14 Feb 1919

My darling Lily,

Greetings from Berlin; or, as the locals say, Grüße von Berlin!

I must give grudging credit to the Huns, who have become remarkably civic-minded since the Great War tamed them; in a relatively short while, their governing Council has been extraordinarily active in passing reforms limiting the workday to eight hours, providing national health insurance, reinstating demobilised workers, granting universal suffrage to all citizens 20 years and older, etc. I suppose it is better for us all that Prussia be kept busy!

This Institut für Sexualwissenschaft of Dr. Hirschfeld's, being unique in Europe, is quite unlike anything I have ever before encountered. 

It probably does not need to be said that I am meeting all kinds of characters here, whose romantic proclivities all tend toward the "exotic." I struggle with the simultaneous revulsion they evoke in me and the unsettling similarities between us; and, as I get to know more about them and their own struggles (as well as my own) the clearer it becomes to me that, in most aspects, we are not too terribly different from anyone else.

Indeed, the atmosphere of the Institute is unlike any other, as it is not merely a hospital where one comes for treatment. This, I am discovering, is a place of revolutionary sensitivity, where unprejudiced self-understanding is extolled as the highest pursuit. We are mandated to engage in several hours of analysis a week, the contents of which I have been discouraged from sharing, even with you.

Dr. Hirschfeld says that I am making good (if gradual) progress. I expect that I shall be back in London in just over a month, with periodic returns to Berlin as needed to continue and sustain my improvement. I am told this is typically a long-term endeavour.

I miss you terribly, and think about you constantly. I appreciate how difficult this must be for you; not only that I have left you alone for so long, but also that the nature of my problem necessitates so much secrecy and deceit. You have shown such fidelity and kindness, the likes of which I do not deserve. I am truly blessed to have you as my wife. I love you.

Faithfully yours,

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