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The Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration of Baden-Württemberg denies the press reports on the collaboration with the Nazi regime

On 22 February 2019 there appeared an article entitled In France 54 persons still receive monthly pensions for the collaboration with the Nazi regime [En France, 54 personnes perçoivent encore une pension pour avoir collaboré avec le régime nazi ], which is available at: https://www.francetvinfo.fr/sciences/histoire/en-france-54-personnes-percoivent-encore-une-pension-pour-avoir-collabore-avec-le-regime-nazi_3202961.html The article suggests that some Poles receive such benefits from Germany.

The press report reverberated at home and abroad, causing controversy in Poland. The Institute of National Remembrance reacted with the publication of the following statement: https://ipn.gov.pl/en/news/1603,Statement-by-the-Institute-of-National-Remembrance.html  

At the same time it sent a letter to the German Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, which had been cited as the source by the Agence France-Presse.

On 26 June 2019 the IPN received an official letter from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration of Baden-Württemberg, which has been attached to this statement in the original and English versions. It states that “persons who have been cooperating with the Nazi regime do not receive any benefits from Germany. The message coming from the foreign press is not true in this respect and misleading”. Furthermore, it was confirmed that  persons who have been proven guilty of war crimes or crimes against humanity are not entitled to receive benefits. As it is explained by the Ministry,  “In Poland (as of the end of 2018) there are about 300 people who receive a pension, being classified as war victims or the family of the deceased according to the German law of Baden-Württemberg. According to the state of knowledge as of  today, none of those entitled to receive benefits (and in the case of pensions for the family of the deceased - persons from whom the right to benefits derives), did violated human rights and the rule of law during the reign of the Nazi dictatorship.”

The aforementioned letter from the Ministry of Baden-Württemberg confirms the version presented by the Federal Ministry of Labour in their letter of 1 April 2019 , which stated that the abovementioned press reports probably refer to the Act on social assistance to war victims – Bundesversorgungsgesetz (BVG). This Act regulates the rights of war victims, benefits for people who have suffered due to military or paramilitary service as civilian victims and in other circumstances specified by law, as well as for family members of these persons. The act is implemented by the federal states, which determine the scope and amount of benefits, etc.  For Poland, the lands responsible for implementing the provisions of the Act are Rhineland-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg. The benefits are not granted solely for the service in the Wehrmacht or other combat units (e.g. Waffen-SS).

The Institute of National Remembrance is still waiting for a response from the Ministry of Rhineland-Westphalia, which has also received the inquiry.

 

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