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1945 - 1968

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This period was marked by fear. Despite the decline of fascism, facist beliefs were able to survive due to a law that that was passed at the time: Paragraph 175. This time around the original version of Paragraph 175 from 1935 was used.

During this time, to be openly gay was said to be heavily stigmatized. The Federal Constitutional Court ensured in one particular ruling that the legislation from the Nazi regime would be held for constitutional as well as justified.

An obvious repugnance arose in the public towards homosexuals. The word "schwul" (gay) was not tossed around lightly and was rarely heard. "Tunten" (literally means “queens” in German) were persecuted, beaten and abused. Those who wanted to avoid the stigmas and prejudices associated with being homosexual, kept their mouths shut.

01.11.1945

The Thuringia state government declares § 175, as amended in 1935, to be void and that the 1925 version shall be assumed instead.

30.01.1946

§ 175 retains the amendments from 1935.

21.02.1950

In the DDR (East Germany), the 1925 version of §175 is retained except 175a which remains amended.  

13.03.1951

In the BRD (West Germany) the 1935 version of § 175 is deemed valid.

13.07.1951

BRD: In accordance with § 175, a lewd acts is described as “mutual satisfaction, as well as a purposeful rubbing of the genitals, even when no ejaculation occurs.”

08.01.1952

Federal Justice Minister Thomas Dehler (FDP) proposes a stricter re-regulation of § 175a which would mean furthered government intervention in the the private sphere of individuals.

03.12.1952

Installation of the Schlüter-Schlitze in the bathroom of Düsseldorf´s main station to monitor homosexual acts.

14.07.1953

Acquittal of an accused convicted under § 175, the verdict being justified by § 3 Basic Law. The ruling is later overturned.

06.09.1953

For the parliamentary election, the political parties are examined by the magazine "The Path to Friendship and Tolerance” as follows:

CDU: main supporter of the retention of § 175, therefore being the "mortal enemy"

FDP: “A disapointing failure” and close ally of the CDU. In the election, the FDP is out of the question.

SPD: the party that one can most likely trust

The same magazine also names the estimate of "homoerotic" in the German Parlament, 14, of which being part of the following: CDU / CSU: 7; SPD: 3; Bavaria Party: 2; FDP: 1; KPD: 1

24.08.1954

United Kingdom: the British Ministry of the Interior forms a committee to propose legislation concerning homosexuality, headed by chairman Sir John Wolfenden.

05.07.1956

4. Criminal Division of the Federal Court:  The "Deviant impulse" of "Inherent homosexuality" is so overwhelming that it has a place in clinical care. Therefore, homosexuality is a "pathological disorder of mental activity" within the meaning of § 51 StGB. This allowed for the possibility of an acquittal in a court of law for a crime of homosexual nature.

20.02.1957

DDR (German Democratic Republic): homosexuality still punishable by law

10.05.1957

The court rejects two constitutional complaints from accused parties under § 175.

12.08.1957

The Wolfenden Report is published:

Homosexuality should go unpunished if it takes place between both of the involved parties in civilian life, by mutual consent and behind closed doors; both of the involved parties must be 21 years old

  • There is no evidence that homosexuality is a disease
  • Homosexuality is not a cause of decadence
  • Homosexuality is present within all occupations and at all levels of society

The report is translated into German later that year.

04.10.1962

Reform of the Criminal Code in Germany (with the exception of § 175)

Assessment: "The purity and health of sex is an extremely important condition for the existence of the people ..."

30.08.1967

The armed forces deems homosexuals unfit for military service.

12.01.1968

DDR: Reform of Code § 151; Sex with  young people of the same sex is punishable up to 18 years of age.  Sex between adult men is not punishable by law.

Page translated into English by Latané

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