Photo above: Some of the millions of victims of Nazi atrocities.
Early last week the Associated Press announced the results of a lengthy investigation shedding light on the fact that many suspected Nazi war criminals living overseas are still collecting Social Security benefits.
The revelation of this information has provoked an outcry from human rights groups and several members of Congress who have promised to introduce legislation that would close a legal loophole that inadvertently allows former Nazis to receive federal benefits under the condition that they leave the United States voluntarily, sparing the Justice Department what could prove to be a series of lengthy deportation hearings.
However, DOJ stringently denied that any quid pro quo had ever taken place.
Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT.) sit on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee which is responsible for overseeing the Social Security Administration, and will soon introduce: “The Nazi Benefits Termination Act of 2014.”
On October 24, the two issued a joint press release briefly summarizing a draft of the bill.
“Our bill will provide the Justice Department with the authority it needs to terminate benefits of Nazi war criminals,” said Maloney. “It is modeled on the approach taken by the late Representative Bob Franks in a bill I co-sponsored in 1999, and I am grateful for his work on this issue.”
Maloney also said that “Congress should work in a bi-partisan and expeditious manner” to end this practice.
Chaffetz agreed: “This is a matter of principle.” Taxpayers should not be funding the retirement of war criminals.”
Democrats Chuck Schumer (NY) and Robert Casey Jr. (PA) are expected to introduce the same legislation in the Senate shortly after the mid-term elections.
The new law would not only render Nazi war criminals ineligible for Social Security, but all federal benefits. It would also require that immigration judges declare such individuals ineligible upon verification of war time activities, whereas under existing law, a deportation order must be in effect for benefits to be terminated.
Some of the other provisions of the bill include plans to create new immigration hearing procedures aimed at expediting this process and will mandate that the Justice Department take the initiative in pursuing the aforementioned actions.
Defendants will be granted up to one month to appeal a decision terminating benefits.
The 2014 list is as follows:
- Gerhard Sommer (age 93. Last known location: Germany)
- Vladimir Katriuk (age 93. Last known location: Canada)
- Hans Lipschis (age 94. Last known news: Arrested in Germany, 2013, found unfit for trial due to dementia).
- Ivan Kalymon (age 93. Found in United States, lost US citizenship, died in 2014 while awaiting extradition to Germany)
- Søren Kam (age 93. Last known location: Germany)
- Algimantas Dailidė (age 93. Last known news: Deported from USA to Germany in 2004. Sentenced to five years imprisonment, but was diagnosed “medically unfit to be punished”.)
- Theodor Szehinskyj (age 90. Last known location: United States)
- Helmut Oberlander (age 90. Last known location: Canada)
Bryan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a life-long passion for politics at all levels. He has interned in the Maryland General Assembly and has volunteered for several congressional campaigns. Given this particular background, he has a unique insight into the dynamics of political analysis. When he is not writing, Bryan spends his time reading about history and frequenting Chinese restaurants.