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09/03/2013 // West Palm Beach , Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)
Hagen, Germany – A 92-year-old former Waffen SS member has been put on trial for war crime charges. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), the trial of Dutch-born Siert Bruins began on Monday as he stands accused in the death of Dutch resistance fighter, Aldert Klaas Dijkema, in 1944.
As noted in the report, new probes into German Nazi-era crimes by death camp guards began after the case of former Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk established that guards could be convicted as accessories to murder even without the presence of specific evidence that they had committed such crimes.
Bruins was sentenced to death after being convicted in the Netherlands in absentia in 1949 in connection with the killing of Dijkema. His sentence was subsequently commuted to life in prison. He obtained German citizenship under a policy implemented by Adolf Hitler, which granted citizenship to foreigners who served in the Nazi military. He was never extradited to the Netherlands because of his German citizenship. If convicted on the current charges he faces life in prison.
Ulrich Sander, spokesman for an organization representing the victims of Nazi crimes, is quoted by the AP as stating of the decision to try Bruins in spite of his age, “We must make it clear for the future that such crimes are always prosecuted, that murderers never get away.”
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