If you heard that in 1871, the newly-formed Germany passed a statute criminalizing homosexual acts between men, would you be surprised? Probably not. Such laws were on the books in parts of the United States until 2003, after all (Lawrence v. Texas). What about if you heard that in 1867, someone petitioned the statute, explaining that homosexuality is an inborn, natural trait? I definitely would not have guessed that. The petitioner, Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, had progressive views preempting the Germany that would rise over half a century later: the Weimar Republic, which formed in the ashes of World War I and fell in the blueprints of World War II. However—even though this interwar Germany would push back against tradition and anticipate the modern LGBTQ movement—much of Weimar society retained the anxieties and prejudices of the Germanies that bookended it.
The cinema of the Weimar Republic has already been discussed in sociological terms, most famously in Sigfried Kracauer’s From Caligari to Hitler. He argues that pre-Nazi German cinema reveals a fascistic impulse, making the Republic’s demise inevitable. Yet, when you look at the queer cinema of the time, which Kracauer dismisses as “sex films [testifying] to primitive needs” (45), a different picture arises. Instead of desperate box office appeals, the films represent a diverse set of perspectives that capture a society increasingly aware of queer identities and experiences. Regardless of whether the directors looked at this world and saw anxiety, oppression, or possibility, they all listened and spoke to society through their films, rather than expressing latent desires for a Führer.
I Don’t Want to Be a Man (1918)
Perhaps the proper time to start is just before the formation of the Weimar Republic in November 1918, and perhaps the best place is a genre: comedy. Ernst Lubitsch, director of more than a dozen comedies over the previous three years, released I Don’t Want to Be a Man (Ich moechte kein Mann sein) one month before the Republic came to be. Like the directors of many great comedies, Lubitsch uses laughter to reflect the audiences’ anxieties about a fast-changing world. While he doesn’t portray any explicit homosexual acts or queer identities, he does focus on the desire of a young woman who wants to escape her gendered confines by transgressing traditional social paradigms. Ossi’s traits in the film’s opening minutes are magnified, as with many comedy protagonists, and she surprises both contemporary and modern audiences by smoking, flirting, and playing poker like it’s 1999. When she purchases a men’s suit and spends a day on the town, she enacts a different form of resistance, this time through queering gender norms.
The suit itself carries a lot of weight. Even today, clothing is gendered to such an extent that a stick figure in a dress connotes “woman.” Lubitsch emphasizes clothing as a symbol of gender roles via contrast: most men in the film wear black. whereas most of the women wear white (Figs. 1 & 2). Ossi, on the other hand, wears a black-and-white striped dress (Fig. 3) The color-coding is the biggest visual distinction because it relies on the basic contrast of black-and-white film, and its association with clothing-as-gender emphasizes how artificial and incomplete the distinction is. But Lubitsch takes it a step further; the governess—an assistant to Ossi’s uncle and, by extension, patriarchal/heteronormative1 standards—wears a stark black dress (Fig. 4). For I Don’t Want, the roles of “man” and “woman” are not inherent. They’re performed. Further, they do not represent reality, much in the way that silent, black-and-white film doesn’t. Instead of a limitation, the medium and technology provide unique ways to make Lubitsch’s point.
The costuming and makeup add to the film’s commentary on gender-as-construct/performance. As Alice Kuzniar argues in her study of queer German films, Ossi’s costume lacks credibility (Fig. 5). But within the world of I Don’t Want, her costume is seamless. As with most comedy directors, Lubitsch relies on exaggerated characters and versions of society to make a point, and his film posits that gender norms actually affect the way people perceive the world. Further, it’s through this exaggeration that Lubitsch allows Ossi to move through the world as a male, unquestioned, while the viewer never forgets that Ossi is performing masculinity. The awareness of the construct allows Ossi’s actions and people’s re-actions to deconstruct gender roles rather than promote their validity.
