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Kurt Hiller
(17 August 1885 - 1 October 1972) Germany

Kurt Hill

Lawyer, publicist, and activist

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Born in Prague, he grew up in a liberal intellectual milieu. He paid little attention to his Jewish background because his family was completely integrated. He studied law and wrote a dissertation in which he questioned the penalization of homosexual intercourse. In Weimar Germany, Hiller not only played a prominent role in the peace movement but also in the homosexual movement.

Right after the Nazi take-over, Hiller was arrested and during his nine months in concentration camp he was seriously maltreated. After his release in 1934, he escaped from Germany and tried to cntinue his work as a writer in Prague and later in London. Only in 1955 did Hiller return to Germany for good.

Opposing to Hirschfeld theories, he affirmed, already in the 1930s, that the primary motivation for homosexual emancipation should not be found in scientific evidence for homosexuality being innate, but in the fundamental individual right to self-determination - he was well ahead of his time.

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Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History, from Antiquity to WWII, Routledge, London, 2001

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