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US government secretly gave millions of dollars in Social Security payments to Nazi war criminals

Nazi war criminals

(NaturalNews) A new investigation by The Associated Press (AP) turned up dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and elite SS guards who collected millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in Social Security benefits after they were forced to leave the country.

According to the AP, the payments filtered through a legal loophole that provided leverage to the U.S. State Department to convince Nazi suspects to leave the United States. If they agreed, or merely fled the country before being deported, there were permitted to keep their Social Security, government records and interviews with key figures showed.

The AP reported further:

Among those receiving benefits were armed SS troops who guarded the network of Nazi camps where millions of Jews perished; a rocket scientist who used 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.

'He deserved it'

And, the investigation found, there are at least four living beneficiaries still collecting payments. Two of them have been identified as Martin Hartmann, a former SS guard at the Sachsenhausen camp in Germany; and Jakob Denzinger, who walked the grounds at the infamous Auschwitz death camp complex in Poland.

In 2007 Hartmann moved from Arizona to Berlin just before he lost his U.S. citizenship. Years earlier, in 1989, Denzinger fled to Germany form Ohio after he found out that denaturalization proceedings were underway against him.

Soon after, Denzinger settled in Croatia; he now resides in a "spacious apartment on the right bank of the Drava River in Osijek," the AP reported, adding that he refused to discuss his case when approached by an AP reporter.

However, his son, who still lives in the U.S., confirmed that his father was indeed still receiving Social Security payments, insisting that he deserved them.

The loophole gave the Justice Department's one-time Nazi-hunting division -- the Office of Special Investigations -- authority to bypass long deportation hearings, as it boosted the number of Nazis being told to leave the U.S.:

But internal U.S. government records obtained by the AP reveal heated objections from the State Department to OSI's practices. Social Security benefits became tools, U.S. diplomatic officials said, to secure agreements in which Nazi suspects would accept the loss of citizenship and voluntarily leave the United 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," Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., a senior minority member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told the AP, adding that she will introduce a bill to close the legal loophole.

According to the AP's analysis, at least 38 of 66 Nazi suspects removed from the U.S. since 1979 were allowed to keep their benefits.

Almost 20 years ago, in 1997, the Social Security Administration voiced displeasure of the use of benefits to pay Nazi suspects; in addition, criticism of the policy reached a number of foreign capitals.

'Nazi dumping' ended, but the loophole did not

The AP noted:

Austrian authorities were furious upon learning after the fact about a deal made with Martin Bartesch, a former SS guard at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. In 1987, Bartesch landed, unannounced, at the airport in Vienna. Two days later, under the terms of the deal, his U.S. citizenship was revoked.

He continued to receive Social Security benefits until his death in 1989.

"It was not upfront, it was not transparent, it was not a legitimate process," James Hergen, an assistant legal adviser at the State Department from 1982 until 2007, told the newswire service. "This was not the way America should behave. We should not be dumping our refuse, for lack of a better word, on friendly states."

Eventually, the practice that became known as "Nazi dumping" ended, but the benefits loophole continued.





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