US President Barack Obama signed into law Thursday the No Social Security for Nazis Act, which terminates national pension scheme benefits for individuals who participated in Nazi persecutions.
- Aged German Auschwitz guard to stand trial
- Former SS member acquitted of massacre for lack of evidence
- Claims Conference increasing funding for Holocaust survivors' social services
The law applies to former Nazi officials or combatants involved in Holocaust crimes during World War II, who later likely concealed their identities to enter the United States, where they worked and paid into the government retirement program.
Congress passed the law after media reports that dozens of elderly war crimes suspects were collecting Social Security benefits.
In the past, war crimes suspects often left the country to evade deportation proceedings, which could have led to revocation of their pension rights. A loophole allowed them to keep receiving their monthly government pensions abroad.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said last month that the law would reaffirm "America's commitment to holding those involved in the Holocaust accountable regardless of how long it takes."
Congressman Leonard Lance called it "sickening and morally wrong" for Nazi criminals to live off tax monies of the children of the liberators.
The law requires the Justice Department to submit a report to Congress within the next six months identifying individuals whose benefits were revoked.