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04 March 2016

Curt Thomalla (1890 – 1939) doctor, writer

Thomalla, from Silesia, studied law and then medicine at the universities of Lausanne, Kiel, Würzburg, Erlangen und Breslau.

A volunteer in the War, he was severely injured in 1914. He passed the state exam in Breslau (now Wrocław in Poland) and worked at the city's Nervenklinik specialising in neurology and psychiatry.

From 1918 to 1925 he was head of the medical film archive at the UFA film studio in Potsdam. From 1924-6 he worked as a physician and as freelance writer, and was interested in the ideas of Eugene Steinach, rejuvenation and internal glands.

In 1924 he wrote for Uhu, the Berlin women's periodical, an article “The Riddle of the Glands: The mysterious Effects of Inner Secretion”, where he argued that 'sex intermediates' are the result of inner secretions, rather than of degeneracy. However he regarded this as a disease to be fixed by glandular means. The article was accompanied by a photograph of four 'women' who lived and worked as male, and had acquired police permits to do so.
Uhu, 1924, reprinted p104 in Sutton

From 1926 Thomalla worked for the German state as a popular educator on hygiene. In 1929 he was head of the press office of the association of German professional associations.

After the Nazi takeover he worked as a speaker in the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. In 1936 he published a book on eugenics with the then-required anti-Semitic aspects.

In 1939, feeling in disagreement with the government, he and his secretary both gassed themselves.
  • Curt Thomalla. “Ein psychiatrisch-neurologisches Filmarchiv. Zeitschrift für die gesamte” Neurologie und Psychiatrie, 45, 1/2, 1921.
  • Curt Thomalla. “Hygiene und soziale Medizin im Volksbelehrungsfilm”. Zeitschrift für Medizinalbeamte und Krankenhausärzte 21/23, ss. 589-593, 606-610, 631-635, 1922.
  • Curt Thomalla. “Steinachs Forschungen und Theorien im Lehrfilm”. Zeitschrift für ärztliche Fortbildung 20, ss. 52-56, 1923.
  • Curt Thomalla. “Vom medizinischen Lehrfilm zum Steinach-Film”. Der Bildwart (1), ss. 170-171, 1923.
  • Curt Thomalla. “Medizin und Arzt im Spielfilm”. Der Kinematograph, 805, 1923.
  • Curt Thomalla, “Das Drüsenrätsel: Das geheimnisvolle Wirkung der inneren Sekretion,” Uhu, no. illeg., November 1924, 82-91, 142-44.
  • Curt Thomalla. Innere Sekretion; Probleme der Blutdrüsen und Verjüngung, 1925.
  • Curt Thomalla. “The Sterilization Law in Germany”. The Scientific American 126, September 1934.
  • Curt Thomalla. Gesund sein – Gesund bleiben. Ein volkstümliches Hausbuch für den gesunden und kranken Menschen. Berlin: FW Peters, 1936
  • Katie Sutton. The Masculine Woman in Weimar Germany. Berghahn Books, 2011: 103-4.
  • Andreas Killen. Scientific and Medical Films in the 1920s-1930s. PDF

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