The Assault on Gender and the Family: Jewish Sexology and the Legacy of the Frankfurt School, Part Two

Albert Moll

Albert Moll

Part I.

Albert Moll (1862–1939), who would go on to be “a great influence on Freud,”[1] came from a Polish Jewish merchant family and “belonged to the Jewish religious community.”[2] Typical of his ethno-religious group, Moll frequently utilized his position within the field of medical psychology to form an oppositional bloc against prevailing opinions in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century non-Jewish society. Indeed, large numbers of Jews tactically ambushed several medical disciplines during this period for precisely this reason. Historian Elena Macini writes that “Jews flooded medicine at this time not only for social standing, but also in an era that witnessed the efflorescence of race science, for the opportunity of self-representation. … The presence of Jews in the medical sector in general, and in race science in particular, allowed them to assert Jewish equality and very often moral superiority.”[3] With Berlin as the center of German medicine, and Jews comprising one third of doctors in the city,[4] the domination and re-orientation of entire disciplines was not only feasible but disturbingly easy.

A key aspect of advocating for Jewish equality and moral superiority was the Jewish advocacy of social, racial and religious pluralism. This position often came into conflict with non-Jewish efforts to promote Nationalism, particularly ethnically-based Nationalism, and corresponding efforts to confront social and cultural decay. A universal theme in Albert Moll’s works were arguments against German attempts to reckon with late Imperial and Weimar-era social and biological degeneration via eugenic programs. For example, in his Handbuch der Sexualwissenschaften (1911) Moll expressed the hope that mooted plans for sterilization programs would “not be implemented and that our race-improvers do not get too much influence on our legislation.” When German science in the late 1920s became concerned with degeneration and decline, gravitating even further towards eugenics, Moll preceded Boas in rejecting the findings of behavior genetics, arguing that “the fact we find so many valuable people, despite the hereditary burden, is caused by regeneration in countless cases. …  We can hardly ever say something about the condition of offspring with any certainty at all.” Moll was therefore the quintessential Jewish physician: political and ethnic interests were never far from his dubious practice of medicine.

Also typical of Jewish intellectuals, Moll exhibited highly aggressive and assertive personality traits and had a flair for self-promotion. Although he began his career with a focus on hypnotism, Moll wasn’t long in utilizing these traits to gain professional closeness to sexology’s experts, particularly von Krafft-Ebing. He then masterfully orchestrated his own eclipse of von Krafft-Ebing to such an extent that Moll himself came to be considered, and largely remains considered, the pioneer of the field. However, Moll’s activity in sexology went far beyond stealing the limelight. From the beginning of his drift into sexology he adopted the same oppositional role that he occupied in relation to other German attempts to reckon with social decay. In particular, Moll worked tirelessly to persuade leading non-Jewish scholars like von Krafft-Ebing to reject the idea that sexual abnormality was the result of biological and psychological disorder. In his Freud: Biologist of the Mind, Frank J. Sulloway writes that “Krafft-Ebing’s decision around the turn of the century to separate the doctrine of degeneration from the theory of homosexuality was in response to the thinking of his younger and more critical colleague Moll.”[5] However, there is significant reason to doubt the validity of Krafft-Ebing’s personal change of perspective given that the most pertinent, later, editions of Psychopathia Sexualis that showcased this change were in fact edited by none other than Moll himself. Volkmar Sigusch even writes that Moll “completely overhauled the work.”

