An issue of Die Freundin (May 1928)
Die Freundin (English: The Girlfriend: Journal for Ideal Friendship between Women) was a popular Weimar-era German lesbian magazine published from 1924 to 1933. The magazine was published from Berlin, the capital of Germany, by the Bund für Menschenrecht (translated variously as League for Human Rights or Federation for Human Rights), run by gay activist and publisher Friedrich Radszuweit. The Bund was an organization for homosexuals which had a membership of 48,000 in the 1920s.
This magazine, together with other lesbian magazines of that era such as Frauenliebe (Love of Women), represented a part-educational and part-political perspective, and they were assimilated with the local culture. Die Freundin published short stories and novellas. Renowned contributors were pioneers of the lesbian movement like Selli Engler or Lotte Hahm. The magazine also published advertisements of lesbian nightspots, and women could place their personal advertisements for meeting other lesbians. Women's groups related to the Bund für Menschenrecht and Die Freundin offered a culture of readings, performances, and discussions, which was an alternative to the culture of bars. This magazine was usually critical of women for what they viewed as "attending only to pleasure", with a 1929 article urging women "Don't go to your entertainments while thousands of our sisters mourn their lives in gloomy despair."
Die Freundin, along with other gay and lesbian periodicals, was shut down by the Nazis after they came to power in 1933. But even before the rise of the Nazis, the magazine faced legal troubles during the Weimar Republic. From 1928 to 1929, the magazine was shut down by the government under a law that was supposed to protect youth from "trashy and obscene" literature. During these years, the magazine operated under the title Ledige Frauen (Single Women).
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- Media related to Die Freundin at Wikimedia Commons