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By Saphora Smith
Belgian lawmakers want Germany to stop paying pensions to Nazi collaborators.
The Foreign Relations Committee passed a resolution Tuesday calling on Belgium’s government to ask Germany to stop providing the tax-free money. It also stressed the “injustice” of such payments because victims of Nazism do not receive similar allowances.
In the aftermath of World War II, around 80,000 Belgians were convicted of collaborating with Adolf Hitler’s SS and of committing war crimes while the country was occupied by the Nazis, according to lawmakers.
However, some of these people benefited from a series of Hitler’s decrees including the right to German nationality and a war pension in exchange for their actions.
The committee’s resolution said that “pensions for collaboration with one the most murderous regimes in history” is a contradiction of the European Union’s founding principles.
The leader of the DéFI party lodged the original version of the resolution in 2016. A spokeswoman for the party said Wednesday that up to 27 people are still believed to be receiving the payments.
Recipients’ names are only known by the German ambassador and had not been shared with the Belgian government, according to lawmakers.
It is not clear how much the convicted collaborators receive each month.
Some people living in Britain were also receiving the payments, the committee said.
Belgium’s parliament is due to vote on the resolution next month.
British and German officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.