Moll’s work centered on the argument that there were alternative, valid, “identities,” and as such he argued that homosexuality was a “valid sexual identity.”[6] Whereas earlier non-Jewish psychiatrists observed “unsavory and often contemptible personal characteristics” among sexual inverts (including their tendency to be liars, their moodiness, love of gossip, and vanity and envy), Moll argued instead that “homosexual men were not corrupt, but merely womanish,”[7] comprising a kind of “third sex” — a theory that would later be advanced much further by co-ethnic Magnus Hirschfeld. In Sex, Freedom and Power in Imperial Germany, 18801914, E.R. Dickson remarks that Moll’s theories were popularized and given substantial sympathetic coverage in Germany by the predominantly Jewish Social Democratic press during the trial of Oscar Wilde in England in 1895 (re the contemporary scene, see Brenton Sanderson’s “Jewish media influence as decisive in creating a positive public culture of homosexuality“). Dickson writes that “public policy towards homosexuality was also one more issue Social Democrats could use to point to the hypocrisy of bourgeois sexual mores, and to elaborate on their own naturalist alternative. Social Democrat Eduard Bernstein, for example, did precisely that in his reporting for German audiences on the Wilde case in London (where he was living as a journalist).”[8]

Even more radical than Moll was Magnus Hirschfeld (1868–1935). Like Moll, Hirschfeld came from a family of Jewish merchants and, also like Moll, he advanced theories of social and sexual behavior amounting to “the existence of fundamental irreducible sameness in human beings.”[9] Elena Macini writes that Hirschfeld’s Jewishness was “a socially and politically determinant aspect of his life.”[10] A common feature of his work was the hatred he had for Christianity. Indeed, his critique of that religion resembled in many respects that concocted by Freud. To Hirschfeld, Christianity was “essentially sadomasochistic, delighting in the pain of ascetic self-denial.”[11] Western Civilization had thus been “in the grip of anti-hedonist exaggerations for two thousand years,” thereby committing “psychic self-mutilation.”[12] It was therefore Western society, rather than homosexuals and other outsiders, that was sick and degenerate, and Hirschfeld’s prescribed cure was sexual hedonism and the acceptance of a wide array of “identities” and “sexualities.” Although coming from a close-knit, observant, Jewish community, and possessed of an abiding hatred for Christianity, Hirschfeld superficially advocated a “pan-humanistic” outlook and was fond of declaring himself “a world citizen.”[13] (I might agree with Hirschfeld to a certain extent since he appears to me a perfect example of what Henry Ford called an “international Jew.”)

Magnus Hirschfeld: International “World Citizen”

Magnus Hirschfeld: “World Citizen”

Although there were few ideological differences between Moll and Hirschfeld, their egos clashed and there was a subtle disparity in approach. Whereas Moll was content to publicize his ideas from books and newspapers, the homosexual Hirschfeld was intent on a more direct form of activism in the fight to break down Western social and sexual mores. Like the Moll-popularizer Eduard Bernstein, Hirschfeld was a “socialist and an active member of the Social Democratic Party.”[14] Hirschfeld, described by Mancini as “cosmopolitan to the core,” essentially created the first homosexual “communities,” beginning in Berlin where the Hebrew “transvestite” (a term he coined) was known as “Aunt Magnesia” by the city’s sexual inverts. Hirschfeld organized homosexuals, encouraging them to openly flaunt their predilections and get involved in the growing campaign for “emancipation” that was developing under the auspices of the Scientific Humanitarian Committee which he had formed in 1897. Hirschfeld pioneered modern Social Justice Warrior tactics by urging celebrities and high-profile politicians to add their names in support of the campaign for “sexual equality.”

Hirschfeld and his protégés produced a vast number of books, manuscripts, papers, and pamphlets concerning sexuality, transvestitism, “transgenderism” (another Hirschfeld term) and fetishes. Through his work with the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, Hirschfeld published the 23-volume Yearbook for the Sexual Intermediates, the first periodical devoted to “homosexual studies.” Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Science (Institut füer Sexualwissenschaft) was the world’s first gender identity clinic and his staff performed the first known transsexual surgeries. Through the Institute for Sexual Science which he founded in 1919, Hirschfeld also documented thousands of cases of sexual inversion and further bolstered his theory of the “Third Sex.”

