Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Saturday, May 18, 2002

Victims of Nazi persecution and homosexuals are pardoned ...
Germany has pardoned tens of thousands of Nazi-era army deserters and homosexuals who were sent to concentration camps. About 50,000 homosexuals and 22,000 deserters were included in the pardon passed by the lower house in Berlin. It extends a 1998 law that cleared the names of hundreds of thousands of Germans convicted of crimes under the Nazis. The conservative opposition voted against the law, arguing that it sent the wrong message to rehabilitate former soldiers without examining each individual case. Under the previous legislation, both the deserters and homosexuals could only be rehabilitated after individual petitions had been legally approved. "Finally the deserters and homosexuals who were persecuted will receive justice," said Volker Beck, a spokesman for the Greens party, which supported the law. German Justice Minister Hertha Daeubler-Gmelin welcomed the law as long overdue. She said it was humiliating and difficult for victims of Nazi military courts to be expected to produce evidence of their convictions and undergo a review of their case before being cleared. Those convicted under Nazi laws include not only deserters, but also soldiers accused of "cowardice" or "marriage without permission," she said. "We all know that our decisions today are more than 50 years late," she told parliament. "They are necessary nonetheless. We owe it to the victims of wrongful Nazi justice." Of the estimated 50,000 homosexuals convicted by the Nazis, few ever came forward after World War II because of the continuing stigma as well as the fact that the law under which they were convicted remained on the books in West Germany until 1969.
[Thanks to Ananova for the heads up]

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