The convictions occurred between 1946 and 1969, and even though the laws against homosexuality were softened in the 1960s, they were not fully repealed until 1994, leaving thousands of gay men with a criminal record.
Now Heiko Maas, the German Minister for Justice, says that these men should not have to live with the stain of a criminal record, and that these convictions were wrong.
“The historic convictions are wrong. They are deeply hurtful to human dignity” he stated.
“Homosexual men who were convicted should no longer have to live with the stain of a criminal record”.
Mr Maas also said that the victims would be compensated. However, the compensation may take the form of funding for LGBT projects, rather than on personal basis.
The Anti-discrimination Agency, headed by Christine Lüdders, had commissioned a report which led to the decision to overturn the convictions.
LGBT groups in Germany have welcomed the decision.