Despite the labels attached to his committees and journals, Hirschfeld’s work rested largely on political argument rather than legitimate scientific investigation. Scholar Edward Dickson argues that Hirschfeld’s field was “characterized by unresolved and often speculative arguments.”[15] Whereas many of the early non-Jewish sexologists had a background in zoology and the sexual behavior of animals, particularly primates, Hirschfeld rejected such strictly biological or evolutionary interpretations of human sexual behavior. Following from this, the methodology he employed was extremely close to that employed by Freud — this is the “science” of patient interviews and circular reasoning rather than statistics and empirical observation.

Despite the bankruptcy of his science, the dramatic success of the Committee at mobilizing large sectors of German and European society on behalf of homosexuals was due to Hirschfeld’s personality. Like Moll, he was an aggressive and relentless agitator. Respecting few social codes, he was the darling of the Social Democrats and the reviled enemy of Weimar conservatives (Hitler referred to Hirschfeld as “the most dangerous Jew in Germany”). By the end of the 1920s Hirschfeld’s activism meant that Weimar Germany saw homosexuality less as a medical disorder and sign of degeneration than as a major cause célèbre. Hirschfeld’s perverse bonanza came to an end in 1933 when on May 6th Nationalist German student organizations and columns of the Hitler Youth attacked the Institute for Sexual Science. The Institute library was liquidated and its contents used in a book burning on May 10. The youths also printed and disseminated posters bearing Hirschfeld’s face complete with the caption: “Protector and Promoter of pathological sexual aberrations, also in his physical appearance probably the most disgusting of all Jewish monsters.” Hirschfeld himself had been on an international speaking tour since 1931. He lived in exile in France until he died of a heart attack in 1935.

Jewish Sexology Reduced to Ashes

Jewish Sexology Reduced to Ashes

In terms of theory, Hirschfeld had “subverted the notion that romantic love should be orientated toward reproduction,” arguing instead for the acceptance of homosexual lifestyles and hedonistic, non-reproductive, sexual relations in general.[16] A key element of Hirschfeld’s theory was the deployment of “love as a primary weapon in his ethical and philosophical campaign for the liberation of same-sex relationships.”[17] However, love as a concept was itself altered by Hirschfeld, who imbued it with transcendental and cosmic qualities in an effort to distance it as much as possible from biological, reproductive drives. Mancini writes that “the idea that love had the potential to not only lift the individual but to enrich the broader mission of humanity was articulated in Hirschfeld’s condemnation of theories of racial hygiene and his appeal to Panhumanism to extinguish the hatred among nations and races.”[18]

Such romantic theorizing, of course, had little to do with the actual content of sexological studies of the sexually inverted, where love featured significantly less than pederasty, promiscuity and disease. But it was the idea and “feeling” that mattered most in creating a homosexual movement and public support behind it. As strategy it corresponded perfectly with efforts to achieve “Jewish emancipation.” In this respect Richard Wagner put it most astutely and succinctly when he wrote that “when we strove for emancipation of the Jews we were really more the champions of an abstract principle than of a concrete case: … Our zeal for equal civil rights for Jews was much more the consequence of a general idea than of any real sympathy; for, with all our speaking and writing for Jewish emancipation, we always felt instinctively repelled by any actual, operative contact with them.” One could easily substitute “homosexuals” for “Jews” and achieve significant insight into the basic psychological processes at work, with Hirschfeld’s “general idea” being a florid abstraction of love around which the fashionable and easily duped may gravitate. It can’t be emphasized enough that Jews have been very adept at framing their arguments in emotional or moral terms that appear to have a unique pull on the consciences of Europeans, and such strategies are very difficult to unseat. One need only acknowledge that Hirschfeld’s work in this regard retains great potency in the present, with the recent “marriage equality” debate neatly side-stepping biological and social imperatives in favor of Hirschfeld-like maudlin non sequiturs about “love.”

