With the passage of Paragraph 175 of the Reich Criminal Code, Germany criminalizes sex acts between men.
The new law banning homosexuality says:
"Unnatural fornication, whether between persons of the male sex or of humans with beasts, is to be punished by imprisonment; a sentence of loss of civil rights may also be passed."
In 1929 a committee in the Reichstag will vote to repeal Paragraph 175, but the Nazi rise to power prevents any action from being taken. Under the Nazi government the restrictions and definitions are broadened considerably, and those found guilty of violating the law are sent to concentration camps.
Paragraph 175 will remain on the books even after World War II, though East Germany reverts to the pre-Nazi version in 1950. West Germany, by contrast, not only retains the Nazi version but has it confirmed by the Constitutional Court.
Between 1945 and 1969, over 100,000 men are charged under Paragraph 175 and 50,000 are convicted; many commit suicide before their cases are ever brought before a court. Although the law is eased over time, it is not finally repealed in East Germany until 1988 and in West Germany until 1994.
In all, around 140,000 men in Germany are convicted under Paragraph 175; lesbians are never included under any of bans.