Murder Pays

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - Germany is still paying war victims' pensions to Nazi collaborators abroad, while refusing any compensation to the numerous victims of the Nazis. As was reported a few weeks ago, more than 2000 former Nazi collaborators, living in various European countries, are still receiving monthly state pensions of up to €1,275 from Germany. This has caused considerable anger. However, the administration offices in charge are willing to "examine" the cases of only four former members of the Waffen-SS living in the Netherlands. The German state pays a monthly total of three-quarters of a million euros to former collaborators - whereas it is not in a position to pay a symbolic €2,500 as compensation to an 83-year-old man, who, had been abducted as a child from his parents in occupied Poland to be "Germanized" in Germany. Last week, a German court rejected his final appeal. The Nazis had abducted up to 200,000 children to the Reich.

Abducted for "Germanization"

Particularly children from Poland, Russia, Czechoslovakia, Slovenia and Norway, were victims of this abduction. Nazi "race" specialists had classified them apt for "Germanization," because of their physical characteristics, such as blond hair, blue eyes. Their parents had been abducted into forced labor or murdered, if they had not already died through the conditions of the war and terror of occupation. The children were then sent to SS Lebensborn homes or foster families. They were robbed of their identity - forbidden also to speak their mother language - and subjected to the process of "Germanization" through physical and psychological coercion. Frequently, because they had been abducted at a very early age, they had never learned of their fate. Others, who had remembered or learned of their abduction, had to make extensive investigations, just to learn their original name or true date of birth. Many suffered or - if alive - still suffer from the psychological consequences of their abduction.

"Irrelevant for Compensation"

The German government refuses categorically to compensate the children, who had been abducted. Already years ago, Wolfgang Schäuble - at the time, Minister of Finances and today, as President of the Bundestag, the second highest-ranking representative of the German state - declared, "the fate of a child abducted for 'forced Germanization' does not constitute, per se, an element of a special compensation regulation." The finance ministry declared that the abduction to "Lebensborn" homes does not constitute an "illegitimate measure" relevant for compensation.[1] Hermann Lüdeking (83) who, as a child, had been abducted from Poland to the Reich and was "Germanized" in "Lebensborn" homes brought a lawsuit, which the Cologne administrative court rejected last year, arguing that it cannot be established that the "abduction of children by the SS," at the time, resulted from "animosity" relevant for compensation.[2] On April 4, this past week, the Administrative Appeals Court in Münster confirmed the verdict from Cologne.[3] Lüdeking announced that he will take the case to the Constitutional Court to fight for his rights. He seeks a symbolic gesture, a compensation of €2,500.

War Pensions

On the other hand, the German government still makes millions available to Nazi culprits, including former Nazi collaborators living abroad. They receive so-called war victims' pensions, if they can credibly show they had been wounded in the course of battle for the Nazi Reich. It was recently reported that, even as of February 2019, exactly 2,033 persons, residing abroad, were drawing pensions in accordance with the Federal War Victims Relief Act (BVG). They included former members of the Waffen SS, as well as the widows of Nazi collaborators. The money totals €787,740 per month – with some individuals receiving up to €1,275 monthly. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[4]) Nearly 74 yeas after Europe was liberated from Nazi terror, millions of euros are still being paid annually to the relatively few living Nazi collaborators living abroad. In the 1990s, Billions were still being spent on war victims' pensions. According to a television report, at the beginning of 1997, the Federal Republic of Germany was paying 12.8 billion DM annually. According to that report, it can be assumed that at least five percent of the recipients had been war criminals. They were sharing probably more than 600 million DM annually.[5]

Intolerable

It is unknown, how many dozens of billions the Federal Republic of Germany has paid, since its founding in 1949, to war criminals and Nazi collaborators, whose personal crimes possibly could not have been proven. All of the West German governments have simply sat out the repeated flare up of protests. In 1998, a law passed with much fanfare by the CDU/CSU/FDP government coalition, permitting war criminals and other Nazi criminals to be excluded from these payments, has resulted in the exclusion of exactly 99 individuals. Recently, following the Belgian parliament's official demand that the German government cease its payments to former Nazi collaborators, the German authorities began examining whether the war victims' pensions could be halted for four (!) former members of the Waffen SS living in the Netherlands.[6] At the end of March, the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, said it was "intolerable" that former Nazi criminals and members of the Waffen SS are still receiving pensions from the German state.[7]

Payment to Criminals

At the same time, the paying of war victims' pensions to war criminals and Nazi collaborators stands in contrast to the refusal to pay reparations, not only to Nazi victims in Germany, but also to the survivors of the most serious Nazi massacres abroad. Reparations demands for Nazi massacres in Greece,[8] Poland,[9] and Italy [10] have been, and continue to be, categorically rejected by the German state. However, by principle, the criminals, who had carried out these massacres were, and are still entitled to war victims' pensions, if they happened to hurt themselves, while burning their victims to death. Murder pays.

 

[1] Zitiert nach Informationen des Vereins "Geraubte Kinder - vergessene Opfer e.V.", der unter anderem Hermann Lüdeking unterstützt; einsehbar auf: geraubte.de.

[2] Spendenaufruf. geraubte.de.

[3] Peter Maxwill: Von der SS verschleppt - trotzdem nicht als NS-Opfer entschädigt. spiegel.de 05.04.2019.

[4] See also Treu bis in den Tod.

[5] John Goetz, Volker Steinhoff: Steuermilliarden für Naziverbrecher - Deutsches Recht macht Täter zu Opfern. daserste.ndr.de 30.01.1997.

[6] Renten an frühere SS-Soldaten im Ausland sollen geprüft werden. welt.de 25.03.2019.

[7] Jonas Hermann: Rente für ehemalige SS-Soldaten: Zentralrat der Juden spricht von "unerträglichem Zustand". nzz.ch 26.03.2019.

[8] See also Resolution of the Reparations Issue and Cheap Commemoration.

[9] See also Die Reparationsfrage.

[10] In Italien drangen die deutschen Behörden zuletzt mit ihrer Entschädigungsverweigerung nicht mehr durch - s. dazu Kampf um Entschädigungen.