Speed Reads


America has paid alleged Nazi war criminals millions in Social Security to go away

Between 1979 and 2007, at least 38 of 66 alleged Nazi war criminals were forced out of the U.S. but allowed to keep their Social Security benefits, according to a two-year Associated Press investigation. The dozens of SS guards, scientists, and Nazi collaborators either left when they learned of deportation proceedings or were persuaded to go if they could keep their U.S. pensions, a process allowed under a legal loophole.

The State Department and Social Security Administration at various points strenuously objected to the deals allegedly reached between the former Nazis and the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, which AP identifies as its "former Nazi-hunting unit." At least four suspected Nazis are still receiving Social Security abroad, including former SS guards Martin Hartmann, who moved to Berlin in 2007, and Jakob Denzinger, who left for Germany than Croatia in 1989.

"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," U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) tells AP. The Justice Department deals allowed the OSI to persuade or coerce Nazis to leave the U.S. and give up their citizenship without long and costly deportation hearings. AP has more details in the video below. --Peter Weber