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Love forced into secrecy A story of homosexual emancipation

The love story of Röbi Rapp and Ernst Ostertag has been turned into the feature film “Der Kreis” (The Circle). It reveals the inner workings of the pioneering gay organisation by the same name. (SRF Kulturplatz, swissinfo.ch)

Between the two world wars Switzerland made a name for itself with its liberal laws concerning homosexuality. Home to the gay cultural group “Der Kreis”, Zurich became a gay metropolis. The pioneering organisation hosted legendary balls attended by gays from all over Europe. It also curated and distributed a magazine with some adult-content and a worldwide readership.

Things changed in the 1960s when institutions became openly more repressive of homosexuality and “Der Kreis” slowly fell apart.

The 2014 Swiss film by the same name, traces back the story of the organisation through the tale of two of its members, Röbi Rapp and Ernst Ostertag. In 2003 they become the first Swiss same-sex couple to register as partners.