Hirschfeld’s Ghost: Hedonism and Perversion Triumphant under the Banner of “Love”

Hirschfeld’s Ghost: Hedonism and Perversion Triumphant under the Banner of “Love”

Hirschfeld’s use of the weaponized concept of love was itself a legacy of Hirschfeld’s “scientific mentor” and co-ethnic Iwan Bloch (1872–1922). Like Moll and Hirschfeld, Bloch had no background in zoology, evolutionary studies or animal behavior. Trained as a dermatologist, Bloch was also attracted to the cause of “sexual minorities” and became an ardent campaigner on their behalf. He joined with Moll and Hirschfeld in attacking the non-Jewish consensus that sexual inversion was pathological and coined the term sexualwissenschaft or sexology to give academic and medical respectability to what was essentially a Jewish intellectual reaction against non-Jewish efforts to categorize harmful social and sexual pathologies. He was also a keen promoter of perversion and pornography. He was the “discoverer” of the Marquis de Sade’s manuscript of The 120 Days of Sodom, which had been believed to be lost, and published it under the pseudonym Eugène Dühren in 1904. In 1899 he had published Marquis de Sade: His Life and Works under the same pseudonym. In 1906 he wrote The Sexual Life of Our Time in its Relations to Modern Civilization, for which he gained the praise of Sigmund Freud for attacking “bourgeois” (non-Jewish) sexual mores, attacking the perception of sexual inverts as pathological, and calling for Europeans to adopt a more pluralistic and hedonistic sexual life.

Iwan Bloch

Iwan Bloch

By the time Moll, Hirschfeld and Bloch had essentially co-opted and redirected the study of human sexual behavior, Jews were flooding the new “discipline” in increasing numbers. Albert Eulenberg (1840–1917), with a background in neurology and electrotherapy, began styling himself a sexologist. With Bloch and Max Marcuse (1877–1963) he co-edited the Zeitschrift fur Sexualwissenschaft  (Journal for Sexology) and with Hirschfeld he co-founded the Berlin Society for Sexual Science and Eugenics.[19] The eugenics aspect of the society’s name was of course a clever piece of deception, intended to ingratiate it with non-Jewish eugenic societies for the purposes of eventual subversion with Jewish oppositional ideas. Nor was the tactic new. Eulenberg, Hirschfeld and Moll all claimed to be eugenicists but, like the Jewish-dominated German League for Improvement of the People and the Study of Heredity, astute Nationalists perceived the attempt at co-option from within, and all were attacked by National Socialist publisher Julius F. Lehmann as “part of a targeted subversion on the part of Berlin Jews.”[20]

But time for the sexologists was beginning to run out. Following the destruction of Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Science in 1933, the list of homosexual activists held by Hirschfeld’s organization fell into the hands of the police where it assisted the prosecution of thousands of sexual inverts under the Penal Codes, and the subsequent internment of these individuals in concentration camps. The journals and organizations of the Jewish sexologists were gradually shut down until, in 1938, the Jewish grip on several disciplines were categorically broken when the Nuremberg laws stripped thousands of Jewish physicians of their licenses. Albert Moll, once the haughty promoter of degeneracy, was among those who lost their medical licence and was thereby banned from the medical profession. He was forced to adopt the middle name Israel. In one of the strange coincidences that history sometimes bequeaths to us, he would die lonely and impoverished on the same day as his fellow warrior against the Europeans, Sigmund Freud. Baptized for social expediency in the 1890s, access to the local church cemetery was refused; the pastor in charge refused to speak at Moll’s grave.

Jewish sexology, it seemed, was on the brink of extinction. But it would live on in exile, along with other poisonous doctrines, with the Frankfurt School. After the war it would return, with Horkheimer and Adorno, to Frankfurt, where the Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Science would be re-established and then led by their protégé Volkmar Sigusch. Since taking on the leadership of the Institite, Sigusch has acted as a theorist and expert on social policy issues, and he has played a key role in liberalizing Germany’s laws penalizing homosexuality. Until 2006, Sigusch led Frankfurt University’s Institute for Sexual Science and its associated sexual medicine clinic. In 2005, he published Neo-sexuality: On the Cultural Change of Love and Perversion. In early March 2011, he released his new book Searching for Sexual Freedom. Despite his non-Jewish ethnicity, these works reveal that he is the spiritual and ideological son of Moll, Bloch, Hirschfeld and Eulenberg.

