by Hirschfeld I have been (unfortunately) taking too long to read.  The book is his first big work on homosexuals, Der urnische Mensch, published in 1903.  I am going to quote the last paragraph (starting in the second to last paragraph, though) in the book, and of course provide a translation, because it is absolutely phenomenal:

“Das Leben absolut schön zu schaffen, reich, reif und rein, das ist der Arbeit Ziel, des Daseins Zweck…Nur der Tatenlose ist nutzlos, zwecklos nur, wer nicht am gemeinsamen Werke der Erziehung, Weiterbildung, Vervollkommnung mitarbeitet.  Der Wert eines Menschen hängt von den Werten ab, die er erzeugt…Groß sagt einmal: ‘Heute sperren wir die Homosexuellen ein und geschieht es ohne Berechtigung, so wurden eben so und so viele Menschen ungerecht ihrer Freiheit beraubt und etwas Ärgeres können wir überhaupt nicht tun.’  Und ich füge hinzu, – indem ich vor meinem Geiste noch einmal die vielen hunderte von Uraniern vorüberziehen lasse, vom Prinzen zum Tagelöhner, die ich in sieben Jahren sah, diese hülflosen Ärzte und Priester, diese angsterfüllten Staatsanwälte und Richter, diese bedeutenden Gelehrten und Künstler, die braven Offiziere, die pflichttreuen Beamten, die tüchtigen Kaufleute, Landwirte, Studenten, Arbeiter alle, alle stigmatisiert, verstümmelt, getroffen in ihrem Heiligsten, -: Solange Staat und Gesellschaft in diesen von der Fortpflanzung, nicht aber von der Liebe Ausgeschlossenen Verbrechen sehen, hat das Mittelalter sein Ende noch nicht erreicht.  Ich für mein Teil werde nicht aufhören, für das Recht dieser Unterdrückten zu kämpfen, nicht aus Ruhmbegier, sonder weil ich es nicht ertragen könnte, untätig Mitwisser eines so gewaltigen Unrechts zu sein.”

ok, so now for the translation (hope you like it, it’s well worth the effort from my end):

“To create life as absolute beauty, rich, ripe and pure, that is the goal of labor, the purpose of existence…only the inactive is useless, those are without a purpose who do not work together toward upbringing, advanced education, refinement.  The worth of a man depends on the values (worths) he constitutes himself…Gross once said: ‘Today we are imprisoning homosexuals and it happens unwarranted, thus unjustly bereaving so many people of their freedom, something more horrible than this we could not achieve.’ And I add to this, – as I allow the many hundreds of homosexuals pass by before my spirit,  from royalty to working class, those who I have seen in seven years, these helpless doctors and priests, these fear-filled lawyers and judges, these distinguished scholars and artists, the brave officers, the dutiful civil servants, the proficient salesmen, countrymen, students, and workers alike, all, all of whom I have seen stigmatized and maimed, stricken in their most sacred, -: as long as the state and society see misdeed in these people, and not those who have been debarred from love, the middle ages has yet to see its end.  In this regard I will not stop fighting for the justice of these repressed people, not for the sake of desired glory or fame, but because I simply could not take being an inactive accessory of such an enormous injustice.”

Sadly, Magnus Hirschfeld would still be fighting against this injustice today.  Hirschfeld was also Jewish, which means he would certainly have applied this philosophy to the heavily anti-semetic views of his time.  However, I feel that Hirschfeld himself had an affinity toward the equality of the “sexual deviants” because of the raw human nature of it all: humans may or may not have simultaneously advanced with the insight of religion, that is a debate I wish not to discuss here; but humans certainly have not made it to a staggering seven billion and growing without sex.  That’s a big number: 7,000,000,000.  As Hirschfeld, among countless others, suggests in this work, perhaps nature has its intentions with everything, including homosexuality.  Is it worth another seven billion on the planet today to rob people of their happiness, of love, or should we really turn to that which, at least during one point in each of our lives, we hope to achieve, a shot at it ourselves.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to love who you are and everyone you know (unless they really don’t deserve it, then you should be asking yourself, why do I put in the effort?).