Shalom Life | October 22, 2014

Report Claims Nazi War Criminals Received Millions in U.S. Social Security Benefits

Investigation by Associated Press finds that dozens of Nazis collected payments as part of a deal to force them to leave the U.S. voluntarily

By: Daniel Koren

Published: October 20th, 2014 in News » World

Report Claims Nazi War Criminals Received Millions in U.S. Social Security Benefits

A two-year investigation by the Associated Press has concluded that dozens of Nazi war criminals and SS guards collected millions of dollars in U.S. social security benefits in a deal that would see them voluntarily leave the country and give up their American citizenship.

According to the report, there are some who are still alive and continuing to receive benefits today.

The payments made to the war criminals were apparently underwritten by American taxpayers, and went through a legal loophole that allowed the U.S. Justice Department to persuade the suspected Nazis to leave the U.S. The report claims that the U.S. struck a deal with these criminals, offering them payment and allowing them to keep their social security if they fled the country.

The Justice Department has since refuted these claims.

The report suggests that former death camp and SS guards have collected over $1.5 million in retirement funds since the U.S. struck this deal with them decades ago, and that survivors today claim approximately $1,500 a month. It also claims that 38 of the 66 guards removed were able to keep these benefits, with only ten being prosecuted for war crimes in Europe.

Among the beneficiaries is a former Auschwitz guard named Jakob Denzinger, who lived comfortably in Ohio until Nazi hunters found him during the late 1980's.

In 1989, the 90-year-old Denzinger was stripped of his American citizenship, but continued to receive benefits when he moved to Croatia, where he currently resides.

When the Associated Press confronted him, he said "I don't want to say anything." The report claims that he cashes in $18,000 in U.S. social security benefits every year.

The Associated Press state that at least three other Nazi war criminals are still alive and receiving checks, including 90-year-old Peter Mueller, who admitted to serving as an SS guard in France, 95-year-old Martin Hartmann, who returned to Germany after confirming that he was an SS guard, and Wasyl Lytwyn, 93, who served in a Nazi unit at Warsaw Ghetto.

Other war criminals to receive such benefits include a Nazi rocket scientist, Arthur Rudolph, who helped in arresting and executing thousands of Jews during his time as the head of German-occupied Belorussia.

Rudolph was appointed to this position by Hitler himself.

The Associated Press claim that U.S. diplomatic officials resorted to paying off the war criminals in order to secure agreements from them that would leave the States.

“It’s absolutely outrageous that Nazi war criminals are continuing to receive social security benefits when they have been outlawed from our country for many, many, many years,” said US representative Carolyn Maloney of New York.

“It was not upfront, it was not transparent, it was not a legitimate process,” added James Hergen, who served as an assistant legal adviser at the U.S. State Department from 1982 until 2007. “This was not the way America should behave. We should not be dumping our refuse, for lack of a better word, on friendly states.”

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