BERLIN: Variety seems to be the present ideal of gay movements in Western Germany, since some 30 different groups existed at the last count – but they may be replaced by one super-organisation, the German Homosexuality Action Association (DAH).
After meetings in Cologne and Bochum, the 30 groups presently formed are discussing their future in Berlin.
‘Membership of some of the smaller groups, described variously as ‘progressive’, ‘lefty’ and ‘communistic’ is said to be small, but IHWO, the oldest of Germany’s gay groups — formed in 1969 – claims a membership of 500 at present and besides owning a club house in Hamburg has affiliated groups in other German cities such as Stuttgart and West Berlin.
Very active among 33 German groups is the HSM of Muenster, a small Northern university city in Westphalia. In fact, HSM’s founder, Rainer Plein, has been trying to get backing of the Roman Catholic bishop, the school authorities and the police president of North Rhine/Westphalia in smashing anti-gay discrimination.
German police actually use the old files in which all German gays were listed before Germany’s homosexual law-reform Act in 1969, but political parties, police heads and newspapers have now announced that these files are to be destroyed.
In Bochum, a few months back, a national co-ordinating organisation for the factional gay groups was founded.
It’s called DAH, but the only part of the organisation that’s running properly now is its information-swapping service. It takes the information published by all 33 German gay groups and circulates the news. Gay news from abroad, however, is spread only by Gay News (Germany), a commercial press and news service edited by Johannes Werres at Kronberg.
Most of Johannes’ news is published by the monthly Him from Hamburg. A projected fortnightly newspaper, Gay Journal, so far hasn’t materialised because of a cash shortage.
There are some three or four other gay monthlies, sold openly on news-stands, including Don, Du und Ich, Pichbube, Boys Exclusiv and Club 70.
The umbrella organisation DAH will not represent the German Homosexual Organisation (DHO) or groups for bisexuals and paederasts which are to be set up soon by the magazines Pichbube and Don.