A German court has ruled that Oskar Groening is fit to serve his sentence, which was handed down after a conviction for 300,000 counts of accessory to murder.
The $25,000 will bolster efforts by Efraim Zuroff to bring to justice members of the Einsatzgruppen, or mobile killing units.
Germany's army "has to send signals both internally and externally that it is not rooted in the tradition" of the Nazi-era military, said Ursula von der Leyen.
Groening was convicted of 300,000 counts of accessory to murder. His case could mark a precedent for future prosecutions.