|Prostitution and Human Rights
|Hirschfeld considered love and sexuality to constitute a natural unit, the division of which would lead to alienation of the person. For this reason, he considered prostitution deplorable.
"Prostitution can only be eliminated through improvement of the human nature according to the laws of eugenics, such that no one would have the inclination to sell his/her body; and secondly, through an improvement of living conditions according to the laws of economics, so that no one would have the need to prostitute himself/herself for economic reasons." (Hirschfeld 1930)
The Institute staff concerned themselves first of all with improving the social and legal situation of prostitutes. To this end, they advocated equality of the sexes and impunity for prostitutes. On the other hand, they called for punishment for exploitive pimping and prostitution slave rings.
To work towards bettering their situation, prostitutes formed professional associations. In 1919, the Hilfsbund der Berliner Prostitutierten (Support Association of Berlin Prostitutes), a prostitutes' insurance fund, and a prostitutes' council were founded 3 . Hirschfeld wrote the following about them:
"When works committees were being formed throughout Germany during the Revolution, some prostitutes also stepped out of their hiding places into the public to fight for their natural human rights." "A number of prostitutes, some gentlemen, and myself were voted onto the prostitutes' council. I accepted the position in order to support the struggle for their human rights." (1930)