Dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals received millions in Social Security payments, according to a new investigation. The Associated Press reports that former Nazis who had settled in the United States following the Second World War were allowed to keep their Social Security payments as part of deals to get them to leave the country.
According to NBC News, at least four of the Nazi Social Security recipients were former guards at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. Jakob Denzinger, who has since moved from Ohio to Croatia, is one of the Nazis who collected, and continues to collect, Social Security benefits. NBC says that Denzinger refused to talk to Associated Press investigators, but his son, who still lives in the U.S., says that his father still gets his Social Security benefits.
Documents released in a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that since 1979, 38 of 66 former Nazis who were forced to leave the U.S. have been able to keep their Social Security benefits. The Associated Press story says that Jakob Denzinger collects about $1500 a month in Social Security payments, almost twice what the average Croatian worker earns. The investigation revealed that among the former Nazis who received Social Security benefits were some who participated in heinous acts. They were far from just soldiers following orders. The following list consists of just some of those who have received Social Security.
- Armed SS troops who guarded the Nazi network of camps where millions of Jews perished.
- An SS guard who took part in the brutal liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland that killed as many as 13,000 Jews.
- A Nazi collaborator who engineered the arrest and execution of thousands of Jews in Poland.
- A German rocket scientist accused of using slave labor to build the V-2 rocket that pummeled London. He later won NASA’s highest honor for helping to put a man on the moon.
Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr told the Associated Press that Social Security payments were not used to persuade former Nazis to leave the country. But the report says that documents reveal that concerns were expressed about the payments by both the State Department and the Social Security administration.
The Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) is in charge of finding former Nazis who have settled in the U.S. Legislation was introduced that would close the loophole that allows the Nazis to keep their Social Security some 15 years ago, but it failed, in part due to opposition from the OSI.
According to the Associated Press, by March 1999, Social Security had paid out over $1.5 million to 28 suspected Nazi war criminals. Based on the number of former Nazis who would have qualified for payments, the report estimates that they have received millions more since that time.
As previously reported in the Inquisitr, Social Security is facing an upcoming funding problem that must be addressed. This makes the payments to former Nazis an even bigger concern.