Nazi hit man goes on trial in Germany


AP reports:

BERLIN — Heinrich Boere has admitted to gunning down three men as part of a Waffen SS death squad — civilians killed in retribution for partisan attacks in Holland as the tide of World War II turned against the Nazis.

But for more than six decades after the war, he managed to avoid punishment — first escaping from a prisoner of war camp in the Netherlands, then successfully eluding the courts in Germany.

On Wednesday, the 88-year-old goes on trial at the state court in Aachen, charged with three murders — hits on a bicycle-shop owner, a pharmacist and another civilian.

It will be the first time that Teun de Groot sees the confessed killer of his father — the bicycle shop owner — with his own eyes.

....After fighting on the Russian front, Boere ended up back in Holland as part of a notorious death squad codenamed "Silbertanne," or "Silver Pine." Made up largely of Dutch SS volunteers like himself, they were tasked with reprisal killings of their countrymen for resistance attacks on collaborators.

In statements after the war to Dutch authorities — which prosecutor Ulrich Maass said now form an important part of his case — Boere detailed the killings, almost shot-by-shot.

In a 2007 interview with the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad he justified the actions, saying he was sorry for what he had done but that it "was another time, with different rules."
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