Weirauch, Anna Elisabet

Title

Weirauch, Anna Elisabet

Birth Date

7 August 1887

Birthplace

Galați, Romania

Death Date

21 December 1970

Occupation

Actor, Playwright, Writer

Biographical Text

Weirauch was born in Romania but as a young child moved to Germany with her mother and siblings after her father died. She studied and worked as an actress before becoming a playwright and author.

She lived with her lifelong partner, Helena Geisenhainer, from the mid-1920s onwards. Together they moved from Berlin to Gastag during the Nazi era, to Munich after the Second World War, finally returning to Berlin in the 1960s. Both women are buried at a cemetery in Berlin Reinickendorf.

Weirauch was a prolific novelist with over 60 novels to her name but is remembered mainly for The Scorpion, one of the first novels written in Germany to openly discuss lesbian relationships in a positive way. The first volume was published in 1919, nine years before Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness, and it was considered as influential to German lesbians as Hall's work was to lesbians in English speaking countries. Fawcett Publishers changed the name of the book from The Scorpion to the more provocative title Of Love Forbidden when it reprinted an abridged version of the novel in 1957. The Scorpion has since been republished in its complete form and is still in print today.

Weirauch's other works are noted for strong female characters but avoiding contemporary political events. This omission is hardly surprising given that her career spanned some of the most politically troubled times in German history known for its intense levels of persecution and censorship of homosexuality and all other minorities.

Sources

Jones, James W. “Weirauch, Anna Elisabet” Gay and Lesbian Literary Heritage. Edited by Claude J. Summers. Routledge, New York, 2002.

Nenno, Nancy P. "Bildung and Desire: Anna Elisabet Weirauch's Der Skorpion." Queering the Canon: Defying Sights in German Literature and Culture. Edited by Christoph Lorey, and John L. Plews. Camden House, Columbia, SC, 1998.

Schoppmann, Claudia. “Anna Elisabet Weirauch (1887-1970).” Translated by Anita Winter. Online-Projekt Lesbengeschichte. 2005. http://www.lesbengeschichte.de/Englisch/bio_weirauch_e.html

Sutton, Katie. The Masculine Woman in Weimar Germany. Berghahn, 2011.

Profile Contributor

Denyse Rodrigues

Item Relations

This Item Creator Item: Of love forbidden

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Citation

“Weirauch, Anna Elisabet,” The Lesbian Pulp Fiction Collection @ Mount Saint Vincent University, accessed December 1, 2022, https://msvulpf.omeka.net/items/show/814.