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13 May 2015

During World War II – part ii

Part 1: UK, France & Germany

Part 2: other countries 

Part 3: USA


The future Holly Ahlberg and family, from Riga, are living in German-occupied Poland.


George Maciunias, future founder of Fluxus art movement and transvestite, flees into Nazi Germany with his family as the Soviet Army advances into Kaunas.

Artist Toni Ebel, having fled Nazi Germany in 1934, survives the German occupation in Brno.

Kurt Freund, who will become associated with Penile Plethysmography and later work at the Clarke Institute in Toronto, is at the Univerzita Karlova.

Zdenek Koubkov, women's record for 800 metre dash in 1934, examined, stripped of award, is  living as male.  

Karl Giese, Hirschfeld’s lover and heir, fled to Brno, where he commits suicide after the German occupation.


The future Charlotte Bach is conscripted into the Railway Builders Regiment after Hungary declares war on the Soviet Union, but manages to wrangle a transfer to the army propaganda unit – where he steals cameras and sells them on the black market. He later admits that he cold-bloodedly killed a teenage soldier because he could not show the right papers, and will claim to have been in the German SS.


The future Maria Starace, then a child, is the nephew of notable fascist, Achille Starace.


Tonë Bikaj fights with the Albanian partisans against the Italian and German invaders 1939-44. Tonë is a unit commander. However his unit is with Balli Kombëtar, which opposes the Communists because they do not demand that Kosovo be part of Albania, and loses its credibility by allying with Nazi Germany. Tonë's mother is shot for refusing to persuade her sons to join the cease-fire.

Fatime Ejupi is 18 in 1944 when he is recruited by Tito's People's Liberation Army to fight the Axis occupation. Only after two years in the army is he examined by a doctor, who declares that he is a woman, and he is discharged.


Willy de Bruijn, champion cyclist, became a man in 1937.  He then married and opened a cafe in Brussels.


Homosexuality is decriminalized in 1942 with an age-of-consent of 20.

Arlette-Irène Leber has a series of operations including vaginoplasty in late 1941 and early 1942. In 1944 a Cantonal Court approves her petition for a change of civic status to female, and explicitly rejectes a caveat from one of Leber’s doctors that she be prohibited from marrying as a woman.

The novelist Bryher, who sees herself as male but does not wear male clothes, provides her home in Switzerland to help Jewish refugees from Germany.

Li Shiu Tong, Hirschfeld's other lover and heir, does a degree in Zurich until 1941, then moves to Boston until 1945.


Homosexuality is decriminalized in 1944 with an age-of-consent of 20.


Homosexuality is decriminalized in 1940, under British occupation.


Teresa Pla Meseguer, intersex raised as a girl, works as a shepherdess. At the age of 32 in 1949, the Francoist Guardia Civil take Teresa in for interrogation. On release, Meseguer never dresses as female again. He takes the name Florencio. He joines the Spanish Maquis which was still fighting the Fascist government although it had been abandoned by the Allies who had cut off their supply lines. He will be arrested in 1960, and amnestied in 1977.

Jordi Torremadé says in 1942 that it was an error that he has been raised a girl and became a female athletics champion.  He had surgery.  The Fascist state accepts this, changes his documents and invalidates his sporting records.

Soviet Union

A. P. Frumkin does phalloplasties on injured soldiers comparable to the work done by Harold Gillies in England.

K, from Kazan, is diagnosed as a transvestite in 1937, given permission by the People’s Court to wear female clothing, her identity papers are changed to her female name, and she is removes from the military recruitment rolls.  She survives the war.


Karl Baer was allowed to emigrate from Germany with his wife in 1938: there he works as an accountant.


Ludwig Levy-Lenz, one of Hirschfeld’s surgeons, fled the Nazis in 1933 and again in 1939. He is deprived of his German citizenship in 1939. He lives and sets up a practice in Cairo, where transgender surgery will later be done.


Georges Burou opens a medical practice in Casablanca in 1940. He serves in the Fourth French-Moroccan Mountain Division, and is part of the liberation of Alsace.

Lapsed transvestite Joseph Dean opens Dean's Bar in Tangiers (the real-life version of Rick in the film Casablanca)

South Africa

Christina Jwar continues as a nurse to the black community in Ficksburg.  


Kitanura Sayo is possessed (Kamigakari) in August 1945 as the war ends by Tensho-Kotai-jin and Amaterasu, that is major male and female deities at the same time. An androgynous experience. She later founds the Tensho-Kotai-Jingu-Kyo cult.

AkihiroMiwa, who later becomes one of Japan's best known drag performers, is a child in Nagasaki when the atomic bomb is dropped.

Ginza Rose is a show dancer for the US occupation forces.


Kawashima Yoshiko, plays a major role in persuading the last Chinese emperor, Pu Yi, to become the puppet ruler of Manchuria. He participates in the Japanese occupation of China, and extorts large sums of money from Chinese merchants who are accused of dealing with the Chinese forces. By the end of the war in 1945 Kawashima has gained much weight and has contracted syphilis. He is betrayed, by a spurned lover, to the army of Chiang Kai-shek. They find him guilty of treason and behead him.

With the Japanese invasion in 1937, Méi Lánfāng, the famous player of female parts in Chinese opera, moves to Hong Kong. He later returnes to Shanghai, but grows a beard and moustache and refuses to perform until 1946.

Cheng Yanqiu, player of female roles in the Beijing Opera, refuses to perform during the Japanese occupation and workes as a farmer.


Future sex-change doctor Shan Ratnam almost loses his father to execution by the occupying Japanese. His mother and youngest sibling die from lack of medical care.  


Lea Sonia, Australia’s major female impersonator in the 1930s, is killed in 1942 by a tram in the wartime brownout.

Harry Foy, Sydney’s best-known female impersonator, is flirting in a bar, when a US sailor strikes him in the mouth. He never recoveres consciousness.

Bill Smith is a jockey and horse trainer in North Queensland.

William Edwards is retired.

Neville McQuade (18) and Lewis Stanley Keith (19) - 1942.


Carlos Alberto Fonesco is writing poems and journalism, despite being bound to a wheelchair.
Joséde la Riva-Agüero y Osma, ex-mayor of Lima and ex-Prime Minister, chair of the Peruvian Fascist Brotherhood starts appearing at public functions dressed as female.

New Zealand

John Money, the future advocate of contentious gender and intersex practices, is a psychology student at Victoria University of Wellington.


Dick Montgomery is a female impersonator in Montreal’s black clubs.

Ross Hamilton is re-engaged to organize drag shows in the Military as he had done in the first war.   However he is caught having sex with subordinates and discharged.

In Toronto John Herbert Brundage, the future distinguished playwright, is already an accomplished cross-dresser, and is able to pass as female at a fashion show.

The future Michelle DuBarry wins first prize at the 1939 Port Hope Music Festival, singing “Cobbler, Cobbler Mend My Shoe”.  He does his first drag on his uncle’s farm at age 9. His high school years are filled with operettas and stage shows. With a friend he attends a school dance in drag.


Joe Carstairs, power boat racer, continues on his private island.   At Christmas 1939 he gives a banquet for 1200 people in Nassau. In January 1941 he is visited by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.  Later he publishes poetry under the name Hans Jacob Bernstein


Joao Francisco dos Santo, is  released from a 10-year prison sentence for murder, wins the Best Costume award at the 1942 Rio Carnival as Madame Satã, and from there becomes a drag star.

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