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Vita SexualisKarl Ulrichs and the Origins of Sexual Science$
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Ralph M. Leck

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040009

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040009.001.0001

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Ulrichs Street and Epistemic Politics

(p.217) Afterword
Vita Sexualis

Ralph M. Leck

University of Illinois Press

This concluding chapter discusses how underlying the choice of Ulrichs as a symbol of resistance to Prussian–Nazi politics resulted to growing popular recognition of sexual politics as a vital feature of modern history. In this vein, Minister Einem's expulsion of homosexuals from the German officer corps reveals the cultural affinity between the rise of mass armies in the nineteenth century and the construction of modern masculinity. This affinity was a core cultural–political continuity between Prussian authoritarianism and the Nazi dictatorship. Indeed, the aspect of Nazi ideology that most closely resembled the fascist archetype was its gender politics. The choice of Ulrichs as a replacement for Einem, then, symbolizes rising acknowledgment that reactionary sexual politics was the greatest moral–cultural appeal of fascist populism.

Keywords:   Karl Ulrichs, Prussian–Nazi politics, sexual politics, Minister Einem, homosexuals, modern masculinity, Nazi ideology, gender politics, fascist populism

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