Uhse, Beate

▪ 2002
Beate Köstlin Rotermund-Uhse 
      German entrepreneur (b. Oct. 25, 1919, Wargenau, German East Prussia [now in Poland]—d. July 16, 2001, Switzerland), revolutionized sexual attitudes in post-World War II Germany as the founder of Beate Uhse AG, Europe's largest chain of shops selling erotic products and the first sex-related company to be listed (1999) on the Frankfurt stock exchange. She obtained her pilot's license at age 18 and, after qualifying as a Luftwaffe fighter pilot, ferried planes to the front during the war. After her pilot husband was killed in action, Uhse settled in Flensburg, W.Ger., where she began printing and distributing advice on sex and contraceptive information, which was at that time illegal. Although often faced with official writs and public condemnation, Uhse was admired by many for her honest, even humorous, approach to sex. By the time her company went public, she controlled a mail-order catalog, a Web site, a chain of adult cinemas, an erotica museum, and boutiques throughout Germany that sold everything from contraceptive devices to lingerie to adult videos and sex toys.

▪ 2000

      More than 35 years after opening the world's first store specializing in sex-related merchandise, German entrepreneur Beate Uhse again entered virgin territory in 1999, as her eponymous company, Beate Uhse AG, became the first adult-entertainment business in Europe to have a listing on the stock market. The initial offering of more than 8 million shares was oversubscribed more than 60 times, a record for Frankfurt's SMAX index. Released on May 26, the stock quickly became one of the most heavily traded in Germany, and its price rose by more than 250%. The success owed much to Uhse's combination of titillation and education. One of the world's largest retailers of sex-related items, Beate Uhse AG offered erotic toys, magazines, and videos, as well as hotlines, free counseling, and contraceptive information. Uhse planned to use the stock proceeds to open franchised shops elsewhere in Europe, and in September the company acquired a Dutch mail-order firm and a chain of erotic discount stores.

      Born in about 1920 in Germany, Uhse early dreamed of flying and at the age of 17 earned her pilot's license. During World War II she became the first woman in Germany to fly fighter airplanes, piloting Luftwaffe planes to the front. Her husband died in combat in 1944, and the following year, when the Soviet army entered Berlin, she commandeered a plane and with her young son escaped to Flensburg, a small village in northern Germany. There she managed to eke out a meager living selling toys and shopping bags. After several women asked her how to prevent getting pregnant, Uhse, whose mother was one of Germany's first female doctors, began publishing a leaflet in 1947 that detailed the rhythm method of birth control. At that time, sexual discourse was taboo in Germany, and it was against the law for single Germans to obtain information about contraception. The leaflet's success soon led to a catalog, and in 1962 Uhse opened the Sex Institute for Marital Hygiene in Flensburg.

      With hard-core pornography illegal in West Germany until 1975, Uhse had to endure numerous court writs, but her honest and safe approach to sex appealed to consumers. By the early 1970s every major city in the country had one of her stores; in 1999 there were some 50 such outlets in Germany. Operating out of a six-sided building called the Sexagon in Flensburg, Uhse soon expanded into adult movie theatres, and in 1996 the Beate Uhse Erotik-Museum opened. One of Berlin's most popular attractions, the museum held more than 5,000 artifacts, including chastity belts and African fertility masks. In 1998 Uhse launched a World Wide Web site, and every month more than three million Internet users logged onto the site, where they could play games, view peepshows, and converse in chat rooms, as well as purchase merchandise. With the company's on-line sales alone expected to exceed $32 million by the end of the year, Uhse had managed a highly successful coupling of sex and commerce.

Amy Tikkanen

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Beate Uhse — Köstlin (* 25. Oktober 1919 in Wargenau bei Cranz, Ostpreußen; † 16. Juli 2001 in St. Gallen, Schweiz; eigentlich Beate Rotermund Uhse, geborene Köstlin) war eine deutsche Pilotin und Unternehmerin. Sie war Deutschlands erste und einzige Stunt… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Beate Uhse-Rotermund — [IPA|beˈaːtə ˈuːzə ˈʁoːtɐmʊnt] , born Beate Köstlin [IPA|ˈkœstliːn] Audio|de Beate Uhse.ogg|listen, October 25 1919 ndash; July 16 2001)was a German pilot and entrepreneur. The first and only female stunt pilot in Germany in the 1930s, after… …   Wikipedia

  • Beate Uhse AG — Rechtsform Aktiengesellschaft ISIN DE0007551400 Gründung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Beate Kostlin — Beate Köstlin Beate Uhse Köstlin (* 25 octobre 1919 à Wargenau près de Cranz, Prusse Orientale; † 16 juillet 2001 à Saint Gall, Suisse; de son vrai nom Beate Rotermund Uhse née Köstlin) était une pilote et femme d affaires allemande. Elle fut la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Beate Köstlin — Beate Uhse Köstlin (née le 25 octobre 1919 à Wargenau près de Cranz, Prusse Orientale et morte le 16 juillet 2001 à Saint Gall, Suisse ; de son vrai nom Beate Rotermund Uhse née Köstlin) est une pilote et femme d affaires …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Beate Uhse AG — is a German industry group with focus on selling adult entertainment in the form of sex toys, lingerie, clothing and pornography. It has over 1,500 employees and is active in 60 countries and has been noted on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since… …   Wikipedia

  • Beate-Uhse.TV — Senderlogo Allgemeine Informationen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Beate Uhse (Begriffsklärung) — Beate Uhse bezeichnet: die deutsche Pilotin und Unternehmerin Beate Uhse den „erotischen Zubehörhandel“ Beate Uhse AG das Franchise Unternehmen Beate Uhse franchise GmbH das Beate Uhse Erotik Museum den privaten Fernsehsender Beate Uhse.TV das… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Beate Uhse Erotik-Museum — Das Beate Uhse Erotik Museum ist ein Museum in Berlin. Es wurde 1995 von der Unternehmerin Beate Uhse eröffnet und befindet sich nahe der Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche zwischen Kurfürstendamm und Bahnhof Zoo in der City West. Das privat… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Beate Uhse — may refer to: *Beate Uhse Rotermund German pilot and entrepreneur *Beate Uhse AG German industry group selling adult entertainment …   Wikipedia

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