Postwar German homophile movement
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Postwar German homophile movement: World Federation for the Rights of Man

Die Insel

Reprinted in One
January 1953
Volume 1, Number 1

ONE is a youngster compared to such veteran publications as "Die Insel" which has flourished several years on the Continent. The following translation of an article in the July issue 1952 reveals clearly how similar are its purposes to ONE's and how international are all of our aims. The style is heavy compared to some of our frivolous standards, but you'll remember what it said long after you've forgotten today's "easy" reading.

For an upright man of good will it cannot be an entirely pleasurable experience to reflect upon his responsibility for concern with the welfare of others as well as his own. The welfare of citizens, however, is guaranteed through the recognition of personal, inalienable freedom and justice for everyone. In a democratic state these facts ought to be self-evident. But the social lag, lacking insight into the reality of the human species, which has seized our jurisprudence and the indolent adherence to archaic thought-patterns leads even a democratic society toward the danger of stagnation and therewith the denial of its own rights.

A static democracy which cannot tolerate independent thought or the individual pursuit of happiness on the part of its citizens its really a non-entity. A democratic society has no alternative but to sanction continual criticism from those who pledge allegiance to it.

When the World Federation for the Rights of Man was brought into being in Bremen at the end of 1951, it was the conviction of its founders that citizens there were in need of the protection and legal defense such as a strong alliance could provide whether the Government was more or less disposed to acknowledge the fact or not. The World Federation for the Rights of Man saw as its obvious duty first to take up its fight where the need appeared most urgent.

Thus the struggle revolved at the outset chiefly around the need of the organized, German homophile minority to set about a common goal with all determination. Here was the right born with the individual to seek redress of his grievances and yet here was a minority which, because of the manifestation of sensual love between grown men was denied redress of its most painful grievances because of laws proceeding from false assumptions, placed under 1egal prohibition.

Here all respect for freedom of the individual was again and again trod under foot, and this in an intimate sphere which, like no other in the dominant society, consists of individuals who belong to each other. Here violations committed against humanity went unchallenged by the social conscience or the power of the State. Here voices of important men of the people, the voices of reason, tolerance and humanity went blithely unheard.

After the gruesome murders committed upon homophiles during the era of the late Dictator, it has now become intolerable longer to suffer banishment to prison and exposure to disgrace of men who have done nothing but that which is the commandment of their nature. It is impossible that we can remain silent any longer when these individuals, whose number in West Germany alone runs into the millions, are denied the right to live upright lives because of a narrow and obscurantist morality.

We demand therefore:

In order for male and female homophiles to stand personally united, the International Order of Friendship was founded. With a continuously increasing membership it will expand chiefly in the larger cities, and in each chapter its members will offer good fellowship, conversation, lodging, cultural programs and the opportunity for exchange of ideas.

The Order is always alert to hold itself aloof from undesirable elements. It strives constantly to serve the allied groups of the foreign and domestic friendship clubs to promote the establishment of a great, protective organization.

Within the framework of that which is possible for it the International Order of Friendship will offer its members support against judicial persecution if it can do so without compromising itself.

The World Federation for the Rights of Man, affiliated with the International Order of Friendship is to be journalistically represented by The Island.

Members of good reputation who are adults and declare themselves prepared to serve can be of immense help to our organization.

We call upon all who are concerned:
Protect Yourself!
Close Ranks!
Make our Organization Strong!
Fight with us for your Rights and Your Freedom!

-World Federation for the Rights of Man
affiliated with the
International Order of Friendship

Translated By
A. E. Galbraith