Benedict Friedlaender

Benedikt Friedlaender (July 8 1866 - June 21 1908) was a German sexologist, sociologist, economist, volcanologists and physicist.

Friedlaender was born in Berlin and had one brother, Immanuel Friedlaender (1871-1948). He studied in Berlin and finished university 1888.

He helped work on the magazine Kampf and gave money to the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee (WhK) in Berlin, where he met Magnus Hirschfeld. The initial focus of the WhK was to work against Paragraph 175 of the Imperial Penal Code, which criminalized "coitus-like" acts between males. The WhK assisted defendants in criminal trials, conducted public lectures, and gathered signatures on a petition for the repeal of the law.

Friedlaender left the WhK in 1902 and, with Adolf Brand and Wilhelm Jansen, founded the LGBT-organisation called Gemeinschaft der Eigenen, or The Community of the Self-Owners. The word Eigenen can mean either "special" or "self-owner", and The Community was inspired in part by the individual anarchism and libertarianism philosophy of Max Stirner and Friedrich Nietzsche. The Community advocated being married and having extramarital relationships with younger men, a practice Friedlaender and Brand followed. The organization folded upon Friedlaender's death.

Friedlaender wrote several books on different themes. His work Die Renaissance des Eros Uranios had an important influence on Hans Blüher. Absolute or relative motion?, written with his brother Immanuel in 1896, contributed to the development of Mach's Principle, which in turn played an important historical role in inspiring Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity.

Friedlaender died June 21 1908 in Berlin.


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