Skip to comments.Suspect in Nazi trial proud of his SS service
Posted on 11/27/2009 3:34:31 PM PST by lizol
Suspect in Nazi trial proud of his SS service
By DAVID RISING (AP) 9 hours ago
AACHEN, Germany A man accused of murdering Dutch civilians as a member of a Waffen SS hit squad said at his trial Friday that he was proud about being chosen as a volunteer to fight for the Nazis.
Heinrich Boere, 88, made his first comments to the Aachen state court since his trial opened at the end of October. As part of that SS unit, he is charged with killing a bicycle-shop owner, a pharmacist and another civilian. He faces a possible sentence of life in prison if convicted.
Boere said he remembered his mother waking him up the night in 1940 that Germany invaded his hometown in the Netherlands and seeing Stuka dive-bombers overhead. Instead of fearing the German bombs, Boere, whose father was Dutch and mother German, said his family was elated as the attack unfolded.
"(My mother) said 'they're coming' now things will be better," he told the court, speaking animatedly to the panel of judges.
"It was better," he added later.
Boere was born in Eschweiler, Germany, on the outskirts of Aachen where he lives today, but moved to the Netherlands when he was an infant.
After the Germans had overrun his hometown of Maastricht and the rest of the Netherlands, he remembers as an 18-year-old seeing a recruiting poster for the Waffen SS, signed by Heinrich Himmler. It offered German citizenship after two years of service and the possibility of becoming a policeman after that.
He showed up with 100 other Dutchmen at the recruitment office and was one of 15 chosen.
"I was very proud," Boere told the court in a statement read by his attorney before he answered questions from the presiding judge.
(Excerpt) Read more at google.com ...
He’s proud of what? Offing civilians? I can see being proud of facing armed soldiers, but not this.
His case is a lot more complicated than let on:
I’m of mixed minds on this one, because it seems to be more of a national spat than tied up with Nazi ideology. Boere was half Dutch and half German, was born in Germany but raised in the Netherlands. Even as a 19 year old, he was fully supportive of the Germans.
He volunteered and fought on the Eastern Front as a uniformed soldier before sent home with an infection. Then he joined the Waffen-SS, also a uniformed role, in what amounted to a counterintelligence role.
As such, he killed three partisan civilians working against the German forces. Importantly, Geneva Convention protections of non-uniform “insurgents” is very limited.
Certainly US forces recently exterminated lots of non-uniformed Iraqis who were aiding and abetting non-uniformed insurgents.
After the war, he admitted these killings as a POW, then escaped and fled to Germany, where he took German citizenship, that had been legally offered to him, under a law still in effect. From here he was given protection by the German government, that refused to extradite him to the Netherlands.
Since that time, he has been in legal limbo, batted around from court to court.
As such, this may not rise to the level of a war crime, but instead is just a national spat between the Netherlands and Germany.
if he was ONLY offing resistance members its allowed under the Geneva convention that Germany signed. We just don’t know what his actual orders where.
If that’s a current picture then he’s in great shape for his age.
His apparent composure is food for thought. Perfectly rational from his point of view.
That is probably the base of his defense. The Waffen SS were primarily military in function. Nevertheless they too committed their share of war crimes, atrocities, etc.
He is not admitting killing civilians here, just admitting and apparently defending his service to the Third Reich without specifying (within this article anyway) exactly what that service was.
If thats a current picture then hes in great shape for his age.
His apparent composure is food for thought. Perfectly rational from his point of view.
Until the day he died my father was very hardened towards the Germans. He always contended that they were never sorry they started the war, only that they had lost it.
He was a combat medic, and watched a close friend killed in a false white flag ambush. That too was an SS operation according to him. A harsh school.
He was a tough old guy like this one too. Something about being shot at seems to temper the steel.
This outlook/attitude is a grim outlook for us. Many in this country, as we've seen in the political establishment, are weak kneed and will go where the wind blows. I would like to feel that noone on FR would do that but...all the evidence in human history shows otherwise. L & L is necessary, and in my household, as necessary as a First Aid Kit. "I will die on my feet before I live on my knees"
"Waffen" means fighting. They were the elite German military units. Although they had more than their share of Nazi fanatics and ideologues, the majority were just damn good soldiers. Keep in mind that the German term for American bomber crews was "Terrorflieger" (terror bomber) because of the success in "offing" civilians.
Let’s keep turning over rocks until we find every little nazi there ever was. But whatever you do, don’t ever look into the Soviets or any other Communists. In fact, when have they ever been brought up before a court?
Here’s just one little episode:
I believe there were the “Waffen” and then the “Waffen SS”.
As for this man, for me, if the man feels proud of his service he shouldn’t be begrudged that pride, in a way compared to the weak kneed “I’m sooo sorry” stuff that happens these days, his stance is refreshing.
However, let’s not call a Sinner a Saint, he was not marching around with the Boy Scouts, he was a soldier in the Nazi War Machine who killed partisans for Hitler’s Germany.
He is a dead ringer for a guy in my neighborhood, right down to the specs and checks over the undershirt. My guy is very proud of having been a teamster security guard and regularly confers with Moses, Abraham, and various archangels, and thinks he has a second family on Venus. But his wife says he came from Alabama. I try to make time to talk to him except when I am using power equipment.
At least he’s man enough and honest enough to tell it the way he sees it.
You know that the MSM and the leftist govts of the world will never allow the truth to come out - that the commies killed 100 million in the last century.
We will never see the single prosecution of a commie genocidal thug.
Damn good soldiers maybe, but on the wrong side.
They started the war by invading sovereign countries, destroyed and killed people in uniform and out. They paved the way for the Reich Kommisars and Gauleiters and the rest of the odious Nazi mess.
There is no moral equivalence between
them, and our Eighth AF/Bomber Command bring the war home to the country that started it. If they killed patriots
in counquered countries, I consider that they certainly
should be tried by those countries courts for murder.
They were unlawfully in the Netherlands(or Russia, Poland or whereever), acting as tools for Hitler and the parties
who were tried at Nuremberg for waging aggressive war.
I believe that trumps the notion that the Waffen SS could
kill patriots resisting this horror under the Geneva Convention. The GC didn’t save SS captured and found to have killed Czechs, Poles or Russians, nor should it.
Let the Dutch have him and hang him with my blessing.
Ditto for any others that can be found.
True, but killing “partisans” is a perfectly acceptable war time activity.
A man accused of murdering Dutch civilians as a member of a Waffen SS hit squad said at his trial Friday that he was proud about being chosen as a volunteer to fight for the Nazis... As part of that SS unit, he is charged with killing a bicycle-shop owner, a pharmacist and another civilian. He faces a possible sentence of life in prison if convicted.Hey, at least the Nazis had a national health plan, and a great research arm, run by Doctor Mengele. /sarc
The Nazis were just above hyenas and jackals. Worse than Communists, if such a thing is possible. He should get the justice he deserves.
American soldiers don’t ‘’exterminate’’ anyone. As to this old bastard, f him. He served the Hitler and the Nazis. The SS, even the Waffen SS ‘’exterminated’’ people. Lots of them. One of their favorite tatics was to lock people in buildings and set it on fire. They ‘’exterminated’’ Allied prisoners too. None of these SS bastards deserve any respect or pity.
Now why did it take the postwar Germans all these years to apprehend this Nazi SOB and try him? It doesn’t seem as if he was living in the shadows during that time.
The civilians were resistance fighters. Today we call them "unlawful combatants". He was in a military unit, wearing a uniform, chasing down terrorists.
I imagine our soldiers will some day be accused of killing civilians in Iraq because, after all, they were not part of any army. Just "resistance fighters" out to kill American collaborators.
And believe me, I hate the Nazi's as much as anyone. I have many relatives who they killed. Still this prosecution seems a bit misguided.
No respect or pity, just legal context.
“In the immediate post-war years, Boere spent two years in an Allied prisoner-of-war camp, where he was interrogated and admitted to the three slayings. After release from the POW camp, Boere initially went into hiding out of fear of being sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence, but managed to flee to Germany.
“In 1949, a Dutch court sentenced Boere to death in absentia for the three murders, for supporting the enemy, and for serving in the army of the enemy. According to Dutch law, the latter automatically leads to the loss of Dutch citizenship. Boere claimed German citizenship on the basis of a so-called “Führererlass”, a law promulgated by Hitler providing all SS-members with German citizenship, which remained in effect until the 1960s, when the EU demanded its repeal.”
To start with, though some Waffen-SS did commit crimes, those crimes are particular to individuals, not the entire organization, under the Geneva Conventions, and other members of the Waffen-SS come under the regulations for treatment of uniformed soldiers.
Importantly, in the occupied Netherlands of the time, the killings he conducted were *not* illegal, either under occupation Dutch law *or* by the Geneva Conventions. They only became illegal *after* the war, and he was tried in absentia by the Dutch, though he was now a German citizen living in Germany.
Even in the 1960s, when the citizenship law was discarded and his citizenship revoked, though stateless, no longer a German citizen, he was allowed to live in Germany, and they refused to extradite him to the Netherlands.
Importantly, Germany did prosecute war crimes for about 25 years after the war, but neither found justification to prosecute him, and even protected him from prosecution, likely seeing the Dutch act as just vindictive.
I do not say that he is innocent, in that he did assassinate three individuals he had been directed to assassinate. But in the legal context, these assassinations, at the time, were not criminal, but fit in the Geneva Conventions as legal acts of counterintelligence. The Conventions give little protection to non-uniformed spies, saboteurs, and assassins. Generally speaking, they can be shot on the spot.
Thank you! Read the book Armegadon about the Soviets push into Germany.. And the aftermath of the war. The Russians were not the saviors but the rapers of the german People..
Thanks for your additional info on this case. It makes a lot more sense when the correct perspective is included.
The Geneva Convention is as much an absurdity as war is and with few exceptions(Britain,the US) no one ever paid much attention to it, least of all the Germans. The bottom line is the Germans started the damn war, the SS were no f’ing Boy Scouts and quite proudly conducted themselves in a vicious and brutal manner. I my opinion this old unrepentant Nazi bastard and everyone other SS trooper thinking his escaped his crimes should be hung. If the situation were reversed and Germany had prevailed do you suppose they’d be suffering pangs of conscience today?
