Berlin/Bonn, November 2005
First online project lesbian history
In November a so far unique project goes online under the URL http://www.lesbengeschichte.de. This website presents the life and work of women-loving women in the German-speaking countries as well as treatises on lesbians in German-speaking films from the beginnings to the present.
The history of lesbian women has been reconstructed only incompletely so far their stories have hardly been recorded and only very few can be found on the virtual net. The aim of the online project is to enter lesbian women in history and to make them visible in their relevance in the past and today.
The no-budget page, the web design of which was partly sponsored by women from Bonn and Cologne, starts with the portraits of Johanna Elberskirchen (1864 1943), Theo Anna Sprüngli, also known as Anna Rüling (1880 1953), and Emma (Külz-) Trosse (1863 1948) among others and shows their political commitment for lesbian issues at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
These three publicists are historically relevant not only in German-speaking countries but represent homosexual liberation in the context of sexual reform and sexology in many countries. These three women raised their voices in the sexological discussions which had been developing the construct of a homosexual personality since the end of the 19th century. Thus they could indirectly influence the self-conceptions, political discussions and (mostly individual) fights of lesbian women.
The online project addresses everybody who is interested in (lesbian) history in political or academic terms. Apart from portraits, documentations on historical commemorations of former activists and texts on the history of film the website also offers pictures, statistics on lesbians in films, bibliographies and chronics to rummage in.
Thanks to numerous unpaid translations into so far eight languages the project is also internationally accessible.
Christiane Leidinger (Berlin) and Ingeborg Boxhammer (Bonn)