2,000 people around the world receive a controversial pension

A Nazi flag (photo illustration) – Stuart Forster / Rex Fe / REX / SIPA

More than 2,000 people, three-quarters of them in Europe, received pensions in February from former employees of the
Nazi regime or people forcibly enlisted, told AFP on Friday the German Ministry of Labor. The deputies in Belgium, where 18 people are concerned, voted on Thursday a text asking the government to put an end to this system of pensions paid by
Germany.

In total, some 2,033 people worldwide received a payment in February, which can be as high as around 1,300 euros a month. In Europe, they are 1,532 to collect the pension, including 573 people in Poland alone, the country most represented, according to figures sent to AFP. Slovenia (184), Austria (101) and the Czech Republic (94) follow. Some 54 people receive it in France, 34 in Great Britain, 71 in Croatia or 48 in Hungary.

A law dating from 1951

In Africa, the number of beneficiaries is 13, including 9 in South Africa and 4 in Namibia. The United States has 250 beneficiaries on its soil, ahead of Canada (121), Brazil (18) and Argentina (8). In all, 409 people have this benefit on the American continent. Asia has about 30 beneficiaries, including 12 in Thailand. Finally, 44 people touch it in Australia.

These pensions are paid under a German law of 1951, which allows German war victims to receive compensation. They also benefit former Nazis or foreign collaborators of the Adolf Hitler regime, but also to persons forcibly recruited. Ex-SS members are excluded, as is anyone convicted of war crimes. Since 2008, the law allows the German Länder who pay these pensions to suspend them. But this possibility has been little used, according to 2017 data from the German Federal Government.