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28 September 2011

Dina Alma de Paradea (1871 – 1906) Countess.

The step-son of a physician in Berlin, whose mother died in 1905 in an asylum, where the other son was still confined, took the identity of Countess Dina Alma de Paradea. She had an allowance of 12 guineas a month and lived in various European capitals.

She was in Paris in early 1906. There she met a school teacher from Breslau, and led him to believe that she was the daughter of the French Consul in Rio de Janeiro. She was charming and wore many jewels.

After their engagement, the two returned to Breslau. However the teacher's relatives became sceptical about Dina’s sex, and made enquiries with the stepfather, who admitted to no stepdaughter.

Alma became more jealous of the teacher, and the police were called when she attempted to force herself into his apartment. She announced that she was ill, and the next day a doctor came to examine her. She retired to another room, drank a poison that she had in a pocket of her dress and fell dead.
  • "Madman's Career as 'Countess': Remarkable Masquerade: Suicide on Point of Discovery". Daily Mail, 10 Dec 1905. Reprinted in George Ives (ed Paul Sieveking). Man Bites Man: The Scrapbook of an Edwardian Eccentric. Penguin Books, 1981: 128.
  • “Meneer de gravin ...” Het Nieuws van den Dag, 9 Januari 1907, 7.
  • "Madman poses as Woman: Accused of Being a Man in Disguise He Takes Poison and Dies. Phildelphia North American. Reprinted in Arthur I. Street (ed). The Pandex of the Press, Series II, V,2 1907: 256-8.
  • Magnus Hirschfeld. Die Transvestiten; ein Untersuchung uber den erotischen Verkleidungstrieb: mit umfangreichem casuistischen und historischen Material. Berlin: Pulvermacher, 562, vi pp1910. English translation by Michael A Lombardi-Nash. Tranvestites: The Erotic urge to Crossdress. Buffalo: Prometheus Books. 424 pp 1991: 149-150.

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