German President apologises to gay people and asks for their forgiveness for decades of oppression from Nazis and after WWII

Germany’s president has asked gay people for forgiveness for decades of persecution they suffered under Hitler’s Nazi regime. Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke at a ceremony in Berlin held to remember the abuse of the LGBT community in Germany during the Second World War. He also apologised for the mistreatment of gay people after the conflict, when homosexuality was still a criminal offence.

He said: ‘This is why I’m asking for forgiveness today, for all the suffering and injustice, and the silence that followed.’ Steinmeier added that he wants to assure ‘all gays, lesbians and bisexuals, all queers, trans- and intersexuals’ that they are protected in today’s Germany. He was pictured bowing his head in front of a memorial covered in flowers the colour of the German flag. SPD Mayor of Berlin Michael Mueller also addressed crowds in front of the monument.