There’s Sen. Tom Coburn’s annual “waste book,” which evinces all the ridiculous ways taxpayers are hosed every year, and then there’s this. Thanks, in part, to the Associated Press’ painstaking and thorough investigative reporting, we now know beyond any doubt that suspected former Nazis, living abroad, have been on the government dole for decades:
Former Auschwitz guard Jakob Denzinger lived the American dream. His company in the Rust Belt town of Akron, Ohio, thrived. By the late 1980s, he had acquired the trappings of success: a Cadillac DeVille and a Lincoln Town Car, a lakefront home, investments in oil and real estate.
Then the Nazi hunters showed up. In 1989, as the U.S. government prepared to strip him of his citizenship, Denzinger packed a pair of suitcases and fled to Germany. He later settled in this pleasant town on the Drava River, where he lives comfortably, courtesy of U.S. taxpayers. He collects a Social Security payment of about $1,500 each month, nearly twice the take-home pay of an average Croatian worker.
Denzinger, 90, is among dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards who collected millions of dollars in Social Security payments after being forced out of the United States, an Associated Press investigation found.
How on earth could this happen? Easy: in the aftermath of the Second World War, former Nazis simply jettisoned their uniforms, hid who they were, and made for America. Upon arrival, they were happy to apply for citizenship, and once the paperwork went through, enjoy the benefits and generosity of a country they once waged war against. It also seems likely this was no mere oversight, but rather a quid pro quo arrangement between the US government and suspected Nazis to urge them to flee the country as soon as possible. Nevertheless, according to the AP, many of those émigrés were suspected of unspeakable atrocities: