Dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards collected millions of dollars in U.S. Social Security benefits after being forced out of the United States, an Associated Press investigation has found.

The payments, underwritten by American taxpayers, flowed through a legal loophole that gave the U.S. Justice Department leverage to persuade Nazi suspects to leave the U.S. If they agreed to go, or simply fled before deportation, they could keep their Social Security, according to interviews and internal U.S. government records.

Among those receiving benefits were armed SS troops who guarded the network of Nazi camps where millions of Jews perished; a rocket scientist who used slave laborers to advance his research in the Third Reich; and a Nazi collaborator who engineered the arrest and execution of thousands of Jews in Poland.

There are at least four living beneficiaries. They include Martin Hartmann, a former SS guard at the Sachsenhausen camp in Germany, and Jakob Denzinger, who patrolled the grounds at the Auschwitz camp complex in Poland.

Hartmann moved to Berlin in 2007 from Arizona just before being stripped of his U.S. citizenship. Denzinger fled to Germany from Ohio in 1989 after learning denaturalization proceedings against him were underway. He soon resettled in Croatia and now lives in a spacious apartment on the right bank of the Drava River in Osijek. Denzinger would not discuss his situation when questioned by an AP reporter; Denzinger’s son, who lives in the U.S., confirmed his father receives Social Security payments and said he deserved them.

The Social Security Administration has refused AP’s request to provide the total number of Nazi suspects who received benefits and the dollar amounts of those payments.

AP last week appealed the agency’s denial of the information through the Freedom of Information Act.

  1. Phydeau says:

    Blaming it all on Obama in 3, 2, 1…

  2. MikeN says:

    That’s why it’s called SS benefits.

  3. MikeN says:

    These SS benefits go to lots of people who shouldn’t be collecting. George W Bush started handing out to illegal immigrants now living in Mexico.

  4. ± says:

                                      Are you trolling me?

  5. this is a test says:

    this is a probe of the regex error…

  6. What? The moth is always drawn to the flame? says:

    Grandfather was a member of Operation Paperclip, as I understand it. He had a Ph.D in chemistry, and went to Deutschland after the war. I imagine he saw some interesting things. Too bad he died before I could talk to him about his life.

    • Tim says:

      Much good and talent were brought over. The rest went into subliminal advertising and insurance sales.

  7. name withheld by inquest says:

    Thanks so much for this. A friend told me that the internet had descended into a rant war between groups of crazies. I didn’t believe him.


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