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Germany

Former Nazi SS member admits to killing Dutch civilians

Heinrich Boere, a former SS hit man on trial for murder, has admitted he killed three Dutch civilians in 1944. Boere's legal team, however, will still attempt to win the 88-year-old's acquittal.

Former Nazi SS member Heinrich Boere

Heinrich Boere admits to killing three men but not to crime

Heinrich Boere announced in an Aachen state court on Tuesday that he killed three Dutch civilian resistance fighters at the end of World War II.

Boere said the three were a bicycle-shop owner, a pharmacist, and another civilian.

Murders "weren't a crime"

He told prosecutors, however, that he did not kill the men in cold blood.

"At no point did I feel like I was committing a crime. Now I see things from a different perspective," he said.

Boere said that, as a soldier, he was just following the orders of his superior officers who told him to execute the Dutch citizens. Boere's legal team is most likely to use a mental non-responsibility defense to try to win his acquittal.

The former member of the SS, which was one of the most deadly groups in the Nazi execution structure, is charged with three counts of first degree murder.

The proceedings were suspended at the end of last month when Boere's lawyers argued that the trial constituted double jeopardy.

They said the Aachen state court was attempting to try Boere for essentially the same crimes for which he had already been convicted. A Dutch court tried Boere in absentia and sentenced him to death in 1949. Dutch authorities were never able to apprehend him.

glb/AP/dpa
Editor: Trinity Hartman

DW.DE