we lose a great heroine

This news arrived in our home only today, from Rex Wockner's list, and for that I find great fault with the queer media. Unless I have missed a lot, there have been no reports here of the death of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf this past April.

Charlotte von Mahlsdorf lived, entirely openly and openly fully, as a cross-dresser under the twentieth century’s two most repressive regimes, the Nazis and the Communists. She was, in her own words, "my own woman."

Wockner's notice:


Germany's most famous transgendered person, Charlotte
von Mahlsdorf (Lothar Berfelde), died in Berlin April
30 of a heart attack. She was 74.

Von Mahlsdorf was awarded the Federal Cross of Honor
(Bundesverdienstkreuz), the nation's highest civilian
honor, in 1992 for founding East Berlin's Grunderzeit
which preserves furniture and household
appliances from the period 1870-1900.

"I am not at all keen on medals," she said at the
time. "But what I find even more important is that a
homosexual, a transvestite, is honored in this way.
.. I hope this encourages other gays and lesbians and
demonstrates to heterosexuals that we too can achieve

Von Mahlsdorf emigrated to Sweden in 1997 after the
museum was attacked by anti-gay hoodlums. She was on a
visit to Berlin when she died.

She was both subject and actress in Rosa von Praunheim's 1992 film, "Ich Bin Meine Eigene Frau [I am my own woman]."

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Published on June 17, 2002 5:02 PM.

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