A man who killed three unarmed Dutch civilians under orders of the Nazis in 1944 has been sentenced to life in prison. 88-year-old Heinrich Boere had been Number Six on the Simon Weisenthal Center’s list of most wanted Nazis.
Boere, now confined to a wheelchair, was sentenced in a German court. He showed little, if any emotion when his sentence was read.
Boere had admitted killing a bicycle-shop owner, a pharmacist and another civilian as a member of a hit squad, made up of Dutch SS volunteers killing countrymen believed to be anti-German.
“As a simple soldier, I learned to carry out orders, and I knew that if I didn’t carry out my orders I would be breaking my oath and would be shot myself,” Boere had told the court in December.
Boere had been accused of being a member of the Waffen SS, which he joined after the Nazis overran the Netherlands in 1940. Boere and his accomplices dressed as civilians and played early morning or late evening calls to their victims unaware.
Efraim Zuroff, the top Nazi hunter at the Simon Weisenthal Center in Jerusalem declared that “we welcome the conviction, we welcome the sentence and this is again another proof that even at this point it is possible to bring Nazi war criminals to justice.” Boere was sentenced to death in absentia in the Netherlands in 1949, which was later commuted to life imprisonment.
Boere will remain a free man until the appeals process is complete, which could take two to three years. The son of the bicycle shop owner killed by Boere, now 77 years old, told the Associated Press that Boere “hardly interests me any more. My interest is justice.”
Source: Catholic Online