Admittedly, in 2016, discussions of gender as performance are old hat (see: Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble). Yet, I Don’t Want goes further than pointing out the arbitrary nature of gender roles, because Ossi does not don a suit to attain power like her governess. Instead, she does so to obtain the privileges of German men, in the hopes that she can better be herself without the restraints put on women. We know that notions of womanhood limit her self-expression because when the governess asks if she wants to be a proper lady, Ossi responds that “[she doesn’t] want that at all.” This time, Lubitsch uses editing to emphasize his point; he cross-cuts her travelling uncle’s expectations—”The poor child will be so miserable,” he says with a smile—with Ossi’s frolicking (Fig. 6). When the governess asks what Ossi’s uncle would say to her behavior, the film cuts back to the uncle for a joke at his expense: “Oh,” he says as the ship rocks, “I’m feeling terribly unwell” (Fig. 7).
Ossi Oswald, who plays the main character of the same name, uses the junction between expectations and her actual self to create a human being in this world of gendered limitations. Here, I should note that this “self” is not a transgender identity, as Ossi does not experience gender dysphoria. Instead, she performs as masculine to avoid restrictions of a patriarchal society, which alone fits the queering of social/creative norms that makes up the best queer cinema. But then the question becomes, who is Ossi? Well, there are several answers: she’s impulsive, brazen, curious, cheeky, flippant, clever, and much more. Sometimes she’s blase about everything, and sometimes she’s vengeful. Most importantly, she cannot be defined singularly or rigidly, which reveals the queer nature of Lubitsch’s film. While she’s a consistent character that we recognize throughout, she can change and react to her world while remaining an individual. She challenges the static sense of the self that is tied up in the gender roles she subverts.
While this gender play uses the basic tenets of queer theory in its subversion of what is “normal,” it also incorporates queerness in the more popular sense of the term. Ossi, in her disguise, goes to a party only to learn that her temporary guardian, Dr. Kersten, is also in attendance. She sabotages his attempts at wooing a young woman by covertly flirting with her from across the room (Fig. 8). The wordless charm that distracts the young woman from her conversation with Dr. Kersten capitalizes on the strengths of silent film and the charm of Oswald as an actress. The young woman is far more interested in Ossi than the guardian, and Ossi reciprocates the affection, as the two have better chemistry than the heterosexual pairing. But this quietly queer moment gives way to a more complex one. After some booze, Ossi and Dr. Kersten kiss, with more than a friendly linger (Fig. 9).
Lubitsch presents several ideas to the viewer here with this play on the female-as-male comedy trope, which was popular and familiar to audiences of the time (Kuzniar 31). He can tackle anxieties of the film-going public about sexual identities that they may have only recently learned about. Anyone concerned about the homosexuality on the screen could reassure themselves that Ossi is a woman under that suit, but the questions raised by the kiss are clear to the viewers, because the guardian is unaware. Lubitsch plays with gender and sexuality in a popular comedy centered on a kiss between a man and a woman pretending to be one, but he doesn’t make homosexuality the punchline. Instead, society’s homophobic beliefs are the joke, because we’re the ones obsessed with arbitrary rules about gender, sex, and sexuality. Perhaps, the film posits, the best answer is to do away with artificial barriers, such as the one that Ossi and Dr. Kersten tear down when they realize each other’s identities and embrace. This ending could be read as challenging in that sense, but the return to a comfortable status quo with the homosexual pairing is a more likely explanation, especially considering the frequency of such an ending in the comedy drama.
Different from the Others (1919)
One year after I Don’t Want, another filmmaker looked at the burgeoning gay community and saw anxiety. Instead of the concerns of bourgeois society, though, Richard Oswald saw the perils the gay community itself faced. Oswald was known for films focused on social ills, a genre called “enlightenment films” (Aufklärungsfilm), so he was an ideal business partner for sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld. Hirschfeld was famous for his research into homosexuality and sexual health resources available to anyone in Berlin, so he knew the issues that some of the gay community faced. What did he think was most pernicious? Violence? Marriage equality? Not quite. Surprisingly, the biggest issue that Hirschfeld saw was blackmail, a scourge that threatened the privacy and economic/social stability of gay men across the country. The problem had existed for decades, and was so rampant that police commissioner Leopold von Meerscheidt-Hüllesem changed the name of the Department of Homosexuals to the Department of Homosexuals and Blackmailers in 1896.2
Why was blackmail so dangerous, beyond the obvious financial distress? The answer yields more surprises. At first glance, the issue is that Paragraph 175 forbade homosexual acts between men (and later, in the interest of equality, women). The central concern, though, had more to do with reputation than litigation. Despite Berlin’s thriving gay community, the social and professional damage of being outed were devestating, with many taking their own lives—a far worse fate than the relatively minor criminal sentences. The police under Hüllesem had accepted that homosexuality wasn’t dangerous or even rare; some argue that Hüllesem’s superior, Bernhard von Richtofen, was himself homosexual (Beachy 46). If anything, the police aided the growth of a gay community in Berlin. Starting in the 1890s, the police had a “containment” policy, where instead of shutting down known meeting places like bars for homosexual/transgender men and women, Hüllesem let them exist undisturbed. As a result, despite the social and professional danger of being outed to the public at large, many men and women were able to be a part of a thriving community. This community gave Berlin a unique atmosphere that led to Hirschfeld’s message to German society, a film called Different from the others (Anders als die Andern).
