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Paragraph 175 (2000)

Historian Klaus Müller interviews survivors of the Nazi persecution of homosexuals because of the German Penal Code of 1871, Paragraph 175.


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Cast overview:
Narrator (voice)
Klaus Müller ...
Himself - Historian
Karl Gorath ...
Pierre Seel ...
Heinz F. ...
Annette Eick ...
Albrecht Becker ...
Gad Beck ...
Heinz Dörmer ...


By the 1920's, Berlin had become known as a homosexual eden, where gay men and lesbians lived relatively open lives amidst an exciting subculture of artists and intellectuals. With the coming to power of the Nazis, all this changed. Between 1933 and 1945 100,000 men were arrested for homosexuality under Paragraph 175, the sodomy provision of the German penal code dating back to 1871. Some were imprisoned, others were sent to concentration camps. Of the latter, only about 4,000 survived. Today, fewer than ten of these men are known to be living. Five of them have now come forward to tell their stories for the first time in this powerful new film. The Nazi persecution of homosexuals may be the last untold story of the Third Reich. Paragraph 175 fills a crucial gap in the historical record, and reveals the lasting consequences of this hidden chapter of 20th century history, as told through personal stories of men and women who lived through it: the half Jewish gay resistance fighter who ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

7 February 2002 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

175. Madde  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,007, 17 September 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$65,719, 24 September 2000
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Did You Know?


The statute of Paragraph 175 was amended several times. The Nazis broadened the law in 1935 and increased its prosecutions by an order of magnitude; thousands died in concentration camps, regardless of guilt or innocence. East Germany reverted to the old version of the law in 1950, limited its scope to sex with youths under 18 in 1968, and abolished it entirely in 1988. West Germany retained the Nazi-era statute until 1969, when it was limited to "qualified cases"; it was further attenuated in 1973 and finally revoked entirely in 1994 after German reunification. See more »


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User Reviews

Harrowing look at persecution
27 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

The golden days of decadent Berlin came to a bloody halt when Hitler's regime took over Germany in the early 1930s and gay men were brought down by simple innuendo and gossip (lesbianism was considered curable, but male homosexuality was "catching"). Early talk of homosexuality in Hitler's ranks precipitated the reinsertion of Paragraph 175, an old anti-sodomy law from the late 1800s, and gays were branded with the lowly Pink Triangle. Forceful documentary on a little talked-about chapter of history has just a handful of elderly witnesses but a superlative presentation of personally-shot footage mixed with telling photographs. Some of the recollections are haunting; the doomed come back to life in these harrowing stories. *** from ****

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