from guardian: An unemployed Dutch bricklayer who was made a scapegoat for one of the defining moments of 20th-century German history has been pardoned for his crime 75 years later.
Marinus van der Lubbe, 24, was beheaded after being convicted of setting fire to the Reichstag, an event Hitler used as a pretext to suspend civil liberties and establish a dictatorship.
But Van de Lubbe’s conviction has been overturned by the federal prosecutor, Monika Harms, after a lawyer in Berlin alerted her to the fact that he had yet to be exonerated under a law passed in 1998. The law allowed pardons for people convicted of crimes under the Nazis, based on the concept that Nazi law “went against the basic ideas of justice.”
But the exoneration is only symbolic and will not lead to compensation for Van de Lubbe’s heirs.
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