A bi-partisan effort is underway to end federal benefits for those with confirmed participation in the Nazi regime.
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12) and Congressman Leonard Lance (R-NJ-7) on Sunday joined Holocaust survivors and Jewish community leaders in calling on Congress to act immediately to terminate Social Security benefits for former Nazis.
The bill, called the “Nazi Benefits Termination Act of 2014″ will be introduced when congress goes back into session in mid-November, following the elections. There was a bill introduced in 1999, intended to achieve the same goal, but it failed to receive the necessary votes to pass.
“Our bill will provide the Justice Department with the authority it needs to terminate benefits of Nazi war criminals,” said Congresswoman Maloney.
“I am hopeful that the House will take this bill up when it returns for the lame duck session this November. We should work in a bi-partisan and expeditious manner to terminate these benefits once and for all. The American taxpayer should not be subsidizing the retirements of those guilty of the worst atrocities in human history.”
“The world can never forget the hate and intolerance that claimed the lives of millions and forever scarred the face of mankind,” said Congressman Lance.
“Congress must close this loophole and right this wrong in the name of the lives that were lost. To think Nazis are living off the tax funds of the children of liberators is sickening and morally wrong. Congress must put an end to it.”
Many Holocaust survivors and Jewish community leaders joined the representatives for the event, including Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, Vice President of the Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants; Rabbi Elie Weinstock of the New York Board of Rabbis; and Chana Wiesenfeld, a Holocaust survivor of Transnistria Concentration Camp.
The Nazi Benefits Termination Act of 2014 would declare Nazi war criminals to be ineligible for federal benefits. The way it will work is that the Department of Justice would be charged with bringing individual cases forward to terminate benefits.
Those charged would be subject to a newly created immigration hearing process which, if the judge determines at the end of the process that the subject was a Nazi war criminal, that individual’s right to receive any federal benefits, including social security benefits, would be terminated by the judge’s order. Any appeal from such an order must be raised within 30 days of its issuance.
A bizarre side story to this important congressional action has to do with how it came to be is that there are many ex-Nazis who came to the United States under false pretenses, were later discovered, and then left the U.S.
The former Nazis were promised if they left quickly and quietly they could continue to receive federal benefits. A hard decision, but one that ensured there would not be lengthy court processes or the chance of a failed court case.
The whole issue came to the surface again recently following an investigation by the Associated Press. That investigation turned up dozens of former Nazis who have collectively received millions of dollars in benefits as the result of the alleged deal to get them the heck out of the U.S.
Since 1979, the AP investigation revealed, at least 38 of 66 suspects removed from the United States kept their Social Security benefits.
Last week Rep. Maloney demanded that the inspectors general at the Justice Department and Social Security Administration launch an “immediate investigation” of the payments. Maloney is a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
In letters to the inspectors general at both agencies, Maloney called the payments a “gross misuse of taxpayer dollars.” She then, along with Rep. Lance and several other members of congress, resolved to re-introduce the Nazi Benefits Termination Act and make sure that no more U.S. dollars go to support former Nazi persecutors.