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Germany names Dutch SS veterans still receiving pensions for serving Hitler

Reports in 2014 revealed hundreds of thousands of former Nazi soldiers or widows across Europe continue to get monthly war stipends

SS veterans and their supporters march in Riga, Latvia on March 16, 2018. (Cnaan Liphshiz via JTA)
SS veterans and their supporters march in Riga, Latvia on March 16, 2018. (Cnaan Liphshiz via JTA)

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Germany has handed over to the Netherlands a list of 34 Dutch citizens who are receiving army stipends from Berlin for serving in the military under the Nazis, including some suspected war criminals and possibly former guards at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

Most of the beneficiaries are SS veterans or their relatives, the NOS broadcaster reported last week. Dozens of Dutchmen served alongside Germans at Auschwitz, the report noted.

The information, which Germany divulged last week, followed multiple requests in recent years for Germany to identify the Dutch recipients of “Kriegsbeschädigtenrente” — German for war invalids stipend.

The requests followed reports in 2014 of minimal enforcement of a 1998 amendment to the German pensions law blocking payments to suspected war criminals. Hundreds of thousands of former soldiers for the Third Reich, including in the Netherlands, Belgium and beyond, or their widows were still receiving monthly stipends of hundreds of euros, the reports revealed.

Undated illustrative image of Waffen-SS ‘Wiking’ division in Russia. (CC BY-SA Bild National Archives, Wikimedia Commons)

The Netherlands asked Germany, which paid foreign recipients through its embassies abroad, to identify them so that the Dutch tax authority could at least deduct from its social benefits the sums paid out by Germany to the former soldiers. But the German government prior to last week had failed to name the recipients, citing privacy laws.

The Dutch tax authority intends to look into the financial reports and social aid being given to the 34 individuals in question, NOS reported. None of the recipients were named in the media.

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