Hirschfeld’s performance as a sexologist in Different reflects his roles in Weimar culture and the film’s production. In the movie, the sexologist explains to different characters throughout the film that homosexuality is perfectly natural, echoing the somewhat revolutionary claims of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs over half a century prior. The sexologist thumbs through a photo album and explains that transgender, homosexual, and intersex individuals are not ill or dangerous. They’re just people. Outside of the film, Hirschfeld had a similar job as director of the Institute for Sexual Sciences (Institut für Sexualwissenschaft), where he led research projects and managed a sexual health clinic.3
Hirschfeld worked daily with gay men in Berlin, and was himself homosexual, so he was tapped into the concerns of the community. His decision to focus on blackmail does have issues of classism, as it was more likely to affect middle- and upper-class gay men, but it was also a concern that even the police recognized. Along with Hüllesem, another police commissioner, Dr. Heinrich Kopp, claimed that there was only one case where gay men were arrested while in a sexual act between 1904 and 1920 (Beachy 83). Although several more people were charged for violating Paragraph 175 via evidence of homosexual behavior, the blackmail had been a more common issue for decades. It created an existential risk for any gay man who wished to practice his sexuality. Further, this film had an appeal for less sympathetic viewers: the antagonist of the film is not bourgeois society, per se, but rather criminals who exploit vulnerable members of society. This issue also allowed Hirschfeld to use a traditional narrative structure with the common trope of good (people who wish to live undisturbed) versus evil (those who wish to exploit others).
Even Sigfried Kracauer begrudgingly admits the broad appeal and success of “sex films” like Different, although he attributes to them a lack of revolutionary views on sexuality (46). In a sense, he’s right. Different doesn’t reinvent social paradigms through a new sexual order. However, to say that Different is just a sex film ignores the fact that homosexuality was a challenge to the heteronormative, patriarchal society. The right of gay people to exist and live as normal sexual beings was a direct challenge to even the liberal Weimar Berlin and its status quo, to a law so steeped in tradition that it had roots in the Holy Roman Empire. Further, to dismiss Different as valueless, with no statement other than “blackmail is bad” is unfair, and reflect’s Kracauer’s inability to see how something could be revolutionary if it didn’t benefit him.
Instead, I think Different captures society and inspires it with more than famous figures or polemics. In terms of capturing society, queer audiences would likely recognize Anita Berber playing the sister to one of the main characters, Kurt Sivers. Berber was famous at the time for her entirely nude performances in cabarets, anticipating the likes of Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo (Beachy 166). She was also bisexual, an identity that found little acceptance in gay and lesbian communities, no less society at large. In terms of inspiring society, Different starred Conrad Veidt a year prior to his performance in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari) and turned him into a gay icon. Beyond the names, though, Different enters a deeper discourse with Weimar Berlin. The film opens with renowned violinist Paul Körner surrounded by darkness as he reads about the suicides of a factory owner, a respected judge, and a student (Fig. 10). The intertitles compare Paragraph 175 to the sword of Damocles, a common allusion to imminent danger.
In another shot that even Kracauer would have to admit goes beyond the base appeal of a “sex film,” we see Körner’s vision of famous, reportedly gay figures throughout history (Fig. 11). This procession stretches back across the frame from right to left, forcing us to recognize the damage Paragraph 175 and its predecessors has caused. The figures fade into darkness until we cannot see the tail end, asking us if maybe that factory owner, or judge, or student could have entered this hall of greatness had they not been pushed to suicide. Or maybe, these individuals could have done more had they not faced discrimination in their own times.
