(JNS.org) A new report has revealed that the United States continues to make social security payments to former concentration camp guards and other Nazi collaborators who had been living in the U.S., but were expelled once their Holocaust history became apparent.
The Associated Press revealed that at least four such individuals are still collecting social security payments. They were allegedly offered the continuation of the payments as an incentive to leave the U.S.
“It’s maddening that some of these criminals who were forced out of the US once their past was uncovered were able to collect Social Security and live free lives,” Estee Yaari, a spokeswoman for Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust research center, told the Jerusalem Post.
Former member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council Deborah Lipstadt called the payments “outrageous, especially if it were done to make the OSI’s stats look good.”
But Dr. Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which called for the cessation of the payments, explained that the reasoning behind the continuing social security payments is not so clear-cut.
“The maximum ‘justice’ available in these cases under U.S. law was deportation, except in cases in which there was a country seeking extradition to put the Nazi on trial, which was a very rare occurrence,” he said. “Under those circumstances, the U.S. pushed to get as many of these out of the country and one of the ways of doing so, was to offer them the possibility of retaining Social Security privileges, if they would depart before a court ordered them deported, thereby hastening their departure and saving the US endless legal proceedings (and the expenses involved). The thought of these Nazi war criminals and collaborators enjoying their final years courtesy of U.S. payments is absolutely abhorrent, but the reality is much more complex than that.”