Sachs was educated in an English-style boarding-school, lived for a year in London and worked in a bookshop, and returned to Paris.
In 1925 he converted to Catholicism and decided to become a priest, though this didn't last upon meeting a young man on the beach at Juan-les-Pins.
After involvement in a number of dubious business activities, he traveled to New York, where he passed himself off as an art dealer. Returning to Paris, he associated himself with leading homosexual writers of the time - Cocteau, Gide and Max Jacob - with all of whom he had stormy relationships whose precise nature is unclear. At various times he worked for Jean Cocteau and Coco Chanel, in both cases stealing from them.
Sachs was mobilized at the start of World War II, but was discharged for sexual misconduct. During the early years of the Occupation, he made money out of helping Jewish families escape to the Unoccupied Zone. He may also have been an informer for the Gestapo. He was later imprisoned in Fuhlsbüttel.
One story of Sachs' death is that he was lynched by other prisoners and his body was thrown to the dogs.
Witches' Sabbath by Maurice Sachs
Publisher: Stein & Day Pub (March 1983)
Amazon: Witches' Sabbath
Civilization without Sexes: Reconstructing Gender in Postwar France, 1917-1927 (Women in Culture and Society) by Mary Louise Roberts
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (March 3, 1994)
Amazon: Civilization without Sexes: Reconstructing Gender in Postwar France, 1917-1927
In the raucous decade following World War I, newly blurred boundaries between male and female created fears among the French that theirs was becoming a civilization without sexes. This new gender confusion became a central metaphor for the War's impact on French culture and led to a marked increase in public debate concerning female identity and woman's proper role. Mary Louise Roberts examines how in these debates French society came to grips with the catastrophic horrors of the Great War.
In sources as diverse as parliamentary records, newspaper articles, novels, medical texts, writings on sexology, and vocational literature, Roberts discovers a central question: how to come to terms with rapid economic, social, and cultural change and articulate a new order of social relationships. She examines the role of French trauma concerning the War in legislative efforts to ban propaganda for abortion and contraception, and explains anxieties about the decline of maternity by a crisis in gender relations that linked soldiery, virility, and paternity.
Through these debates, Roberts locates the seeds of actual change. She shows how the willingness to entertain, or simply the need to condemn, nontraditional gender roles created an indecisiveness over female identity that ultimately subverted even the most conservative efforts to return to traditional gender roles and irrevocably altered the social organization of gender in postwar France.
A History Of Homosexuality In Europe: Berlin, London, Paris 1919-1939 by Florence Tamagne
Paperback: 356 pages
Publisher: Algora Publishing (February 2, 2004)
Amazon: A History Of Homosexuality In Europe: Berlin, London, Paris 1919-1939
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