Oswald further his critique of the oppressive law through the narrative of Körner and Sivers’ blossoming relationship, which leads to the blackmail that drives Körner to suicide. Like Ernst Lubitsch, Oswald adds depth by using the medium of cinema and the unique strengths of silent film. Whereas intertitles that explain the story or show dialogue are black cards with white text (Fig. 12), a few explanations appear as diegetic writing or printing. For example, the concert that leads to Körner and Sivers’ meeting and eventual romance is formatted as an invitation, a document from the world of the film (Fig. 13). The ominous newspaper clippings take the same form. This aesthetic choice binds specific information to the written word, the same written word of the letters that made up the majority of blackmail, including some that Körner receives. In this way, the film comments on its own hand in ending Körner’s life. The standard techniques of silent film become the standard techniques of oppression, and thus open up questions about whether the language of cinema itself damns those who challenge social norms.
Most interesting historically speaking is the dynamic between Körner and Sivers. The two are introduced by Sivers’ family, who wish for Körner to be his music teacher. This evolves into a greater mentoring role and eventually a sexual one. The specificity of this relationship reflects a subset of the gay community in Weimar Germany whose ideas often opposed Hirschfeld’s. This group, the masculinists, was led by people like Adolf Brand who argued that all men were fundamentally bisexual. He encouraged a revival of the Greek “pederastic” social structure, wherein older men befriended, mentored, and ultimately had sex with (or raped, by most modern definitions) young men until the boys became adults and married (Beachy 102). Beyond the pedophilic issues, the masculinists were also fundamentally misogynistic, viewing homosocial relationships between men as the key to improving society. Whereas Hirschfeld saw homosexuality as an inborn trait, Brand saw it as a radical concept that could restructure society. Although Hirschfeld never commented on the similarity of Körner and Sivers’ relationship to the model of his frequent adversary, it reveals the extent to which Different reflects various strata of Weimar society and the gay community.
The influence of masculinism seen in Different from the Others also appears in one of the most popular early queer films, Michael. A classic love triangle narrative with substantially less expository politic than Different, Michael relates the story of famous painter Claude Zoret and his lover/pupil, Michael. Their relationship is less explicit than Paul Körner and Kurt Sivers’, but director Carl Theodor Dreyer draws ties between love, friendship, sex, art, life, and death that strengthen the film’s relationship to Adolf Brand’s theory of homosexuality. In keeping with this masculinist impulse, a female character is added to the mix and defined largely by sexist archetypes. However, her addition to the film as Michael’s sexual partner reveals other aspects of how the gay community interacted with and was perceived by Weimar culture at large.
Most notable is the lack of discussion since the film’s release about Michael’s actual sexuality. While he has a relationship with Zoret, the central drama is Michael’s seduction by proto-femme fatale/Kanye West song subject, the gold-digging Princess Lucia Zamikoff. The princess desires Zoret’s fortune but finds Michael more susceptible to her charms. His bisexual orientation is obvious, but the critical focus on homosexuality isn’t surprising. First of all, “gay-themed cinema” is a more common term than “bisexual-themed cinema”; second, bisexuality was (and remains to this day) at best unrecognized and more often harshly criticized. Bisexual people were excluded from queer communities (Lybeck 170), which complicates Michael’s place in the film because Zoret’s home and relationships act as metaphors for the gay community and its isolation from mainstream German society.
Zoret’s home is sizable but enclosed, an open space that is shut out from the rest of the world. The closed cinematography of the house contrasts the open camerawork outside of it, such as when Michael and Zamikoff go to the ballet (Figs. 14 & 15). There are frequent cuts that place the couple in relation to other people and locations in the city, contrasting Zoret’s isolated world where the cuts go between close-ups of emotionally attached characters. Dreyer’s treatment of the Zoret mansion reflects the isolated queer bars and meeting places under Hüllesem’s policing, but it also captures how extravagant they were. Michael’s ability to traverse the worlds bears a certain sense of cynicism, a sensibility shared by much of the German public. Neither world is condemned in Michael, but they are treated as separate, and Michael’s refusal to do so is predicated on his naivete and results in his separation from Zoret.