Surveying the contemporary social and cultural landscape in Western society, we see a much more radical departure from the measures advocated by Ellis, one of sexology’s founding fathers. And more than a century following from the first efforts of Moll to bring about a sexual revolution, we find ourselves once more wrestling with the hydra of Jewish sexology. As hinted at above, the modern Russian state has probably come closest to implementing measures in line with Ellis’ recommendations. Homosexual relations were decriminalized in 1993, but the state has consistently refused permission for “Pride” parades (the “flouting” warned against by Ellis) to take place. Most importantly, since 2006 Russia has also introduced legislation restricting the distribution of materials promoting sexually inverted lifestyles and behaviors to children as an extension to existing child protection laws. Homosexual couples cannot adopt children and cannot marry. While Russia has been harshly criticized and even fined by the European Court of Human Rights for these measures, the country is still remarkably lenient by Ellis’ standards. Single homosexuals are permitted to adopt children, sexual inversion was declassified as a mental illness in 1999, and those suffering from metamorphosis sexualis paranoica have been indulged with surgery and permitted to change their legal gender since 1997. One suspects that Russia will continue to be portrayed as a “civil rights” boogeyman by the sexologists and their agents until they fall into line with the pluralist zeitgeist.

To conclude, it may be worth remarking on the discussion of the desirability of there being homosexuals in the Nationalist movement. I don’t speak for The Occidental Observer, but I do speak for myself when I advise against the involvement of sexual inverts in the movement. Since arguments in favor of such involvement have been advanced, I feel that it is only fair that the opposite argument should also be given consideration. In this movement we are concerned with racial, biological and demographic fitness, and key to this is the preservation of traditional norms regarding marriage and relationships between the sexes. There can be no distraction from this focus, and no concession on any ground. I view any argument to the contrary as a mere echo of the claims of Moll et al. that they were “eugenicists.” There can be no subversion here. In this age of promiscuity, hedonism, abortion, and impending demographic oblivion, our future depends on it.


[1] F.J. Solloway, Freud, Biologist of the Mind: Beyond the Psychoanalytic Legend (Harvard, 1979), 314-5.

[2] V. Roelcke, Twentieth Century Ethics of Human Subjects Research: Historical Perspectives From Steiner Verlag (Stuttgart, 2004), 26.

[3] E. Mancini, Magnus Hirschfeld and the Quest for Sexual Freedom: A History of the First International Sexual Freedom Movement (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 29.

[4] A. Killen, Berlin Electropolis: Shock, Nerves and German Modernity (University of California Press, 2006), 63.

[5] Solloway, Freud, Biologist of the Mind: Beyond the Psychoanalytic Legend (Harvard, 1979), 300.

[6] E.R. Dickson, Sex, Freedom and Power in Imperial Germany, 1880-1914 (Cambridge University Press, 2014), 155.

[7] Ibid, 156.

[8] Ibid, 157.

[9] Mancini, Magnus Hirschfeld and the Quest for Sexual Freedom, 30.

[10] Ibid, 4.

[11] Ibid, 160.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid, 4.

[14] Ibid.

[15] E.R. Dickson, Sex, Freedom and Power in Imperial Germany, 1880-1914 (Cambridge University Press, 2014), 249.

[16] Ibid, 7.

[17] Ibid, 5.

[18] Ibid, 6.

[19] A. Killen, Berlin Electropolis: Shock, Nerves and German Modernity (University of California Press, 2006), 63.

[20] J. Glad, Future Human Evolution: Eugenics in the Twenty-First Century (Hermitage, 2006), 133.

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