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28 November 2014

Gerda von Zobeltitz (1891 – 1963) tailor

Georg von Zobeltitz from Weissensee, Berlin, a scion of one of Germany's old noble families with ties to the Hohenzollern court, was making a living in Berlin as Gerda, a women's tailor, by 1910. She was counselled by Magnus Hirschfeld.

In 1912 Gerda was arrested in Berlin for public cross-dressing, as reported in the Berliner Tageblatt: "the alleged culprit was soon released once it was determined that it was a case not of disorderly conduct but instead of transvestism". Within a year Gerda had acquired a transvestite police pass in Potsdam, and when called for military recruitment in 1913, she appeared as Gerda and was deemed ineligible.

… 

At the age of 72 Gerda was run over by a car on the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin. She is buried in the graveyard at the Friedhof Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche.
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We know of Gerda in 1912, and of her death in 1963.   But what in-between?   In particular, how did she survive two world wars and the Nazi regime?

Robert Beachy refers to her only as Georg, and does not give her real name.

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