Advent Calendar 9 December 2014: Du & Ich 3, 1979 – Alexander Ziegler

kalendersiffran09Alexander Ziegler was editor in chief of Du & Ich between 1971 and 1979, so in this advent calendar we are enjoying his last year of editing.

Ziegler was also an actor and a playwright. He was well-connected or charming enough to convince a number of huge stars to give interviews for Du & Ich, including Zarah Leander and Mick Jagger. (A more substantial story on Du & Ich and Alexander Ziegler can be read in Destroyer 08.)

Ziegler was also a criminal, according to the Swiss law of the time (yes, Ziegler was Swiss). When he was 22 years old he was sentenced to prison for two years because of having had sex with a 16 year old, namely, his boyfriend. (I guess Dan Savage would have been really happy to see Ziegler “go away for a long, long time”, all while the rest of the gay movement fought to abolish these discriminatory laws.)

This is the background to Ziegler’s touching editorial in Du & Ich 3, 1979:

Du & Ich Nr 3, 1979: Alexander Ziegler Editorial

Ziegler writes about the doomed love between Markus, 15, and Erich, 32. Erich was some kind of teacher for Markus, who was, as Ziegler puts it, “early developed both physically and mentally”. Markus wrote in a diary about how much he loved Erich. The diary was discovered and Erich was suspended, with possible charges waiting. Markus was forbidden to see Erich again. To make sure he couldn’t see Erich, Markus would be taken to an “Erziehungsanstalt” (some kind of home for delinquent boys) outside the town the next day.

Ziegler writes:

“The result: That very evening, because of the acting of the authorities and the seemingly inescapable consequences, two human beings, who would have had the best premises for happiness, silently – as I see it, as a silent protest – took their own lives.”

2 thoughts on “Advent Calendar 9 December 2014: Du & Ich 3, 1979 – Alexander Ziegler

  1. Sorry, I’m afraid I must disappoint you, but this “Editorial, DU & ICH, 3/1979” is entirely fictitious, non of the “facts” are true. It’s one of the many “fairy tales” and lies published by Alexander Ziegler.

    In the gay magazin DON 5/1979 it has been proven in detail that a case of two suicides near the little town of Coburg never existed and that in the whole district (part of Bavaria) an “evangelisches Landeserziehungsheim” (approved home of the Land of Bavaria) never existed.

    The research and investigation by the DON editorial department showed that no newspaper (of the district) heard or wrote about this case and non of all the police departments of the district were informed about a “double suicide”.

    The copy-editor Fritz of the “Coburger Tageblatt” phoned Alexander Ziegler personally and asked him, but Ziegler said that “he didn’t check the case by himself and did not investigate the case personally”. Ziegler promised Fritz to talk to his informant and to call him back immediately.

    Alexander Ziegleer never called him back. In the end of 1979 Ziegler was fired as the editor-in-chief of DU & ICH.

    Details could be find at
    http://gay-history.blogspot.de/2013/05/don-51979-uber-alexander-ziegler.html

    Jens M. A. Reimer, inter alia 1976-1979 and 1983 editor-in-chief of DON magazine

    1. Thank you very much for your illuminating comment – I also read your blog post about the case. I think all of us are relieved rather than disappointed that the story seems to be false. Your gay press history project is very interesting. I will contact you privately.

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