The House just voted unanimously to cut off Social Security benefits payments to former Nazis. The Democrats and Republicans agreed without exception. We wonder what you think?
The folk involved are a relatively small number of WWII survivors who have come to the U.S. postwar, worked, gained citizenship and qualified for Social Security benefits the same way other American citizens are required to do. Mostly, their WWII background has emerged and led to their deportation in some cases, or threat of it in others. This has come up after they had become old, retired Americans. In some instances, the U.S. government advised that they had best leave the U.S. if they wished to continue receiving their Social Security benefits.
Now, all the benefits are voted extinct by the House: that bring some questions to mind. First, why are former ‘Nazis’ who are now citizens to lose benefits originally promised to all citizens? Lots of people have come from former enemies of the U.S. to become citizens, work and retire. They have collected their benefits.
Then, what is a: “Nazi?” The National Socialists were a German political party, not a criminal gang. Some former Germans were bad dudes during the war, so were some Americans. Some Germans were prison camp guards; few of those applied for those jobs. The U.S. turns up bad prison guards regularly in its jails.
We wonder whether we have a moral issue here, one being savaged by politics in the House. If so, it doesn’t say much for any of our elected representatives.
Let’s see: We have, post war, allowed these folk legal entry; they have followed all the requirements to that end. We have thereafter received the benefits of their labors and their Social Security tax payments. They have not misbehaved here and somehave raised American children. Now, we have decided ex post facto, that their youthful or at least, much younger behavior disqualifies them from all that we promised when we let them enter?
We don’t know what they were required to state upon entry; it may have been a (false) denial of membership in the Nazi party. A lot of Germans were members by need rather than choice. How can we sort that out now? If we are to operate in that fashion, should we not have gone after all the Southern Civil War veterans who were part of slave-owning families?
Some of the people now intended to be dispossessed of their promised Social Security pensions are very old, ‘suspected’ Nazi war criminals. Isn’t an American citizen entitled to a fair trial before his punishment? And isn’t that punishment supposed to take place per appropriate law? This one is occurring under an ex post facto law; we have an impression that such are frowned upon in the United States.
We have never approved of Nazism nor do we now. But the Nazis were beaten some 69 years ago and it seems late to be inventing new punishments for a few remnants who are no longer enemies. They signed on under U.S. law and did what was demanded. They should receive their promised results, seems to us.
The apparent opportunists in the House seem no more moral than were the ‘suspected’ war criminals in their younger days. America should be better than this.
That’s our take; yours is welcome …