Currently around 30 Belgians, all of whom in their late 90’s or even older are in receipt of a German war pension. On Tuesday the Foreign Affairs Select Committee will debate a resolution tabled by the Francophone federalist leader Olivier Maingain and two Francophone socialist MPs to “address this issue urgently through diplomatic means”.
During the occupation the Germans annexed the German-speaking area of Liège province and people that lived there were considered to be German. However, there were also Belgians from elsewhere in the country that volunteered to join Hitler’s Waffen SS and thank’s to the 1941 decree became entitled to a German War Pension.
The resolution states that “The names of these people are known to the German Ambassador here, but they are not passed on to the federal government, as a result of which no fiscal measures can be taken”.
The researcher Alvin De Coninck works for “Groep Herinnering”, an organisation of survivors of the Nazi concentration camps and their families. He told the daily ‘De Morgen’ that “For almost 70 years the German Länder have been paying out supplementary pensions”.
“I have discovered pensions of between 425 and 1,275 euro/month. Years spent in Belgian jails as punishment for collaboration are classed as years worked, while Belgians subjected to forced labour in Germany during the war received compensation of 50 euro/month”.