Institute for Sexual Science (1919-1933)Online-Exhibition by the Magnus-Hirschfeld Society

Physicians who worked briefly at the Institute

Staff of the Institute for Sexual Science around 1919-1920, (Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, BSlg 1876)

in 1919/20

Professor Richard Mühsam

Surgeon and medical director of a Berlin hospital. Mühsam performed testicle transplants on patients of the Institute in order to “surgically remove” their homosexual tendencies by grafting on “heterosexual” testicles.

Heinrich Stabel

Surgeon and gynecologist. Stabel also performed testicle transplants. A proponent of sexual reform, he spoke out for decriminalization of homosexuality and abortion. In the late 1920s, he carried out artificial inseminations.

Heinrich Poll, M.D.

Poll was an active member of the German Society for Racial Hygiene and director of the Department of Heredity Science at the University of Berlin. He arranged for research students to undergo examinations on sexuality and heredity.

Bruno Saaler

Neurologocal specialist, took part in pedagogical activities with such lectures on “Sexuality and Education.”

Carl Müller-Braunschweig

Instructor (as of 1934, director) at the Berlin Institute for Psychoanalysis. As part of the academic curriculum, he gave introductory lectures on Freudian psychoanalysis.

Friedrich Helmbold

Gynecologist. Helmbold artificially inseminated a patient of the Institute and focused on the treatment of “women’s ailments.” He was also on the board of the Scientific Humanitarian Committee.

Dorothea Selig

Gynecologist, Pediatrician, licensed in 1919.

Hans Abraham

Neurologist, licensed in 1917, did research in 1920 on “female tranvestism.”

Erich Brauer

Scientific writer, social psychologist. Brauer wrote on the “connection between female employment and declining fertility among women.”

Stays of Research:

  • Helmuth Hennicke
    Gynecologist, licensed 1919.
  • Kurt Friedländer
    Urologist, did research in 1919 on “Innervation of the Potency [?],”
    practiced medicine in the mid-1920s at Kufürstendamm 177, Berlin
  • Walter Großmann
    Urologist, licensed 1921, worked on his dissertation on the physical-mental development of homosexuality.
  • Dr. Tschin – University of Beijing
  • Dr. Hay – Wien
  • Dr. Tremmel – Heidelberg
  • Dr. Levy – Hamburg
  • Dr. Mosbacher – Berlin*

“In addition, 18 medical students and three law students were either employed as assistants or they were there to use the comprehensive literature and documentary resource material for their research on sexual scientific topics” (including approx. 4000 “psycho-biological questionnaires”). (report on the first year after founding, Berlin 1920)



Hermann Philippsthal

he practiced medicine at the Institute in order to inform himself “On the Effect of Testicle Transplants.”

Theodor Dobkowsky

Dentist. Dobkowsky conducted “tooth examinations on intersexual variants” at the Institute. He claimed to have discovered that the front teeth of homosexuals are smaller than those of heterosexual men.

Harry Benjamin

Physician from the United States. Benjamin’s interest in endocrinology brought him to the Institute in the mid-1920s for consultation. He participated in congresses of the World League for Sexual Reform.

Werner Holz

Doctor in Nowawes (today Potsdam/Babelsberg), studied a “Case of Transvestism.”

cand. med. Kurt Wolff

came as a student to the Institute via recommendation by Professor Poll of the Berlin University Hereditary Studies Seminar. Researched the psycho-biological questionnaires on the genetic development of homosexuality, androgyny, and intersexuality.

Victor Robinson

Physician from the United States. Robinson visited the Institute in 1923 regarding research on transvestitism.

Norman Haire

Gynecologist from London. Haire visited the Institute for the first time in 1923 to learn more about methods of contraception. He was a proponent of the British and international movements for birth control. In the late 1920s, Haire was among the founders of the World League for Sexual Reform.


Occasional Collaborators of Kronfeld

Heinrich Köbcke, M.D.

In 1919, he worked as an assistant physician in Kronfeld’s department and later on became a neurologist in Berlin. In his practice, Max Hodann, a co-worker at the Institute, ran a medical health centre.

Gerhard Scherk, M.D.

He did research on the “Psychology of Eunuchoids”. In 1925, he was officially registered as a doctor and worked as an internist and an assistant physician at the Rudolf-Virchow-Hospital, Berlin, in 1928.

Kurt Messing, M.D.

He did research for his doctoral thesis on “Dependence and Jealousy among Homosexuals”. Later on, he went into private practice as a psychologist and homoeopath in Berlin.

Lida Wolkowa, M.D.

The Bulgarian doctor consulted the Institute for her doctoral thesis on “Spiritism and Schizophrenia”.

Theodor Friedrichs

He researched in Kronfeld’s department on the “Psychology of Hypnosis and Suggestion”.

Walter Lurje

His research was directed at the supposed connections between “Mystical Thinking, Mental Illness and Modern Art” as well as between “Autism and Buddhism”.