BONN (Feb. 11)
A group of German parliamentarians is seeking to block the continued payment of special pensions to people they claim are Nazi war criminals.
Their outraged call for an amended law comes amid reports that the Labor Ministry has received in recent days hundreds of applications for state pensions from Dutch citizens who served in SS units during World War II.
The applications came in the wake of a televised report last week that Germany was paying special pensions to more than 50,000 war veterans, including members of elite SS units that were involved in committing war crimes.
A spokesman for the ministry confirmed that the applications had been filed, adding that they were being processed according to the terms of the law.
The law, passed by the Parliament in the early 1950s, was designed to compensate soldiers who suffered war injuries and to pay survivors’ benefits to the families of those soldiers who died in the war.
The pensions come in addition to state pensions Germany pays to cover veterans’ periods of service in the military.
Dutch newspapers reported last weekend that some 20,000 Dutch citizens served with SS units during the war and that many of them were involved in the mass killings of Jews.
The papers said that some 400 Dutch citizens are currently receiving the special pensions from Germany.