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Germany must confront homophobic post-war past, says actor Franz Rogowksi

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Germany must confront an often-overlooked homophobic chapter of its post-war history, says the star of an Oscar-shortlisted film that tells the story of gay men who were sent back to prison after being liberated from Nazi concentration camps.

Gay sex was illegal until the late 1960s under Paragraph 175 of the German penal code, and many gay and bisexual men taken from Nazi camps at the end of World War Two were forced to serve out the rest of their sentences for same-sex relations in jail. “There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done (in terms of awareness).

It’s a process and we’re on our way, but there is a long way to go,” acclaimed German actor Franz Rogowksi, 36, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a video call from Berlin.

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