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Dr. Harry Benjamin
Dr. Benjamin was born in Berlin, but, as a young physician, left Germany in 1913 for a research project
on tuberculosis in the USA. Trying to return one year later, his ocean liner was intercepted by the Royal Navy and diverted
to a British port, because WWI had broken out. As a German "enemy alien", Benjamin was sent to an internment camp, but managed
to obtain his release on the condition that he return not to Berlin, but to New York. There, in 1915, he began his private
medical practice (starting in the forties, he also practiced in San Francisco during the summer months, thus, for many years,
establishing a bi-coastal professional presence). His special interest was hormonal research, and thus he became a disciple
of Eugen Steinach, whom he visited in Vienna every summer through the twenties and early thirties. On these occasions, he also
took frequent side trips to Berlin, where he visited both Magnus Hirschfeld and Albert Moll and also participated in their congresses. He also knew Alfred Kinsey quite well and, through him, became acquainted with a young patient who was anatomically male, but insisted
that he was really female. This led to Benjamin's interest in what he himself later described as "transsexualism". In his
long and distinguished career, Benjamin came to know many famous American and European scientists, scholars, and artists.
From his earliest youth, he was also an ardent opera lover (the legendary soprano Maria Jeritza was a patient and close friend).
He always retained a great love for his native Berlin and hoped that it would, once again, become a center of sexology.
Visit the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association: www.hbigda.org