Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Germany / Nazism

Ex-Nazi Guilty in Wartime Murders
By Victor Homola and Alan Cowell
The New York Times, March 23, 2010
"As German authorities pursue suspected Nazi war criminals to the last, a court in Aachen convicted an 88-year-old former SS soldier on Tuesday on charges of killing three Dutch civilians in reprisal for attacks by Dutch resistance fighters in 1944. The case against the former soldier, Heinrich Boere, who is now a stateless person, was depicted by German analysts as one of the last major war crimes trials. Court proceedings began last November in another case, against John Demjanjuk, 89, who was accused of helping to force 27,900 Jews to their deaths during the Holocaust. The verdict in Aachen on Tuesday against Mr. Boere came more than six decades after he was found guilty by a Dutch court in 1949 and sentenced to death. That sentence, passed in his absence, was later commuted to a life imprisonment, but he fled to Germany after the war and did not serve it. The German court sentenced him to the maximum permissible sentence of life imprisonment on Tuesday, as the prosecution had demanded, rejecting a defense plea for the case to be dropped under European Union regulations covering due process. Defense lawyers said they would appeal the court findings, a process that could take years. Court-appointed doctors will also examine Mr. Boere to ascertain whether he is medically fit to serve a prison term. Before his trial he lived in a nursing home. [...]"

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