Nazi war criminals should not be receiving Social Security benefits, a White House spokesman said.
Deputy press secretary Eric Schultz made his comments Monday in response to an investigation by The Associated Press that found that dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards collected millions of dollars after being forced out of the United States.
“Our position is we don’t believe these individuals should be getting these benefits,” Schultz said at an informal news briefing at the White House. “The Social Security Administration and the Department of Justice have to work together within the confines of the law to cut off these benefits for these criminals.”
Schultz also said that the Justice Department has brought more than 100 Nazi criminals to justice.
The Social Security payments were made possible by a legal loophole that gave the Justice Department leverage to persuade Nazi suspects to leave the U.S. by allowing them to keep their Social Security benefits, the AP reported Monday following a two-year probe.
There are at least four living beneficiaries, including Jakob Denzinger, a former guard at Auschwitz. Denzinger, 90, lives in Croatia, where he receives approximately $1,500 a month in Social Security payments.