Re: zoosexual cave art?

Eric Shook (Panopticon@oubliette.COM)
Mon, 8 May 95 02:34:41 CST

In article <> (Stephen Wray) writes:

> Did any academic ever openly discuss (what seem to be) widely regarded as
> highly abberant sexual behavior and get into trouble over it?

Yes, the "Institute for the Study of Sexuality" (I think it was something like
that) was run by a Jewish professor in Berlin back in 1939. There is now a
famous picture in all of the history textbooks in America, depicting a
bonfire made of books surrounded by Nazis who are throwing more books into
the fire. This photo is always captioned by some explanation about how bad
censorship is, and how this photo is the first instance of the Nazis
burning an entire library, and how the went on to burn so many more.
Of course, the books never mention that the building in the photo's
background is the institute I previously mentioned. I do not recall the
name of the professor who ran this institute in Berlin, but he was highly
out spoken, and this scared the Nazi regime. Not because he advocated
homosexuality and freedom in sexuality, but because nearly the entire
high command, having all been part of Berlin's upper class, had all
received counseling at this previously popular psychiatric institute.
It is speculated that their sexual peculiarities were amongst the records
being burnt in that bonfire.

So, while this doesn't seem to relate much to anthropology, it does answer
your question. Moreover, it also demonstrates that what we are taught is
not often complete. This photograph is what most Americans associate with
censorship when they recall it from their early schooling. Yet, many
Americans who hold it as an example of the evils of censorship ironically
would probably vote for those same books to be burned. You never know who
the Nazis are, until you

"hear their standard issue breaking in the door."

(a short phrase I lifted from Roger Waters)

-- Eric Nelson --
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee: