Germany Pays Nazi War Criminals’ Pensions
Subject: Press Release
NDR/PANORAMA Kuno Haberbusch
January 30, 1997
PANORAMA: Germany Pays Billions to Nazi WarCriminals
Nazi war criminals officially termed”victims”
Billions of Marks from German taxpayers are beingpaid to Nazi war criminals and are called “victim”pensions. A spokesman for the German Ministry of Laborconfirmed that additional assistance money is beingspent on war criminals but claimed that nothing couldbe changed because of constitutional reasons. Thechairman of Germanys Jewish Community, Ignaz Bubis, wasshocked. He had never thought that “such people” weregetting additional financial payments from the Germangovernment. The PANORAMA report, by Volker Steinhoffand John Goetz, will air on Thursday, January 30, 1997at 9PM on the ARD German television network.
The Nazi war criminals receive in addition to theirregular pensions “victim” pensions, according to theGerman “Social Compensation And Assistance To WarVictims” law (Bundesversorgungsgesetz — BVG). Lastyear alone, from Federal and Lander budgets, almost 13billion Marks was currently paid to over 1.1 million”victim” pensioners. To qualify for the “victim”pension, one must have been injured as a result of warservice. Because no one is excluded from the BVG, eachwar criminal who applies is granted a “victim” pensionif they can simply prove a war injury.
PANORAMA found out that world-wide that numerousNazi war criminals, who today receive monthly paymentsbetween 100 and several thousand Marks from German taxpayers. The well-respected German military historianGerhard Schreiber estimates the number of war criminalsreceiving these extra payments from the Germangovernment at 50,000. Wolfgang Lehnigk-Emden, fromOchtendung near Koblenz, is one of the “victims.” According to a German federal court, Lehnigk-Emdenkilled 15 unarmed women and children in Caiazzo nearNaples in Italy in October 1943. Because Lehnigk-Emdenwas later injured (shot in the leg) while trying toescape from an allied POW camp and suffers a mildhandicap, he receives an additional “victim” pension.
Another current recipient of victim pensions is theformer SS Hauptsturm-fuhrer Wilhelm Mohnke. Mohnke,who was a close confidant of Adolf Hitler andcommandant of the “Fuhrerbunker” in Berlin duringHitler’s last days. According to the US Department ofJustice “there is very substantial evidence pointing toWilhelm Mohnke’s personal involvement in theperpetration of Nazi war crimes” — for his role in themassacre of 72 American POWs in 1944 during the Battleof the Bulge.
War criminals, that live outside of the borders ofGermany, also receive additional monthly “victim”payments from Germany. One of those is the formerAuschwitz lieutenant Thies Christophersen. Christophersen is also one of Germany’s leadingneo-Nazis, whose book “The Auschwitz Lie” is consideredto be “the bible of the Holocaust revisionistmovement,” according to PANORAMA. Christophersen livedin Denmark until 1995 and had his “victim” pensionsforwarded there. The payments to Christophersen wererecently put on hold, as he is a fugitive and theGerman pension authorities do not know where to sendhis money.