Germany Will Compensate More Than 50,000 Gay Men Imprisoned For Their Sexuality

The German government has announced it will set aside £27 million in compensation for men imprisoned for being gay


It's a well-known fact we can never rewrite history. But we can definitely try to right previous wrongs.

And that's exactly what Germany is planning to do.

Yesterday, the German government announced it would make reparations of up to £27 million for more than 50,000 men jailed for being gay under the terms of Paragraph 175, which formed part of Germany's criminal code until 1994.


Germany first criminalised homosexual acts in 1871, when it became a nation state, and intensified under Nazi Rule.

During its criminalisation, more than 140,000 men convicted in both West and East Germany with many losing their livelihoods when their sexuality became known.

While the criminal records of those imprisoned during the Nazi era were erased in 2002, they were never pardoned.


But, a draft law states that compensation for those wronged will be decided on a case-by-case basis depending on their sentencing.

Germany's justice minister Heiko Maas says: '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 continued.

The news comes three weeks after British Prime Minister Theresa May announced she was committed to implementing an 'Alan Turing law' (named after the Enigma code breaker responsible for decrypting Nazi messages during World War II), to pardon gay men convicted under indecency crimes.

For many, the compensation is far overdue and will never make up for the cruel injustices against homosexual individuals.

However, we are happy to see progress is being made, at last.

Read Next: