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Elderly SS’er Boere begins life prison term after long wait

New sentence reconfirms guilt in 1949 conviction

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AACHEN, Germany - Officials in Germany are taking again a hard look at arresting remaining elderly Nazi war-criminals. They already incarcerated one 90-year-old former Dutch-German SS assassin who recently began his life sentence handed down by a German court for executing three civilians in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands.

Heinrich Boere, who confessed to the killings as part of an SS hit squad in 1944, was brought to a prison hospital, 21 months after being sentenced.

An expert had declared Boere - who suffers from heart problems and is wheelchair-bound - fit enough to begin his term provided certain medical care was available.

Boere had been staying at a nursing home until space became available at the prison hospital in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

On several occasions, Boere admitted to killing in cold blood pharmacist Fritz Bicknese, bicycle shop owner Teunis de Groot and Frans-Willem Kusters. He argued in his defense that as a member of a SS commando unit tasked with killing suspected resistance members or supporters, he risked being sent to a concentration camp himself if he refused.

The former SS’er spent six decades one step ahead of the law after escaping from a Dutch camp for collaborators in 1947, returning to his birthplace in Germany.