Dreyer appears to wallow in Zamikoff’s manipulation of Michael, equating his attraction to her as a betrayal of some abstract idea of true love. When Michael associates Zamikoff with eternity, we are meant to compare this to the first shot of the film, an intertitle that describes neither the plot nor story. Instead, it tells us a motto: “Now I can die peacefully, because I have seen a great love.” Whereas here death is welcomed due to its association with true love, Michael believes he has found eternity in a woman that is using him for money. The joke at Michael’s expense reflects a larger critique of his flippancy that ends in him failing to visit Zoret on the painter’s deathbed, while an old friend confesses his secret love. The final scene is a retribution for Zoret, who feared he would die alone. In essence, homosexuality is accepted in the world of the film, but only if it follows monogamous norms and remains distinct from heterosexual romance.
This critique of Michael’s bisexuality also lines up with the views of the patriarchal masculinists, and is reflected by stereotypes that exist today. Michael is wavering, promiscuous, and easily swayed by sex. While a queer take on the “love triangle” trope could be transgressive or challenging, here it reflects even more antiquated ideas of romance. It does little to deconstruct gender, sexuality, or tropes by portraying a homosexual relationship, but instead assures its audience that such relationships can exist while not disturbing “normal” society. Whereas Different feels standard at first glance but reveals quietly radical ideas, Michael does the opposite. The film has long been celebrated as a queer masterpiece, but a closer look reveals its traditionalist heart.
Girls in Uniform (1931)
Girls in Uniform (Mädchen in Uniform) is in many ways the shadow-self of Michael. Most obviously, it focuses on the relationship between two women, a boarding school student and her governess. More interestingly, though, it links Governess Fräulein von Bernburg’s sexuality with an alternative world-view, compared to Zerot’s continuation of heteronormative relationships. Girls‘ governess is first brought into the plot as an authoritative figure to protagonist Manuela, the head of her dorm in a boarding school. The two soon become romantic partners, and this change in dynamic is matched by our changed perception of her as a radical force of change in the school. Whereas the headmistress advocates authority and hierarchy, Fräulein von Bernburg argues that students need affection.
The governess has a strong case for the superiority of her methods, as her students respect her, love her, and excel academically. But the tenets of Prussianism are embedded into the school, emphasized by the opening shots. The film cuts from Greek statue to Greek statue as if in competition, with each posing for war not against a mythical beast but each other (Fig. 16). Director Leontine Sagan continues to portray Fräulein von Bernburg as an alternative to the boarding school’s ethos, which is associated with Prussianism to show how outdated such a philosophy is. Sagan bookends scenes of the young girls bonding with scenes of the headmistress enforcing obedience. The girls repress their frustrations, but because Manuela is new to the system, she rejects the headmistress’s ideology to embrace (philosophically and romantically) Fräulein von Bernburg. Manuela’s peers follow. Another student, Ilsa, previously laughed with her friends about letters she’d sneak out that complain about the boarding school. When one is confiscated, though, she breaks down and packs, intending to leave forever. They can no longer tell themselves that the boarding school is how life must be.
The increasing resistance of the students is tied to Manuela’s burgeoning relationship with Fräulein von Bernburg, and such a connection makes sense in the context of lesbian communities in Weimar Berlin. Marti Lybeck in particular argues that female homosexuality in Weimar Germany was tied to feminist movement because it presented women as sexual subjects, an emancipation from patriarchal objectification. Some lesbian communities viewed homosexuality in women similarly to how masculinists viewed it in men, in that they saw desire and subjectivity as “masculine” traits that could (and should) be re-taken by women through a new social dynamic (194–5). For example, in the periodical Frauenliebe (literally “Women Love”), this view was taken to such an extreme that bisexuals were rejected. In numerous letters to the magazine, women stated that the idea of sleeping with a woman who had been with a man was nauseating. Such “promiscuity” and “greed” were negative traits of men (Lybeck 170).
