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February 05, 2018

Goliath Books Issues Its 'History of German Porn'

BERLIN, DE—One topic that has fascinated historians, sex researchers and porn fetish fans is that of German pornography in the pre- and post-WWII eras. Many will have seen the Tinto Brass classic Salon Kitty, which deals with the famous Berlin brothel of that name, which served as an arm of the Nazi SS in both information gathering and keeping wartime leaders sexually satisfied, and some may have read Mel Gordon's exhaustive (and profusely illustrated) study Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin (Feral House), which deals with German brothels and much, much more. But now, Goliath Books has released its own sexual treasure-trove, History of German Porn, another profusely illustrated volume whose images are taken from the Gretchen Kraut Archives and features rarely seen vintage photos from the early days of German porn photography in the 19th century through the lascivious '20s, from the crazy 1930s to the Swinging Sixties. According to Goliath, "Germans are not really famous for their great passions or pleasures. For centuries, nobody believed that the Germans might indeed, have a very intimate relationship with pornography. After the war, porn was happily transferred outdoors, to Scandinavia, generously partaking in the nude bathing cult. Or it was banned in the German Democratic Republic, where allegedly, women were more willing than in the West. There was however still something left of the good old German wanderlust, spiced up with a little sado-masochism. The Nazis had turned nude culture, which after all had been Germanic, having been invented in Germany, into erotic machinery. All steel-hard boys and Arian women, always willing to do what they were asked to do. Germany militarized the erotic, which was permitted to remain pornographic abroad. The time had come for Germans, characterized by war-time rape and a greatly reduced male population, to put their past skeletons in the closet. "Indeed, the Germans had lost something very important," it continues. "This book shows what they lost: the legendary roaring twenties, when after World War I they shook off the senselessness of the Age of the Kaiser like a drunken stupor. It was the time when photography commenced its victory march, and dared all, without shame. Only the sexual revolution and the simultaneous invention of video reopened the floodgates to the rest of the world. Today, everything is united by the dream of a time in Germany which not even the Germans seem to understand. It is the global myth, telling us about the first half of the 20th century, when the erotic vaudeville theatres in Munich, Berlin and Hamburg were fucking-full with exciting ladies, for the high society who could afford it. A lot of sexual experimentation was going on then, despite the censoring and the vice police, when the Germans shed uniforms and corsets to take a breath of fresh morning air." History of German Porn consists of 200 photos, almost all from one private collection, which show these sparkling bygone days; that heady time when porn photos were still sensational and daring, coquettish and provoking, hot but most of all: prohibited. Indeed, little is left to the imagination in this collection, and it's one that will engross anyone interested in the history of sex in media, not to mention those who wonder what kind of sexuality could flourish within a culture that produced two world wars and a fascist political philosophy that continues to plague the world even today. History of German Porn / ISBN 978-3-936709-37-7 / $29.95 / £16.99 / €19.90 is available at GoliathBooks.com.

 
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