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
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.