German WW2 pension payments going to former Waffen-SS members in Sweden

TT/AFP/The Local
TT/AFP/The Local - [email protected]
German WW2 pension payments going to former Waffen-SS members in Sweden
File photo: TT

After it was revealed last week that fifteen people in Sweden receive a war pension from Germany, authorities in Berlin said that the individuals receiving the pensions were not members of the Waffen-SS, the armed wing of the Nazi Party's SS organisation.


But Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported on Friday that two of the pension recipients were Waffen-SS members after all. What role the two former Waffen-SS members may have had is not known, nor is it known whether they voluntarily joined the armed the Nazi force, which carried out some of the Third Reich's worst atrocities.
Dagens Nyheter was the first to report last week that 15 people in Sweden, aged between 82 and 101 years, receive a war pension from Germany of somewhere between 1,500 kronor (140 euros) and 10,000 kronor (950 euros) monthly. Six of those recipients are Swedish citizens and three of them are widows of deceased men involved in the war. 
Around 200 Swedish volunteers joined the German war effort during the Second World War, and were thereby promised lifetime pensions. Approximately 100 fought in battle.
Sweden was neutral during the Second World War.
The 15 people in Sweden are among the more than 2,000 individuals worldwide still receiving payments from Germany under a 1951 law that provides for "war victims", including those who collaborated with the World War 2 Nazi regime.
Official data from the German Labour Ministry showed that 2,033 people benefited from such payments in February.
Under the definition of the law, beneficiaries include individuals who suffered health problems from military or related service or internment because of their German citizenship or ethnicity during World War 2.
Most of the beneficiaries live in Europe, with the highest number in Poland, where 573 are still receiving payments. Other European countries with significant numbers of beneficiaries include Austria with 101, Slovenia with 184 and Croatia with 71.
In the Americas, 250 beneficiaries live in the US while 121 are in Canada.
The pension payments came under renewed scrutiny when Belgian lawmakers last month demanded a halt of the payments to the handful of Belgian residents still receiving compensation. 


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