There was the ‘’General (”Allegemine’’_SS which ran the deathcamps and the Waffen(”Armed)SS which though fought in the field were still a ‘’political’’ army. They were the living embodiment of Nazism and Nazi terror. There isn’t anything to admire or respect in the way they conducted themselves. Read their history. They make Attila the Hun and The Mongol Horde look like Boy Scouts.
Didn’t look this up, but I believe he was only recently identified (IOW, within the past ten years or so). There was a Waffen SS (Combat SS) division, or more than one, recruited from the Netherlands.
They initially couldn’t find him. He had Waldheimer’s Disease and forgot he was a nazi..
I know the feeling, HOPE and CHANGE...
Since you've mentioned it, it is true that the Germans never surrendered, they just layd down their arms, in "44. There was no armistice, just surrender plain and simple.
That's why, everybody was/is so afraid of a greater (unified) Germany. REVENGE, when the time comes...
Who are these fools posting stupid comments alluding to the nobility of the Waffen SS? I can hear someone someday alluding to the nobility of the frigging islimic jihadis....if we let them.
As you might know, there has been a considerable amount of criticism of the modern German regime down through the years, much of it valid, to the effect that they have been less than scrupulous in bringing Nazi war criminals in their midst to justice. This would be only the most recent of many such cases. I would venture an educated guess that quite a number of Nazi war criminals lived out their lives in Germany as “ordinary” German citizens, never having to pay for their heinous crimes.
Apparently he got a miracle cure for his "Waldheimer's Disease" and remembered quite a bit at his trial.
Whatever the "treatment" is, perhaps they could use it to bring others like him to justice. I'd be sure that there are other surviving Nazi war criminals in Germany still at large.
Thanks justiceseeker93. Pat Buchanan agrees with that policy.
Disgusting POS; isn’t he?
A medieval klyster comes to mind..
The only thing a member of the SS deserves is a public death.
Give him a flannel shirt, darker hair, a flat top haircut and a hand rolled cigarette...and that’s my grandpa circa 1970.
The SS was more complicated than that. While that rule certainly applies to the General SS, many parts of the Waffen SS had no war crimes associated with them at all. An entire battalion of Waffen SS that had been fighting against the Russians, who would kill any SS they caught at that point, though they had many Waffen SS POWs that they didn’t kill, escaped the US forces, who were hanging any SS they caught, though *they* didn’t kill many of their Waffen SS prisoners, and made it to the French sector.
The French reorganized them as a Foreign Legion battalion, including their officers, and sent them to fight communists in French Indochina, where they continued to fight through the fall of Dien Bien Phu in 1954.
I met a Waffen SS officer who had been drafted into the SS at 17, married to a woman he had never met, and was put on a plane to take him East as the Russians were advancing on Berlin, in the final weeks of the war. After a short time as a POW, he and his wife legally migrated to the US, where he finished his college degree and became a professor. Eventually he was elected as a city councilman and then a State legislator. His son became a US Army officer.
My point in all of this is that both France and the US and, in this case, Germany, have at some point forgiven those individuals who served in the Waffen SS, but who have no known criminal association. Even the Russians returned their Waffen SS POWs to Germany for the most part, after the war.
This in effect, turns the current case from an international crime, to a disagreement between Germany and the Netherlands. If any moral relativism is to be found, it will be found there.
That being said, what is not relative are those individuals who were members of the General SS, or several other overlapping organizations.
They all do have, and maintain blanket guilt among all the warring nations, including Germany. However, in many cases they have been sent to prison, then released when their term was up. Yet this *only* applies that the nation that imprisoned them. Many still face the identical criminal charges in other nations, for which they can still be tried, even though they have already been punished.
This shows the considerable confusion in the process.
Does it matter what he the individual did, or is he guilty for crimes of "the SS". That's a pretty broad standard, one I'm not sure I can agree with.
I don't agree that my statements constitute 'moral relativism' at all. In fact I am arguing for a absolute moral code and enforcement of the Laws of War as they stood circa 1944. If he, individually is guilty of violating those laws then he should pay the price. If he is not then he should be left alone, and not harrassed out of some ancient hatred of the losing side in a long passed war.
The man was a traitor to his country who should have died a dog’s death.
But they've gone all-out against John Demjanjuk, as if to say, "See, not only Germans were Nazi War Criminals."
There are no “civilians” in a full-fledeged war.
Merely support and logistic troops.
What's your point? War is hell? Had the German's won the war I am certain that many British and US airmen and officers would have been tried and found guilty of atrocities in the fire bombing of German civilian centers. My point is that soldiers are soldiers regardless of the uniform they are expected to wear. Soldiers don't get to make the decisions about going to war and nobody appreciates peace more than a soldier.
My point is a comment regarding German civilians being upset with allied bombing.
There were no (or exceedingly few) German civilians, merely cogs in a Nazi war machine. All (or essentially all) were fair game.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.