Former Nazi guard goes on trial in Germany

Monday 02 September 2013 19.35
Former SS officer Siert Bruins has said another soldier killed Aldert Klaas Dijkema
Former SS officer Siert Bruins has said another soldier killed Aldert Klaas Dijkema

A 92-year-old former member of the Nazi Waffen SS is going on trial in Germany on charges that he executed a Dutch resistance fighter in 1944.

Dutch-born Siert Bruins, who is now German, will appear in court in the western city of Hagen on a charge of murder after being found medically fit for the proceedings.

Mr Bruins, who volunteered for the SS after the Nazis took the Netherlands in 1941, served a prison sentence in Germany in the 1980s after being found guilty over the wartime killing of two Dutch Jews.

His lawyer would not comment on the new charge that he killed resistance fighter Aldert Klaas Dijkema in September 1944.

Mr Bruins is accused of executing Dijkema, then concocting a story with his now-dead accomplice that their prisoner had tried to escape.

In a televised interview with broadcaster Das Erste, Mr Bruins said he was present at the murder of Dijkema but said the other soldier shot him.

"I walked on the right [of Dijkema], he was on the left, then suddenly I heard the shots and someone fell," he said.

The trial is expected to extend over 11 hearings until the end of September.