The Nazi Murder Law That Still Exists

There is a statue dating from 1941 that suggests that those women who kill their husbands are more likely to be sentenced for murder, than those husbands who kill their wives by beating them to death.

The Association of Lawyers in Germany has warned about the law dictated by the Nazis, which states that a murderer is a person who killed “”treacherously” or “sneakily”, a word which in German is “heimtueckisch” and has not changed up to today. According to this Nazi rule, if a man continues to beat his wife over the years until she finally dies, he is less likely to be sentenced for murder and to receive a life sentence, than to be sentenced for manslaughter, which means there was nothing “sneaky” or “treacherous” in the way the man killed his wife. Therefore, he will only be sentenced to five years of prison or so.

According to a Berlin defence lawyer, Dr Stefan Koening, the Nazi party believed a murder was committed by weak-minded people and in their belief , a murderer was a person who was treacherous. That is way they didn’t preciously look at the crime itself, but at the person who committed it and if it was direct murder, rather than at the circumstances in which every individual crime took place.

Although East Germany had a different perspective on what murder meant, closer to the belief of the United Kingdom and many other nations, that murder meant that a person wanted to kill or cause serious harm or injury to someone else. However, when the unification between East Germany and West Germany took place, the Western law took over the land, the BBC News reports.

Koenig says that just as it did in the past, the Nazi law still favours those of them strong who kill the weak ones. “In the penal code concerning murder, somebody is guilty of murder but not manslaughter if he abuses the victim’s defenselessness, abusing the fact that the victim is not aware of any attack,” he says.

He emphasizes the fact that that is exactly the reason why most wives end up killing their partners at the end of a long and abusive relationship.

Therefore, if a woman is not as strong as her abusive partner and can only wait for the right moment to do something about it, a second when he is not paying attention and she kills him with a knife or anything else, or poisons him, she will be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE