BONN (Jun. 14)
A federal court in Kassel has ruled that service in the units of the Waffen SS, the military branch of the Nazi SS during the Third Reich, could not be considered as a military service. But the court decided that the time in which members of the Waffen SS served as soldiers on the front should be counted for pension rights.
The court decision may be important in thousands of cases of former members of the Waffen SS, who have been lobbying for years for improved pension rights.
In Germany there is a widespread opinion that the Waffen SS and the SS were two separate organizations.