Candace Owens, attacking ‘pedophiles and perverts,’ takes aim at 1930s Jewish sexologist

In a segment for her online show on Saturday, conservative pundit Candace Owens asserted that “the entire field of psychology was built by pedophiles and perverts,” taking aim not only at Sigmund Freud and the controversial 20th-century researcher, John Money, but also Magnus Hirschfeld, the Weimar-era German-Jewish sexologist whose work was burned by Nazi brownshirts.

The right-wing talk show host, whose program appears on the online network The Daily Wire, asserted that all three men were gay (exclusively using the term “homosexual” throughout her monologue) and that they had a suspicious interest in the sexuality of children.

Among other accusations, Owens suggested that Hirschfeld showed a perverse interest in the sex lives of colonized Africans. 

Hirschfeld’s writing on race is a matter of continued controversy, in particular from today’s theoreticians of ‘queer studies,’ but it was unclear what the conservative firebrand was referring to. 

On 10 May 1933, Nazis in Berlin burned works by leftists and other authors which they considered ”un-German”, including thousands of books that were looted from the library of Hirschfeld’s Institut für Sexualwissenschaft. (credit: PUBLIC DOMAIN)

Attacking Magnus Hirschfeld, antisemitic element of persecution is omitted

Owens recounted the supposed reasons why German fascists targeted Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Studies: “I was shocked that I never learned,” she said, “that the brownshirts— the student activists that went around burning a bunch of books— were burning books that they deemed to be Marxist and that they deemed to be overtly sexual.” 

Omitted from this account was the antisemitic nature of the attacks on Hirschfeld. Nazi propagandists used Hirschfeld as an example of what they called “degenerate Jewish sexuality,” and fascist activists at one point raised posters outside the researcher’s home that read: “Dr. Hirschfeld a Public Danger: The Jews are Our Undoing!” 

Owens repeatedly noted that Hirschfeld was gay: “Yes, he was a homosexual,” she said, introducing a photograph of him and his colleagues, in which Hirschfeld is seen holding hands with his partner. 

“In my view, he’s a pervert,” Owens said. “It doesn’t mean that his library or his institute should have been burned down— there’s no excuse for burning down an institute— but we don’t then also pretend that somebody that is perverse is also a hero.”

Owens then proceeded to her next segment, which centered on a Gen-Z influencer and her estranged father, who are currently feuding on TikTok.