Over a dozen Belgians still claim a ‘Nazi pension’
Tuesday, 03 September 2019
Léon Degrelle, a Belgian politician and Nazi collaborator, awarding medals to members of the Walloon SS in 1944. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Figures released for the first time show that more than a dozen Belgians still benefit from a so-called Nazi compensation scheme created for those who served under the Third Reich.
The figures showed that 17 Belgians are part of the thousands of people in Germany and across the world who benefit from an additional allowance on top of the traditional pension scheme, according to De Morgen.
The allowance is paid out to former Nazis or their relatives by the Bundesversorgungsgesetz (BVG) as compensation for injuries sustained during the Second World War.
The numbers were released by Kerstin Griese, Germany’s state secretary for labour, after she was subject to parliamentary questioning.
Estimates say that the compensation averages between €300 and €400 every month, but Griese’s release showed that the 61,225 beneficiaries in Germany received an average monthly amount of €1,561.72, the outlet reports.
Out of the total 63,159 recipients —often widows, orphans or relatives of former Nazis— the largest group outside of Germany is living in Poland (538) and the United States (241), with some living as far as Brazil (17), South Africa (9) and Argentina (8), and with just over a hundred residing in Canada (119) and 27 in the Netherlands.
The first reports of the allowance, made three years ago, were reportedly denied by the German ambassador in Brussels, who had said that the allowance was not paid to “people who have committed crimes against humanity,” according to HLN.