Mainz (dpa / lrs) - The fate of lesbian mothers in West Germany in the post-war period is the subject of a research report that will be presented in Mainz today.

With the help of contemporary witnesses, the historian Kirsten Plötz examined the forms of repression faced by mothers who loved a woman and who eventually divorced.

"From the 1950s until well into the 90s, it was common practice to take children away from mothers if they had lesbian relationships," said Plötz.

The research project of the Institute for Contemporary History Munich-Berlin with the Federal Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation follows a first study that was presented in 2017 under the title “Persecution and Discrimination of Homosexuality in Rhineland-Palatinate”.

The work was funded by the Rhineland-Palatinate state government.

Family and Women's Minister Anne Spiegel (Greens) will take part in the presentation of the results.

For a long time there was a cloak of silence over the life of lesbian women in the postwar period.

At the beginning of the study, Jörg Litwinschuh-Barthel from the Federal Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld said that it was not easy to research discrimination against lesbian women “in this leaden time” after the Second World War.

For the research work, 12 women affected by various forms of repression agreed to report on their experiences in interviews.

The suffering caused by the withdrawal of custody is hard to believe, said Plötz.

"We wanted to find out what it did to the women."


Research project website