The witch hunt

It was a critical article in "Vennen" on police inspector Jersild personally, that started the "Affair". Jersild ran a small private venture as a "scientist" into the menace of gay corruption of the young. The  police inspector published his findings in his self-styled "Scientific Publishing Co."

In 1955 at the culmination of McCarthy ísm and the Cold War* the moral fiber of future soldiers were of national importance, but Jersild´s pseudo-scientific statistics of the pink menace was as credible as McCarthy´s numbers of the red menace. He reversed the view of the rent-boys preying on the homosexuals. Ten years after the view was reversed  again when Jersild invited a politician to a gay bar to demonstrate his point. The horrified politician who was behind the adoption of the anti-gay law, found the boys preying on the homosexuals and "The Ugly Law"  was abolished immediately. ( Now the rise of rent-boys of the 50´es is seen a result of low paid peasant boys fleeing the the increasingly mechanized farms).

The Inspector reportedly had a fit when he saw the article in "VENNEN", where a prominent psychologist blasted his methods. This attack from the "establishment" (the writer had better credentials as his) on his position was unforgivable as it was printed in a gay journal.

Jersild went over the top and tried in vain to confiscate the offending journal quite forgetting the freedom of speech in Denmark. In order to secure the confiscation he grabbed a pile of porn photos with no connection to "Vennen" and threw it before a judge. The journal went free but Axgil´s were arrested as they falsely were attributed to the photos. The conviction was then secured by irrelevant private photos and on a wittnes who had seen a 17 year old boy sleeping fully clad on a couch with Axgils. Other "evidence" was a chaste painting by Quaintaince.

But the allegations of an international gay pornography mafia threatening the moral fiber of the country were printed by a willing press fed by the police. Jersild & the DA sent out press releases knowingly tarnishing Axgils with crimes of others, but the press did nothing to stop this duplicity. The team inspector Jersild and the DA Heiberg always used hanging judge Arthur Andersen in such cases making a mockery of the separation of these officially independent arms of justice.The policeforce was misused by its superiors, and the 4th estate failed its duty as a watchdog. This absolute low point in post-WW2 Danish press history has never been excavated. If Axgils were not gay, they would long ago have been recognized as the political prisoners of conscience they were. In his eighties Axel Axgil now has to write the story himself.

The press campaign was a masterpiece in deception and the whole case was a catalog of police abuse and obstruction of justice. An enormous amount of police-man-hours were used to find wittneses against Axgils, and if they implicated Axgils their own crimes were given minimum punishments or laid aside even if they were more serious than Axgils misdemenours. A purpose of the campaign was to secure that Axgil´s sat in gaol for 11 months without seeing a judge, they simply had to wait for a chosen hanging judge could be free. As was the intension this judge secured a minimum sentence of 12 months strict confinement even if the police wisely dropped many of the charges in the revision.

The judge recommended rat poisin for sex offenders. Homosexuality was legalized in 1930 in Denmark (in  Sweden 1944, Norway 1972), but at the same time 1 June 1929 the first caststrationlaw in the world resulted in exactly 1.012 men were castrated 1929-1969 in Denmark. And the establishment of judges, police, and doctors used this avenue to eradicate "abnormsexuals" via castrations (KZ- SS doctor Vaernet 1944 and Knud Sand (*1887-1968) and Jersild/Heiberg/Andersen/Styrup 1955 ).

The judge Arthur Andersen, when asked by a newspaper about what to do about sex offenders and gays said: "What to do, when rats invade your house, exterminate them with "RATIN"- (Rat poison). He knew about exterminations, as he as a Nazi-sympathizing judge send Danish Communists to German KZ-deathcamps during WW2. While KZ-Doctor Vaernet only talked about curing gays, Andersen wanted  merciless annihilation of gays like pests. Here is lawyer Carl Madsen´s description of him: "Arthur Andersen was a Nazi sympathizer. Had been for many years, when he got the communists delivered in 1941. (The police were asked to arrest 71, but turned 295 in to the Germans thanks to the policearchives of the same Odmar who later helped secure the arrests of 1000 gays).  Poisinous plants like him can only grow and thrive on the ground of a rotting society. That he was tolerated, honored and promoted of the Danish state has nurtured the disdain of the population at large of our judicial system, our judges, our Police and our prosecutors. For anyone, who cares for a pure and decent judicial system, carrying out a honored and respected function, should unceasingly nurish this resentment". And to this day Danish society still has not officially rehabilitated the victims of this  revered judge, ( and the KZ- doctor Vaernet was allowed to flee to Argentine in 1947 . He avoided trial as a war criminal from 1945 to his death in 1965 enjoying the protection of the Danish government which was fully aware about his whereabouts and refuses to answer pertinent questions about this.)

