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The Danish lawyer and public official Poul Georg Andræ (1843-1928) was born intoan affluent officer family, where his father, C.C.G. Andræ came to play a central politicalrole after the abolition of the absolute monarchy both as a minister and governmenthead. It was obvious that Poul and the younger brother Victor Andræ wouldstudy, and after they had become lawyers from the University of Copenhagen in themiddle of the 1860s, they were employed as public officials in the central administration.They were both unmarried, and with regards to Poul Andræ, it was clear to himearly on that his feelings and sexuality were only directed towards men. Throughsurviving diaries and a number of the letters that he wrote and received, we canfollow his struggle against his ”unfortunate love” as he called it quite closely. It tookplace through an ongoing dialogue with Danish doctors and psychiatrists, who in the1870s and 1880s were more or less at a loss to understand these new phenomena. In1891, Andræ travelled to Vienna to consult with the leading psychiatrist and sexologistof the time, Richard von Krafft-Ebing, and although he was not able to offer himany treatment, he confirmed him to have been born contrasexual, in other words awoman in a man’s body, and in this way took away some of Andræ’s deep feelings ofguilt.In 1889, Poul Andræ applied for and received the position as county administratorin the small market town of Skanderborg in Jutland, but he soon regretted itbitterly. It was mainly to certify that he absolutely had to live in a large city that hesought out Krafft-Ebing two years later. With this certificate in hand, he resigned in1894 and moved back to Copenhagen, where he lived until his death at the age of84. Throughout his entire life he continued to struggle for sexual information andsexual equality; in particular, he became involved with the Wissenschaftlich HumanitarianCommittee, which was founded in 1897, and in his will he left considerablefunds to both the committee and to a number of books in Danish.
|Journal||Denmark. Kongelige Bibliotek. Fund og Forskning|
|Number of pages||37|
|Publication status||Published - 23 Dec 2013|