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Germany: 249 homosexuals criminalized by a former law receive compensation

SEEN IN THE PRESS – Until 1969, homosexuality was considered “unnatural” in Germany and punished. The authorities have reversed this decision and compensated those who were victims.

Gay rights activists display the rainbow flag in front of the Chancellery in Berlin on April 30.

The German authorities have decided to repair a mistake they made earlier. Germany has compensated 249 homosexual men who were punished under an old law criminalizing homosexuality. According to this old law, in force between 1871 and 1969, relations between two men were considered “unnatural”.

This repair will have cost 860,000 euros to the federal office of justice, responsible for the file. According to ABC News, relayed by Slate, 317 claims were filed with the German authorities, 18 were rejected and 36 others were withdrawn. Finally, 249 were accepted.

Paragraph 175 of the German penal code, in force until 1969, had been reinforced under Nazi Germany, condemning homosexual men to ten years of forced labor or even to be sent to a concentration camp. The end of the Third Reich did not prevent this oppressive law from remaining. It was not completely removed from the penal code until 1994.

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