Under the Nazi regime, more than 500,000 Sinti and Roma were murdered, thousands more were being persecuted and deported. In 1956, the Federal Supreme Court (BGH) claimed in a decision in principle that Sinti and Rome would be excluded from the Federal Compensation Law, arguing that their persecution until 1943 wasn’t due to racist or religious reasons but to self-inflicted reasons. Thus, the Court based their decision on racist and criminalizing ascriptions from the Nazi regime.
Moreover, the Federal Compensation Law held fast to the so-called subjective and personal territoriality principle, according to which benefits could be claimed only by victims of the Nazis who were residents of the FRG or West Berlin. Many Sinti and Roma did not fulfill this criteria because their residence status had been declared as deprived under the Nazi regime.