Law to Repeal National Socialist Injustice Judgments in the Administration of Criminal Justice

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Basic data
Title: Law to Repeal
National Socialist Injustice Judgments
in the Administration of Criminal Justice
Short title: National Socialist Unjust Judgments Repeal Act
Abbreviation: NS-AufhG
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Criminal Procedure Law
References : 450-29
Issued on: August 25, 1998 ( BGBl. I p. 2501 )
Entry into force on: September 1, 1998
Last change by: Art. 1 G of September 24, 2009
( BGBl. I p. 3150 )
Effective date of the
last change:
September 30, 2009
(Art. 2 G of September 24, 2009)
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The German Law to Repeal National Socialist Injustice Judgments (NS-AufhG) or the NS-Unjust Judgment Abolition Act in Criminal Justice, passed in 1998 and amended in 2002 and 2009, resulted in convicting criminal court decisions that violated elementary ideas of justice after January 30, 1933 Enforcement or maintenance of the National Socialist injustice regime for political, military, racial, religious or ideological reasons are repealed. The proceedings underlying the decisions have been discontinued.

In 1998, only all judgments of the People's Court and the trial courts were canceled . The judgments of the military courts were also listed in the draft law , but were deleted in the last reading. Judgments by other courts are overturned if they were based on one of the National Socialist norms listed in the annex to the law or "in violation of elementary ideas of justice after January 30, 1933 to enforce or maintain the National Socialist regime of injustice for political, military, racial, religious or ideological reasons are made ”( § 1 ). A financial compensation claim that goes beyond what is granted under other regulations is not justified by the law.

Amending Act of 23 July 2002

It was not until 2002 that the law was changed by the NS-AufhGÄndG in such a way that the judgments of the military courts against deserters of the Wehrmacht as well as judgments according to §§ 175, 175a No. 4 (unnatural fornication, meaning homosexual acts) have now been repealed. In the Bundestag, the amendment to the law was passed with the votes of the parliamentary groups of SPD, Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen and PDS, with votes against by the parliamentary groups of CDU / CSU and FDP. In the plenary debate, speakers from the CDU / CSU and FDP emphasized that the regulation under the 1998 law was sufficient, and that the general clause of Section 1 also covered these affected groups. Incidentally, the blanket rehabilitation of the deserters would result in the risk of morally disqualifying all other soldiers and condemning the judges of the military justice as a blanket. The speakers of the government groups emphasized that those affected had to undergo a case-by-case examination according to the 1998 regulation. In particular, the evidence of their conviction to be provided is difficult because of the lack of documentation of the judgments, and it is also degrading for those affected. Now they are free from the "blemish of the criminal record". Further requests from the PDS parliamentary group, which also called for rehabilitation and provision in the event of treason (an offense that also includes integration into a foreign army after a successful desertion) or a more generous compensation scheme ( BT-Drs. 14/5612 ) rejected by all other political groups.

Second amending law of September 24, 2009

On May 10, 2007, the 97th session of the Bundestag dealt with item 20 of the agenda , a draft of October 25, 2006 for a second amending law submitted by the Left Party . This should also overturn the judgments against " war traitors ". The speeches by MPs Norbert Geis ( CDU / CSU ), Carl-Christian Dressel ( SPD ), Jörg van Essen ( FDP ), Jan Korte (Die Linke) and Volker Beck ( B'90 / Greens ) were recorded for this purpose (Appendix 10 ) and the draft passed to committees. A plenary debate did not take place.

On July 1, 2009, a new bill to repeal the judgments against so-called "war traitors" was introduced into the plenary, which was signed by the coalition factions of the CDU / CSU and SPD, the Greens and the FDP. The Bundestag passed this law unanimously on September 24, 2009, and it came into force on September 30, 2009. Since then, no individual review is required to overturn judgments for “war treason”.

Federal Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said that this ruling would restore the honor and dignity of so-called war traitors as a long-forgotten group of victims of Nazi justice. This recognizes the resistance of ordinary soldiers, who were the most frequent victims of this regulation.


  • Wolfram Wette : Wehrmacht deserters rehabilitated. An exemplary change of opinion in Germany (1980–2002). In: Zeitschrift für Geschichtswwissenschaft 52, 2004, ISSN  0044-2828 , pp. 505-527.

See also

Web links

Wikisource: NS Abolition Act  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Law to amend the law to repeal unjust judgments in the criminal justice system ( BGBl. 2002 I p. 2714 ) (PDF; 16 kB)
  2. BT plenary minutes 16/97 (PDF; 2.5 MB) Retrieved on December 31, 2010.
  3. BT print. 16/3139 (PDF; 101 kB) Accessed December 31, 2010.
  4. Unanimous decision - NS-UNRECHT Bundestag rehabilitates »war traitors« , The Parliament ; Accessed March 18, 2017.
  5. Second law amending the law on the repeal of National Socialist judgments in criminal justice of September 24, 2009 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 3150)
  6. Bundestag rehabilitates war traitors, fr online ( Memento from September 12, 2009 in the Internet Archive )