In prison Axel wrote notes to his autobiography while Eigil passed time making embroideries. Axgils´served the sentence in strict isolation, away from other prisoners and each other. So big a threat to nation was the only openly gay couple. Allthough Axgil cheered him up in letters Eigil was so desperate and depressed that he talked about them leaving the country. Out of this dispair came the idea of a common family name to Eigil combined from their first names. The change of names took most of a year, and their new "wedding" was confirmed by expensive wedding rings allthough they were flat broke. They sold newspapers and soda pops to survive. It took 5 years of hardship before they could afford to launch "Male Models" in 1961 and 5 years later they bought "Axelhus".

Historical perspectives:

The "Pornography Affair" as the police insisted on calling it, had a forefunner 50 years before, the 1906  "The Great Vice-affair". It was started by a powerful minister Alberti, who wanted to divert the newspapers attention away from his fraudulent affairs. His protegé criminal-assessor Wilkens started hundred of arrests and interrogations of   homosexuals , and succeded in driving all other headlines away until 1908 when Alberti was at last exposed and put in gaol.

Before that H. C. Andersen, worldknown storyteller, 1805-1875 was a closet homosexual, whose role was not yet defined, while the almost equally wellknown writer Herman Bang thereafter marked a complete reversal in attitude, personifying the tragic homosexual role with such conviction, that his death in America was considered a suicide.

The "homosexualist" period defined by doctors at the time as a disease, lasted until Axgil & Fogedgaard defined the homophile movement in 1948/50. The change of guards can even be pinpointed to Axgil´s visit to the deathbed of Hermann Bang´s lover, journalist Christian Houmark in 1950. He was told about the new homophile movement, but he had little faith in any change in the tragic destiny of homosexuals.

In the fifties in Sweden the Kejne & Haiby Affairs were parallels to the Axgil Affair reflecting same Cold War hysterics. The 1954 suicide of Alan Turing in England demonstrated the bleakness of the period

Swedish witchhunts in the fifties/Sverige: forfølgelser i 50-tallet:

På svensk/In Swedish,  forfattet af Annica Elfving

*In the shadow of the Cold War: Axgils arrests in 1955 coincided with the peak of arrests of American nude photographers also in 1955 the Mattachine Society was broken by McCarthyìsm.. The Ice Age for Danish homosexuals did not thaw before 1965, when the "Ugly Law" was lifted in a new mild climate. After the Youth rebellion, the Stonewall Riot´s started a new historical revolutionary gay epoch lasting 20 years from 1969. The F-48 society was founded the 23rd of June 1948, the day before the Cold War started with the total blockade of Berlin and at Axgils´ Partnership honeymoon trip to Berlin the 6th November 1989, the Wall fell, as they sat in a live TV-broadcast, cut short by the breaking news. In 1989 their "homophile"marriage heralded a new  era, where gays were accepted into society as equals.

The  wedding 1st October 1989 was immediately claimed as a historic homophile milestone and it was the first time a gay break-through was reported world-wide in all media instantaniously. The reason was probably that gays now entered a heterosexual bastion and therefore the event had "mainstream" interest. The Stonewall incident only after several years become the international rallying point for gays and became a deliberate "construction"  less known outside gay circles.

The revolutionary gays did little to promote marriages and were almost embarrased by the recurrent and forceful interest in the matter by heteros and homos alike. New issues as child-adoption and insemination for lesbians caught the gay movement by surprise, not even the marriage proponents had foreseen the the direction gay family-values would take the gay cause.

The 1st October 1989 weddings mark a milestone like the homophile movement in 1948 and the Stonewall movement in 1969 - all of these turning points are charactherized by underlying major changes in society - the times were simply right for new labels.



Gay Holocaust




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