Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime destroyed the lives of millions of people throughout Europe and the entire world.
Among them, in his own back yard, were tens of thousands of men convicted under a law that criminalised homosexuality.
The law, which originated in the 19th century, was toughened up by Hitler’s Nazis and retained for decades in post-war West Germany, which used it to convict and jail some 50,000 men until 1969, when it finally decriminalised homosexuality.
Now, Justice Minister Heiko Maas is to overturn the convictions and create a “right to compensation”.
While homosexuality was decriminalised in Germany in 1969, the legislation was not taken off the books entirely until 1994.
“We will never be able to eliminate completely these outrages by the state, but we want to rehabilitate the victims,” Mr Maas said.
“The homosexual men who were convicted should no longer have to live with the taint of conviction.”
The Lesbian and Gay Association urged the government to act quickly.
“Time is pressing for victims of homosexual persecution to get their unfair convictions lifted and see their dignity restored,” Der Spiegel Online quoted the association as saying.
Germany has allowed civil partnerships since 2001, and gay couples have the same tax status and adoption rights as married couples.
However, the government is yet to legalise same-sex marriage.