Germany will pay compensations to the victims of homophobic policy

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BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 22: German Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to welcome French Prime Minister Manuel Valls at the Chancellery on September 22, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Valls is on a two-day visit to Germany at a time when Merkel has been critical of the slow pace of French economic reforms. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Gay sex was banned in Germany in 1871, when a penal code was introduced criminalising homosexual acts – while they were extended under the Nazis to convict thousands of gay men and send them to concentration camps. However, the laws were not repealed in West Germany after the fall of the Nazis, and many of the persecuted gay men were not cleared. Homosexuality was not legalised until 1968 and 1969, in East and West Germany respectively. The age of consent was finally equalised in 1989.

But now the German government realizes the mistakes of past and tries to correct them at least by means of financial compensation. Financial compensation will also be paid to the surviving men who were convicted under the laws. 50,000 men were convicted under the laws.Justice Minister Heiko Maas said: “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.”

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