Laan van Meerdervoort 539, 2563 AV Den Haag, Netherlands
Jacob Anton Schorer (March 1, 1866 - August 18, 1957) was an LGBT emancipator, founder of the Nederlandsch Wetenschappelijk Humanitair Komitee.
Dutch lawyer, known as the founder of the first Dutch organization for gay emancipation, the Dutch Scientific Humanitarian Committee (NWHK), through which he campaigned from 1912 to 1940 against anti-homosexual discrimination, as enacted in particular in Article 248 of the Criminal law.
In the spring of 1903 Schorer's legal career was brought to an abrupt end when he was accused of sexual intercourse with a boy under the age of sixteen. Although criminal investigations did not give rise to criminal offences, social stigma forced him to flee to Berlin.
In Berlin, he studied under the sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld and became one of his staff in the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, established in 1897 and committed to equal rights for homosexuals.
Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, in 1911, the Minister of Justice, Edmond Regout, had set up the anti-gay Article 248-Criminal Code. Jacob Schorer committed himself to the fight against this law. By 1912, he had founded a Dutch department of the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, named the Dutch Scientific Humanitarian Committee (N.W.H.K.) from 1919. Schorer obtained the support and cooperation of only a handful of contenders, including Arnold Aletrino, Lucien von Römer and M.J.J. Exler. For the rest of his long life he would fight against the injustice of the Dutch criminal law, which caused countless victims, and general misunderstanding of and prejudice against homosexuality.
The German invasion took place on 10 May 1940, and on 15 May the Germans invaded Schorer's apartment and his extensive library, consisting of 1885 works, including 40 magazine titles, was seized. There has never been a trace of it since. Protests to the German authorities remained unanswered and after the liberation, Schorer made a claim to the Dutch government that the loss of the library was a war crime. Only the library catalogue had been retained, but IHLIA LGBT heritage has been able to restore part of the collection, namely 1440 of the 1890 works.
Dr. Jacob Schorer died on 18 August 1957 at the age of 91. In March 2007, Schorer Boeken published a comprehensive biography of Jacob Schorer, written by Theo van der Meer.
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