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social sciences

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Hiller, Kurt (1885-1972)  
page: 1  2  

In 1965 Der Kreis had a five-page celebration of Hiller's 80th birthday; Karl "Rolf" Meier, the editor, called him a "fearless fighter for right and truth." Also in 1965 Hiller published the book Archangelos, a collection of poems written in the years from 1934 to 1947 and dedicated to his friend Walter Detlef Schultz (1910-1964). According to the reviewer in Der Kreis, "every line is a hymn to his beloved younger friend."

Hiller met Schultz in a concentration camp in 1934, where Schultz had been interned because of his involvement with the German Communist Party in their fight against the rise of the Nazis. They both fled to Prague that year and to London in 1938. Schultz returned to Germany in 1945. There he found a position with the North German Radio in Hannover and was its director from 1961 until his death in 1964; he was buried in Hamburg, his city of birth.

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Although Hiller was deeply in love with him, Schultz has been described as "sexually ambiguous." He was married twice, but, according to Hiller, he did not find the fulfillment he desired in either marriage.

In his last years Hiller wrote a two-volume biography, Leben gegen die Zeit (Life against the times). The first volume, Logos (1969), concentrates on intellectual and political issues, and includes descriptions of his experience in concentration camps. The second, Eros (1973), is and, as he directed, was published only after his death. He died in Hamburg on October 1, 1972. After his body was cremated, the urn with his ashes was placed in the grave of his friend Walter Detlef Schultz.

Hiller left a large literary estate, including some 20,000 letters. For thirty years his executor, Horst H. W. Müller, allowed no one to inspect it. But after Müller's death it was acquired by the Hiller-Gesellschaft, which was founded by a group of researchers in 1998 on the occasion of a Hiller Exhibition in the library of the University of Hamburg. Its purpose is to keep alive the memory of Kurt Hiller, to research his life and work, and to make them known to the public. Much information about Hiller may be found at their web site:

Hubert Kennedy

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social sciences >> Overview:  Berlin

Notable in the twentieth century both for its pioneering efforts in homosexual emancipation and for the subsequent Nazi persecution of homosexuals, Berlin is now a major participant in the struggle to gain legal recognition of gay relationships.

social sciences >> Overview:  Germany

While Germany, until recently, never officially accepted or welcomed members of the glbtq community, German culture and homosexuality have a long and significant history.

social sciences >> Overview:  Homophile Movement, U. S.

The homophile movement of the United States refers to organizations and political strategies employed by homosexuals from the end of World War II to 1970.

social sciences >> Overview:  Nazism and the Holocaust

As part of its agenda to preserve an "Aryan master race," Nazism persecuted homosexuals as "asocial parasites"; more than 100,000 men were arrested on homosexual charges during the Nazi years, with 5,000-15,000 gay men incarcerated in concentration camps.

social sciences >> Overview:  Prague

The capital and largest city of the Czech Republic, Prague is the hub of the country's gay and lesbian life and the center of its glbtq political movement.

social sciences >> Brand, Adolf

Editor, photographer, and activist, Adolf Brand was the leader of a faction of the early German homosexual emancipation movement whose cultural views were expressed in Der Eigene (The Self-Owner), the first homosexual literary and artistic journal.

social sciences >> Hirschfeld, Magnus

German-born Magnus Hirschfeld deserves recognition as a significant theorist of sexuality and the most prominent advocate of homosexual emancipation of his time.

social sciences >> Meier, Karl

Swiss actor, cabaret performer, and stage director Karl Meier was, under the pseudonym "Rolf," editor of Der Kreis, the leading European homophile publication, from 1943 until its demise in 1967.

social sciences >> Paragraph 175

Paragraph 175 was the German law prohibiting sex between men; strengthened by the Nazis, it was the statue under which homosexuals were sent to concentration camps.


Hergemöller, Bernd-Ulrich. Mann für Mann: Biographisches Lexikon zur Geschichte von Freundesliebe und mannmännliche Sexualität im deutschen Sprachraum. Hamburg: MännerschwarmSkript Verlag, 1998.

Hiller, Kurt. Leben gegen die Zeit. Vol. 1. Logos. Reinbek: Rowohlt Verlag, 1969; Vol. 2. Eros. Reinbek: Rowohlt Verlag, 1973.

Kennedy, Hubert. The Ideal Gay Man: The Story of Der Kreis. Binghamton, N. Y.: Haworth, 1999; also published as Journal of Homosexuality 38.1-2 (1999).

Steakley, James D. The Homosexual Emancipation Movement in Germany. New York: Arno Press, 1975.


    Citation Information
    Author: Kennedy, Hubert  
    Entry Title: Hiller, Kurt  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2005  
    Date Last Updated August 18, 2005  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2005, glbtq, inc.  


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