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Richard Plant papers, 1916-1998
Plant, Richard, 1910-
- 16 linear feet (39 boxes)
Restricted access; Manuscripts and Archives Division; Permit must be requested at the division indicated.
Audio-Visual Recordings unavailable pending preservation reformatting.
The Richard Plant Papers document the literary activity and academic career of the author and educator.
The collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, typescripts, research files, news clippings, personal papers, printed matter, photocopies, photographs and audiorecordings. This material is in German and English, and spans from 1916 to 1998. The papers provide insights on the life and work of a representative German emigre scholar who was a pioneer in the field of gay history. A substantial portion of the collection relates to Plant's extensive research and writing about the lives of gays in Germany during the 1930s-1940s. There is also material that documents his work as a film critic, literary scholar,translator and lecturer, as well as his role in the composition of the opera Lizzie Borden (1965). The RichardPlant Papers are a valuable source of information on Nazi persecution of homosexuals, the historiography of the Third Reich, 20th-century German literature, and gay politics and culture in the United States.
Richard Plant was an author and educator best known for his book The Pink Triangle (1986), a study of the persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany.
Richard Plant was born Richard Plaut in Frankfurt, Germany on July 22, 1910. His father was a doctor, a Socialist and a Jew who in 1933 convinced his only son to flee Nazi persecution by moving to Switzerland. Plant enrolled at the University of Basel, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in languages in 1935. He contributed film criticism to Swiss and German newspapers, wrote a novel for children, Die Kiste mit dem Grossen 'S' (1936), and published a volume on cinema, Taschenbuch des Films (1938). In 1938 he emigrated to the United States (where his surname was changed to "Plant") and settled in New York. Plant acquainted himself with prominent emigres, including the philosopher Paul Tillich, and resumed his career as a writer and teacher. During World War II he served as a translator in the Office of War Information. He later wrote film criticism, book reviews and essays that appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Saturday Review, The Nation and several German-language periodicals. The Dragon in the Forest, a novel based on his youth in Germany, was published in 1948. Plant collaborated with the composer Jack Beeson and the writer Elmslie Howard to produce the opera Lizzie Borden, which premiered at City Center in 1965. He taught German language and literature at The City University of New Yorkfrom 1947-1973, and also lectured at The New School for Social Research during the 1960s-1970s.
After his retirement from teaching, Plant devoted himself to a study of the persecution of homosexuals by the Nazi regime. He published numerous articles on the subject, as well as a definitive monograph, The Pink Triangle (1986). Richard Plant died in New York City in 1998.
Controlled Access Terms
- Plant, Richard, 1910-
- Concentration camps -- Germany -- History -- 20th century.
- Gay and lesbian studies.
- Gay critics.
- Gay men -- United States.
- Gay men's writings, American.
- Gays' writings, American.
- Homosexuality -- Law and legislation -- Germany.
- Male homosexuality -- Germany -- History -- 20th century.
- Germany -- Politics and government -- 1933-1945.
- Video tapes.
- College teachers.
Additional Creator Names
- Beeson, Jack, 1921-2010.
- Böll, Heinrich, 1917-1985.
- Lautmann, Rüdiger, 1935-
- Steakley, James D.
- Young, Ian, 1945-