By VICTORIA JONES
Talk Radio News Service
WASHINGTON – In a report triggered by an AP investigation, the top watchdog at the Social Security Administration found the agency paid $20.2 million in benefits to more than 130 suspected Nazi war criminals, SS guards and others who may have participated in the Third Reich’s atrocities during World War II. The payments are far greater than previously estimated and occurred between February 1962 and January 2015 when a new law called the No Social Security for Nazis Act kicked in and ended retirement benefits for four beneficiaries.
The American public had no idea about the size of the influx of Nazi persecutors into the U.S., with estimates ranging as high as 10,000. Many lied about their Nazi pasts to get into the U.S. and even became American citizens. They got jobs and didn’t say much about what they did during the war.
But the U.S. was slow to react. It wasn’t until 1979 that a special Nazi-hunting unit, the Office of Special Investigations, was created within the Justice Department. AP found that Justice used a legal loophole to persuade Nazi suspects to leave the U.S. in exchange for Social Security benefits. If they agreed to go voluntarily, or simply fled the country before being deported, they could keep their benefits.