Ger J Z Zielinski on Sat, 4 Mar 2000 23:16:43 +0100 (CET)

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2000 13:57:43 -0800 (PST)

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ ACTION ALERT! @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@


@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ SUMMARY @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Fifty-five years after the fall of Nazism, most of those who suffered
imprisonment or death at its hands have been legally rehabilitated in
Germany.  However, homosexuals, along with military deserters,
continue to be excluded  both from procedures erasing legal stigma,
and from collective or individual compensation for injustice.  IGLHRC
joins with German and international activists in calling on German
authorities to recognize and, so far as remains possible, to right
the wrongs endured by those imprisoned under Paragraph 175 of the
German penal code, in force both during and after the Nazi regime. It
urges the German government to annul sentences, apologize publicly
for homophobic persecution, and include homosexuals among those
entitled to recognition and recompense as victims of Hitler's hatred.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ ACTION @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Please send letters protesting the German government's inaction to
the German Ministry of Justice (Bundesministerin der Justiz) and the
German Parliament Committee on Justice (Vorsitzenden des
Rechstausschusses).   A sample letter follows.

Please address letters to:

Bundesministerin der Justiz
Frau Prof. Dr. Herta Daeubler-Gmelin
Jerusalemer Str. 24 - 28
11015 Berlin

Vorsitzenden des Rechtsausschusses
Herrn Prof. Dr. Rupert Scholz
Deutscher Bundestag
11011 Berlin


Please send a copy of your letter to the Lesben-Schwulenverband
Deutschland (LSVD), the German LGBT advocacy group which introduced
the resolution, at:

LSVD Projekt Erinnern und Gedenken
Katzbachstr. 5
10965 Berlin

You may also e-mail copies of your letter to LSVD at

Sample letter:

Dear Herrn Prof. Dr. Rupert Scholz;

I am writing in solidarity with the Lesben- Schwuleverband
Deutschland (LSVD) and in support of the Pink Triangle Coalition's
demands passed at their International Colloquium in Berlin this
February.   I adamantly urge the following:

     _ That all those convicted under Paragraph 175 of the Reich Penal
Code between 1935 and 1945 have their sentences immediately annulled.
Specifically, the sentences imposed on homosexual victims by the Nazi
judiciary pursuant to Paragraphs 175 and 175a, No. 4, RStGB (Reich
Criminal Code) must be officially set aside in a wholesale manner.

      _ That the Bundestag, the German governement, and all other
German states support initiatives such as those undertaken by the
City of Hamburg and sponsored by the PDS group in the Budestag,
pertaining to the full rehabilitation of the homosexual victims of
National Socialism.

      _ That the German Bundestag apologize for the fact that the
exact 1935 version of Paragraph 175 remained in effect until 1969 in
the Federal Republic of Germany, and give collective reparation, e.g.
by the restoration of a Magnus Hirschfeld Institute on Sex Research
in Berlin.

      _ That individual rehabilitation and compensation be offered to
all , whether the injustice was sustained before or after 1945.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  I know that you, like
me, are horrified by the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis.  I am
sure you will agree that in light of the persecutions under Paragraph
175, these demands are both reasonable and just.



@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ BACKGROUND @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

IGLHRC forwards this action on behalf of the Pink Triangle Coalition,
of which it is a founding member.  The Pink Triangle Coalition, an
International Coalition for Coordinating Affairs Relating to Nazi
Persecution of Gay Men and Lesbians, was formalized in February 1998
in Berlin.  The purpose of the coalition is twofold:

* to ensure representation of the gay victims of the Nazis vis--vis
the various new international funds that are being created (such as
the Swiss Humanitarian Fund and the Nazi Persecutees Fund) with a
view to maximizing resources for educational projects and ensuring
fair distribution of any such resources; and

* to collect and disseminate information about Nazi persecution of
gay men and lesbians with a view to involving other NGOs and
facilitating a structured approach.

At the Pink Triangle Coalition's February 1999 colloquium in Berlin,
the following resolution was introduced by the Lesben-Schwulenverband
Deutschland (LSVD), another member group.  It was adopted
unanimously.  The resolution provides historical background exposing
the inequity and inconsistency of the German government's present

Resolution by the International Colloquium
"The Persecution of Homosexuals in the Third Reich"
on 12/13 February 2000 in Berlin

Immediate Rehabilitation of the Homosexual Victims of the National
Socialist Judicial System

The participants of the International Colloquium on "The Persecution
of Homosexuals in the Third Reich" (held in February 2000 in Berlin
by the Pink Triangle Coalition, coordinated by the the International
Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, and by the Heinrich Bll
Stiftung-an affiliate of the German Green Party), demand the rapid
and complete legal rehabilitation of the homosexual victims of the
Nazi judicial system. We call upon the German Federal Government and
the German Bundestag to take immediate action in this regard.

In 1935, the National Socialists severely tightened the provisions of
paragraph 175 of the criminal code, both in defining the "crime" of
homosexuality and its possible punishment. Any type of sexual conduct
between men was threatened with punishment. For some Nazi judges,
even "covetous looks" were enough to constitute the crime. In the
years 1935-1945, the Nazi judiciary convicted over 50,000 people for
homosexual "lewdness." To this day, individuals convicted pursuant to
Nazi paragraph 175 have still not received any type of compensation,
nor have they been legally rehabilitated.

In June 1998, the German Bundestag passed a "Law to Annul Unjust
Sentences Imposed During the National Socialist Administration of
Criminal Justice." Two groups were excluded from the wholesale
annulment of unjust Nazi sentences: deserters and homosexuals. This
gap in the Nazi Annulment Law must now finally be closed. The
sentences imposed on homosexual victims by the Nazi judiciary
pursuant to paragraphs 175 and 175a, No. 4, RStGB (Reich Criminal
Code), must likewise be officially set aside in a wholesale manner.

The city of Hamburg and the PDS group in the Bundestag have recently
initiated legislation to this effect in independent initiatives. We
call upon the Bundestag, the German government, and the other German
states to support the initiatives and translate them into action.
Those who refuse to do this are perpetuating injustice.

Paragraph 175 retained validity, in its exact 1935 version, in the
Federal Republic of Germany until 1969. As such, even following the
end of the Nazi dictatorship, it had gravely affected the lives of
homosexuals. We demand that the German Bundestag apologizes for this
injustice and gives collective reparation, e.g. by the restoration of
a Magnus Hirschfeld Institute on Sex Research in Berlin. We also
demand individual rehabilitation and compensation for all victims if
the injustice was sustained before or after 1945.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ ABOUT IGLHRC @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), founded
in 1991, is a San Francisco-based non-governmental human rights
organization.  IGLHRC's primary work is to monitor, document and mobilize
responses to human right abuses against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals,
transgendered people, people with HIV and AIDS, and those oppressed due to
their sexual identities or sexual conduct with consenting adults.

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