Der Eigene

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Adolf Brand in a 1924 engraving

Der Eigene was the first gay journal in the world, published from 1896 to 1932 by Adolf Brand in Berlin. Brand contributed many poems and articles himself. Other contributors included Benedict Friedlaender, Hanns Heinz Ewers, Erich Mühsam, Kurt Hiller, Ernst Burchard, John Henry Mackay, Theodor Lessing, Klaus Mann, and Thomas Mann, as well as artists Wilhelm von Gloeden, Fidus, and Sascha Schneider. The journal may have had an average of around 1500 subscribers per issue during its run, but the exact numbers are uncertain.

History of the journal[edit]

The title of the journal, Der Eigene (The Unique), refers to the classic anarchist work Der Einzige und sein Eigentum (1844) by Max Stirner. Early issues reflected the philosophy of Stirner, as well as other views on the politics of anarchism, but in the 1920s the journal shifted to support the liberal democracy of the Weimar Republic and more specifically the Social Democratic Party. Der Eigene interwove cultural, artistic, and political material, including lyric poetry, prose, political manifesto and nude photography.

The publisher of Der Eigene had to fight against German censorship. For example, in 1903 a published poem Die Freundschaft was the reason for a lawsuit against the magazine. The magazine won because the poem was written by Friedrich Schiller.[1]

In 1933, when Adolf Hitler rose to power, Adolf Brand's house was searched and all the materials needed to produce the magazine were seized and given to Ernst Röhm.[2]

Further reading[edit]

  • Reprint: Der Eigene. Ein Blatt für männliche Kultur. Ein Querschnitt durch die erste Homosexuellenzeitschrift der Welt. With an article by Friedrich Kröhnke. Published and afterwords by Joachim S. Hohmann, Foerster Verlag, Frankfurt/Main and Berlin 1981.
  • Tamagne, Florence (2004). History Of Homosexuality In Europe. Algora Publishing. pp. 69–70. 

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