Former Nazis receive Social Security payments from US government

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Zach McAuliffe
Zach McAuliffe is a University of Dayton alumni with degrees in journalism and English. He wants to present people with all the facts they need to make informed decisions on the world around them. He also enjoys Shakespeare and long walks on the beach with his puppy Lily.

After WWII, many Nazis made an exodus out of Germany, and found themselves embedded in countries all over the world, including the US.  Now, an investigation has found Nazis who came to America have been collecting Social Security payments, even after they have left the US for other countries.

The Associated Press found that through a legal loophole, the US Justice Department would allow the former Nazis to continue to collect their Social Security payments if they agreed to leave the US or fled before they were deported.  According to the investigation, about $1.5 million had been paid out to former Nazis through this loophole by the turn of the century.

Out of at least 38 Nazis who came to the US after 1979 and began collecting social security payments, about four remain alive, and they all are rumored to live in Europe.

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Jakob Denzinger is one of these former Nazis collecting payments while living in Croatia.  Denzinger was a guard at the notorious prison camp Auschwitz, and moved to Ohio after the war where, according to RT, he started his own plastic company.

Denzinger reportedly collects about $18,000 a year from Social Security, but he would not comment on these new developments.  Thomas, Denzinger’s son who lives in the US, did say his father would not give up his benefits because he “paid into the system.”

The Social Security Administration would not disclose information regarding the use of benefits to try and drive the former Nazis out of the country.

Agency spokesman Peter Carr said, “The matter of Social Security benefits eligibility was raised by defense counsel, not by the department, and the department neither used retirement benefits as an inducement to leave the country and renounce citizenship nor threatened that failure to depart and renounce would jeopardize continued receipt of benefits.”

However, even though the SSA denies paying former Nazis to leave the US, a piece of legislation in 1999 was meant to stop all benefits from reaching former Nazis, whether they were American citizens or not.  This legislation failed to pass at the time, but these new developments might raise the issue again.

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