Ex-Nazis Still Receiving Social Security Benefits

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Ex-Nazi Jakob Denzinger receives $1,500 monthly Social Security checks (photo: Darko Bandic, AP)

At least three former Nazis who once lived in the United States are still receiving Social Security checks, an Associated Press investigation found.


More than 60 suspected ex-Nazis were deported by U.S. immigration officials over the decades. Since 1979, at least 38 of them received Social Security payments amounting to millions of dollars, the AP reported.


The U.S. State Department has claimed that the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations (now the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section) , created in 1979 to track down and expel Nazi war criminals, allowed the suspected Nazis to keep their Social Security benefits following deportation as a result of a “legal loophole that gave the Justice Department leverage to persuade Nazi suspects to leave the U.S.,” Richard Lardner, David Rising and Randy Herschaft wrote. The Justice Department has denied the charges of “Nazi dumping,” as the State Department called it.


“Among those receiving Social Security benefits were SS troops who guarded the network of Nazi camps where millions of Jews perished, a rocket scientist accused of using slave laborers to advance his research in the Third Reich and a Nazi collaborator who engineered the arrest and execution of thousands of Jews in Poland,” reported AP.


The three still getting payments from the U.S. government are:


·         Martin Hartmann, a former SS guard at the Sachsenhausen camp in Germany.


·         Jakob Denzinger, a former guard at the Auschwitz camp in Poland.


·         Wasyl Lytwyn, a member of the Nazi SS unit that helped destroy the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943.


The AP reported that the Social Security Administration (SSA) refused its Freedom of Information Act request for data pertaining to the exact number of Nazis paid and the amounts they received. In an appeal filed on October 16, AP accused the SSA of altering the request “in a manner serving both to undercut AP's inquiry while simultaneously sparing the SSA from having to disclose potentially embarrassing information.”


Lawmakers and administration officials over the years have reportedly attempted to cut off the payments to the former Nazis without success.


The Obama administration says it opposes the payments, and Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) has requested an investigation into the matter.


As many as 10,000 Nazis immigrated to the United States after World War II, a fact that was revealed to the American public in the mid-1970s.

-Danny Biederman, Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

White House Opposes Nazi Benefit Payments (by Richard Lardner, David Rising and Randy Herschaft, Associated Press)

Millions in Social Security for Expelled Nazis (by David Rising, Randy Herschaft, and Richard Lardner, Associated Press)

Brief Profiles of a Few Ex-Nazis Getting Benefits (Associated Press)


Iwona 9 years ago
"...in Poland" is misleading. Poland was German-occupied. Moreoever, Auschwitz on territory the Germans had incorporated directly into the Third Reich.
Max Rosenthal 9 years ago
Unfortunately the Gov legally admitted these people in the country and used some of them for different projects that benefited the national security. The reason they receive Soc Sec benefits is that they paid into the system (FICA taxes)over the years. As long as they are free, not in jail there is no legal reason to stop the benefits.

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