Lambda and the Harvard Department of History are excited to host a book talk on Professor Samuel Clowes Huneke’s new book, “States of Liberation: Gay Men between Dictatorship and Democracy in Cold War Germany.”
STATES OF LIBERATION traces the paths of gay men in East and West Germany from the violent aftermath of the Second World War to the thundering nightclubs of present-day Berlin. Following a captivating cast of characters, from gay spies and Nazi scientists to queer politicians and secret police bureaucrats, States of Liberation tells the remarkable story of how the two German states persecuted gay men – and how those men slowly, over the course of decades, won new rights and created new opportunities for themselves in the heart of Cold War Europe. Relying on untapped archives in Germany and the United States as well as oral histories with witnesses and survivors, Huneke reveals that communist East Germany was in many ways far more progressive on queer issues than democratic West Germany.
SAMUEL CLOWES HUNEKE is assistant professor of modern German history at George Mason University. He received his PhD in modern European history from Stanford University in 2019. His first book States of Liberation: Gay Men between Dictatorship and Democracy in Cold War Germany (University of Toronto Press, 2022) examines gay persecution and liberation in Germany from the end of World War Two until the end of the Cold War. He has published extensively on queer German history in scholarly journals, including Central European History, Journal of Contemporary History, and New German Critique. He writes frequently for other periodicals, including Los Angeles Review of Books, The Point, and Boston Review.