A number of Belgian collaborators still receive German war pension

Tuesday, 19 February 2019 16:44
Belgian volunteers of the Waffen SS Belgian volunteers of the Waffen SS
Some thirty very elderly Belgians still receive a supplementary pension from Germany for their service with the Waffen SS, a part of the German army, during World War II.
That is what Adolf Hitler himself guaranteed them in 1941, reports De Morgen. Today, the Parliamentary Committee on External Relations is considering a resolution to put an end to this pension.

This pension paid to Belgian soldiers who were members of the Waffen SS is based on a decree made by Adolf Hitler. This 1941 decree was not ended after the war, allowing this small group of collaborators to continue receiving a German military pension. 

Today, the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs is considering a resolution tabled by Olivier Maingain (DéFi) and two PS representatives. In it they call on the government "to tackle this problem diplomatically as a matter of urgency.”

Hitler’s decree gave residents of the East Cantons and Alsace, which had been invaded by the Nazis, German nationality. It also gave Belgians, who joined the Waffen SS during the war, the right to receive a German pension.

The resolution under discussion today states: ”The names of these people are known to the German ambassador in our country, but they are not communicated to the federal government, which for many years has been unable to take fiscal initiatives.” 

"For almost 70 years, supplementary pensions have been paid out by the German Länder," says researcher Alvin De Coninck of the Group Remembrance in De Morgen. Group Remembrance is an association of survivors and survivors of the Nazi concentration camps.

"I come across supplementary pensions of 425 to 1,275 euros per month," says De Coninck in the newspaper. "Years in a Belgian cell as a result of a penalty for collaboration is considered time worked. While Belgians who had to work in Germany as forced labour during the war received compensation of 50 euro per month after the war.”

Arthur Rubinstein
The Bruusels Times

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