Nazi Law That Allowed Men Beat Wives to Death Still Exists in Germany
By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | February 7, 2014 3:39 PM EST
If you thought that Nazi laws ended with the end of the World War II, think again. Germany still has one of those laws that, according to several most renowned lawyers in the country, must be stricken off.
The 1941 murder law is gender discrimination at its worst. It says that women are more likely to be prosecuted for killing their abusive husbands than men who beat wives to death, according to Stephen Evans, writing for BBC News, Berlin. Mr Evans mentioned that, according to the Nazis, only sneaky or treacherous killing was considered as murder. The word that described it in the law is "heimtueckisch." Interestingly, the law continued to survive the holocaust. It still remains effective in the country even today.
In simpler words, the law means it is highly improbable for a man to be considered guilty even if he regularly beats his wife for years and finally kills her. Instead of a life sentence, he is likely to spend five years in jail at the most. The reasoning behind such a mild slap on the man's wrist is the he did not kill his wife treacherously or sneakily. On the contrary, his method has been more direct. Thus, the wife should have expected it.
According to Dr Stefan Koenig, the chairman of the Association of Lawyers' penal committee; the Nazi law has a distinct partiality toward the strong that kill the weak. An abusive husband is less likely to be convicted for manslaughter by the penal code as the victim is expected to aware of the attack, he argued.
Mr Koenig has further reasoned that a wife, on the other hand, is expected to be more "sneaky" for killing her husband since women, in general, tend to be physically weaker than men. She is likely to use a knife to stab him from the back when he is not aware of it. Alternatively, she is also likely to poison his food. In either of the cases, she will be convicted for manslaughter since her method of execution is "treacherous."
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