Samuel Clowes HunekeFeb 25, 2022
States of Liberation
Gay Men Between Dictatorship and Democracy in Cold War Germany
University of Toronto Press 2022
States of Liberation: Gay Men Between Dictatorship and Democracy in Cold War Germany (U Toronto Press, 2022) traces the paths of gay men in East and West Germany from the violent aftermath of the Second World War to the thundering nightclubs of present-day Berlin. Following a captivating cast of characters, from gay spies and Nazi scientists to queer politicians and secret police bureaucrats, States of Liberation tells the remarkable story of how the two German states persecuted gay men - and how those men slowly, over the course of decades, won new rights and created new opportunities for themselves in the heart of Cold War Europe. Relying on untapped archives in Germany and the United States as well as oral histories with witnesses and survivors, Huneke reveals that communist East Germany was in many ways far more progressive on queer issues than democratic West Germany.
Samuel Clowes Huneke is assistant professor of history at George Mason University.
Steven Seegel is Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.