Sept. 3, 2013 The Independent
After years of reluctance, Germany is moving to try the last surviving Nazi war criminals before they die. After long lives in hiding, nonagenarian Auschwitz guards and more finally face justice
In Holland he is nicknamed the “Beast of Appingdam” – but white-haired, frail and aged 92, Siert Bruins hardly looked the brutal Nazi war criminal as he shuffled into a German courtroom on Monday to face charges of murdering a Dutch resistance fighter at the end of the Second World War.
In 1949, Holland sentenced the Dutch-born former Nazi SS officer to death in absentia for killing resistance fighter Aldert Klaas Dijkema in September 1944. Bruins is accused of shooting his victim four times in the back after he was captured by an SS squad near the town of Appingdam.
Yesterday, nearly 70 years after the murder, Bruins appeared for the first time in court in the town of Hagen to answer for the killing. But although he admitted joining the Waffen SS as a volunteer in 1941, he maintained a stony silence as judges read out the charges against him. Read More