Germany to compensate gay men investigated after WWII

German authorities on Wednesday extended compensation payments to more gay men who were investigated under a law criminalizing homosexuality that was enthusiastically enforced in West Germany after World War II.

German lawmakers in 2017 approved the annulment of thousands of convictions under the Paragraph 175 law, which remained in force in its Nazi-era form until homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969. They cleared the way for payments of 3,000 euros ($3,380) per conviction, plus 1,500 euros for every year of jail time the convicted men started.

The Justice Ministry’s new directive extends compensation to people who were put under investigation or taken into investigative custody but not convicted. There will be payments of 500 euros ($565) per investigation opened, 1,500 euros ($1,695) for each year of time in pre-trial custody started, and 1,500 euros for other professional, financial or health disadvantages related to the law.

“Paragraph 175 destroyed lives, led to sham marriages, harassment, blackmail and suicide,” Justice Minister Katarina Barley said.

She said it was important to her to go beyond the original legislation and compensate more people, because “Paragraph 175 also severely affected the lives of those who sat in investigative custody or who were just put under criminal investigation.” Read more via AP