Former Nazi SS officer faces murder trial

Updated: 2013-09-03 09:29


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BERLIN - Ninety-two-year-old former SS officer Siert Bruins went on trial on Monday for murdering a Dutch resistance fighter about 70 years ago.

The trial of the Dutch-born German national was held in the western German town of Hagen. Bruins is accused of the murder of Dutch resistance fighter Aldert Klaas Dijkema in 1944.

Prosecutors accuse Bruins of shooting Dijkema four times after the fighter was taken prisoner in the Netherlands. Bruins has admitted to having witnessed the killing but denies any involvement. He could face a life sentence if found guilty.

Bruins volunteered for the SS during the Nazis' occupation of the Netherlands. He has served time in prison during the 1980s after being found guilty of the murder of two Dutch Jews in 1945.

About 68 years after Hitler's Third Reich collapsed, Germany is still reflecting on its dark history of Nazi era. Bruins' trial is among the latest German efforts to seek out and prosecute the last surviving Nazi war criminals and bring them to justice.

In May, 93-year-old Hans Lipschis who worked as a guard at Auschwitz was arrested, being accused of involvement in murders at the camp. In 2011, former SS guard John Demjanjuk was found guilty of being an accessory to the murder of Jews and was sentenced to five years in jail.