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German Government to Compensate 50,000 Convicted Gays

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The LGBT official colour. Photo Credit: Germán Espinosa

The German government has revealed that plans are being set aside to reimburse more than 50,000 men who were jailed during and after the Nazi era for their sexual orientation. € 30 million ($ 33.6 million) will be set aside to compensate the victims of the anti-gay laws which was revealed by the German daily “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (SZ) on Saturday.

According to Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas of the Social Democrats (SPD), compensation would “depend on concrete individual cases,” taking sentence duration into consideration.

The infamous Paragraph 175, which was part of Germany’s criminal code from 1871 to 1994, made homosexual acts between men a crime. The law specifically banned sex between men and records show that few women were convicted. The law was part of Germany’s criminal code from 1871 to 1994 and was imposed during the Nazi era.

According to the Deutsche Welle (DW) reports,  More than 140,000 men were convicted, and 50,000 of those faced charges after the end of World War II. Prisoners believed to be gay or bisexual were often labelled with an upside-down pink triangle. The justice minister expects more than 5,000 men to have a personal claim.  

The law was no longer in existence in 1968 however it was not removed from the books until 1994 and the convictions of gay and bi-sexual men were removed in 2002 and those prosecuted and convicted after world war II are still awaiting a pardon. Katja Keul, a spokesperson for Germany’s Green party called the delayed amendsmaking “a monstrous disgrace.”

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