Trygve Skogrand

The other side of the Paragraph 175

Today I started out by visiting the Berlin Police Museum –  the Polizeihistorische Sammlung – at Tempelhof. I’ll return there later, to inspect arrest photos from their archives, but for now I got an interesting and thoughtful look at the early police history of the city. As I studied the historic photographs, I came to think that the police are also part of the story about queer identity and liberation. Standing on each side of the infamous paragraph 175, the police and the queer community found ways to live together, shaping another along the way.

And in a typical Berliner live-and-let-live way, the police didn’t bother the queers too much, as long as they kept to their own bars and cafes. Then the police knew where these decadents were, and mainly left them to keep on with their queering.

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