Clearly, then, a moderately public subculture of homosexual German women associated lesbianism with feminism, a challenge to patriarchy. While some used this to exclude other members in the LGBTQ community, the power of subjectivity following centuries of objectification was undeniable. The sexual identity was a part of an argument for camaraderie among women that would lead to emancipation from a system withholding rights such as suffrage. Manuela and Fräulein von Bernburg reflect the sentiment that a lesbian sexual identity is inextricably tied to feminist movement. Sagan emphasizes the camaraderie as well by employing an all-female cast, mixing (relatively) diverse personalities to welcome women of all sorts to the toppling of the status quo.
Sagan ends her film with a shot that argues this possibility can become reality. The headmistress—clad in a black dress, like the governess in in I Don’t Want to Be a Man—walks down a long hall into darkness (Fig. 17). She moves across the screen from right to left, evoking movement backward through history (Now You See It). To the right is the stairwell whose steps lead up and are covered with the feet of the students. These kids just saved Manuela’s life with the compassion they learned from her and Fräulein von Bernburg, embracing the alternative to Prussianism. Unlike Michael, Sagan’s film presents a radical change to society that reflects and promotes non-heterosexual identities. Most optimistically, these changes succeed, in stark contrast to the major change that would shake Germany two years later. Unlike the masculinists, Sagan does not associate women with utopia, but rather associates empathy with a better way of life.
The Weimar Republic contains several surprises, tensions, and pleasures that challenged the Germanies that preceded and followed it. Its films listened and spoke back to the world that produced them. Particularly, contemporary queer cinema captures this powerful possibility of film, offering a less cynical alternative to Kracauer’s damning psychoanalysis of the German people. The anxieties, communities, movements, and radical new possibilities exploded and combined in a culture that accepted the destruction(s) of previous empires, confident that something better would be built in the ruins. The openness and occasionally radical worlds of queer Weimar cinema is surprising when you consider the oppressive regime that followed, but the breadth of ideologies at this place and time reflects the openness that allowed queer cultures to thrive. While the Nazis would take over two years after the release of the optimistic Girls in Uniform, we can still receive the messages of Leontine Sagan and her contemporaries. My only hope is that we look further into this era and its messages to add more perspectives to the conversation. After all, the Weimar Republic was nothing if not diverse, so it requires a diversity of perspectives, from Kracauer to Kuzniar—and beyond.
- By “patriarchal/heteronormative,” I refer to a social system that enforces gender roles/assumed heterosexuality and privileges men/”male characteristics.”
- I don’t want to have so many citations that these historical sections become unreadable, so I will note that the following historical information, unless stated otherwise, is from Robert Beachy’sGay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity. I will include pages for contested or specific quotations/facts.
- The Institute as an establishment deserves far greater discussion than I provide, so I will again point to Beachy’s book. From controversial experiments to visits by Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, the rise of this establishment and its eventual destruction by the Nazis is a story all its own.
- Anders als die Andern. Dir. Richard Oswald. Perf. Conrad Veidt, Anita Berber, and Magnus Hirschfeld. Richard-Oswald-Produktion, 1919.
- Ich möchte kein Mann sein. Dir. Ernst Lubitsch. Perf. Ossi Oswald. Projektions-AG Union, 1918.
- Mädchen in Uniform. Dir. Leontine Sagan. Perf. Emilia Unda and Dorothea Wieck. Deutsche Film-Gemeinschaft, 1931.
- Michael. Dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer. Perf. Walter Slezak, Benjamin Christensen, and Nora Gregor. Universum Film (UFA), 1924.
- Beachy, Robert. Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity. New York: Vintage, 2014. Print.
- Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge, 1990. Google Books. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.
- Kracauer, Siegfried. From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film. Ed. Leonardo Quaresima. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2004. Print.
- Kuzniar, Alice. The Queer German Cinema. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000. Print.
- Lawrence v. Texas. 539 U.S. 558. U.S. Supreme Court. 2003. Justia. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.
- Lybeck, Marti M. Desiring Emancipation: New Women and Homosexuality in Germany, 1890-1933. Albany: State U of New York, 2014. Print. SUNY Ser. in Queer Politics and Cultures.
- Now You See It. “Which Way Did He Go? Lateral Character Movement in Film.” YouTube. YouTube, 15 Feb. 2016. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.