Millions of taxpayer dollars were paid to suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards by the US government – and in several cases payments are still being made.
Armed SS guards, a rocket scientist who used slave labourers and a Nazi collaborator who rounded up thousands of Jews in Poland have been among the beneficiaries.
Those are the findings of an investigation into a legal loophole that allowed the suspects to keep their Social Security payments if they left the country before the government deported them.
“Someone receiving an American pension could live very well in Europe or wherever they settled,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.
He said the loophole should be closed, adding: “We are, in effect, rewarding them. It doesn’t make any sense.”
There are at least four living beneficiaries, including former guards at Sachsenhausen and Auschwitz, the former settling in Germany, while the latter went to Croatia.
Carolyn Maloney, a senior Democratic member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said: “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 years.”