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"The Rehabilitation of the Victims of §175 is Overdue!"

Presentation of the petition in parliament on Wednesday


Photo: Jim Pfeffer /

Approximately 50,000 homosexual men were convicted in Germany after the war simply because they followed their sexual preference - a violation of human rights, as the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled. Nevertheless, the victims of the "Schwulenparagraf" 175 StGB (German Criminal Code) were never rehabilitated or even compensated. In order to change this, the signatures of the petition for the rehabilitation of the victims of §175 will be handed over in the Bundestag next Wednesday, January 30, 2013. The gbs supports the initiative.

Until 11.59 pm this evening it is still possible to sign the petition for the "rehabilitation of all and compensation of those (still living) convicted in Germany because of § 175". On Wednesday, January 30, Rosa von Zehnle, head of the Rosa Archiv Leipzig, will present the list of signatures to the 1st chairwoman of the Petitions Committee, Kersten Steinke. Appropriately, this handover will take place after the "Memorial Hour of the German Bundestag for the Victims of National Socialism" - after all, the persecution of homosexuals in post-war Germany was based not least on the intensification of the "Schwulenparagraf" in the Nazi era.

Representatives of all parliamentary groups will have their say during the presentation of the petition. gbs press officer Philipp Möller will be attending on behalf of the Giordano Bruno Foundation. gbs board spokesman Michael Schmidt-Salomon explained: "The rehabilitation and compensation of the victims of §175 is long overdue! Shockingly, for decades judges and politicians have been guided rather by so-called 'biblical values' than by the spirit of our constitution, which focuses on individual self-determination rights. The lives of many people were destroyed by this unconstitutional ideological narrow-mindedness. This damage can never be repaired, especially since numerous victims of §175 have already died. So it is now even more important that the rehabilitation and compensation of the 175s be implemented as quickly as possible. It would be scandalous if parliamentarians were to delay this long overdue step even longer!"