19 Dec 1938, Germany --- Prisoners at the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, Germany, are marched outdoors by Nazi guards on December 19, 1938. | Location: Sachsenhausen, Germany. --- Image by © CORBIS

The German government has announced it will compensate more than 50,000 men who were jailed for being gay during the Nazi era.

The plan will see €30m set aside to compensate the men who were imprisoned for their sexuality under the terms of Paragraph 175 which formally remained a part of Germany’s criminal code until 1994.

In total, more than 140,000 were convicted under the law in both West and East Germany until it fell into disuse by the end of the 1960s.

Homosexual acts were first criminalized in 1871 when Germany was formed but the law was strengthened during the Nazi era when the regime used it to convict thousands of gay men and send them to concentration camps.

After the war men were still prosecuted and often faced losing their homes and jobs when their sexual orientation was discovered.
The convictions of those sentenced during the Nazi era where expunged in 2002 but until now there had been no pardon for those prosecuted after the war.

Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas shares:

“We will never be able to remove these outrages committed by this country but we want to rehabilitate the victims.

“The convicted homosexual men should no longer have to live with the black mark of a criminal conviction,” he added.

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The German government has announced it will compensate more than 50,000 men who were jailed for being gay during the Nazi era. The plan will see €30m set aside to compensate the men who were imprisoned for their sexuality under the terms of Paragraph 175 which formally remained a...