Ex-Nazi: 'I Was Just Following Orders'

Boere says he had no choice but to kill Dutch civilians

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 9, 2009 2:09 AM CST

(Newser) – A former Nazi hitman on trial in Germany confessed to killing three Dutch civilians but offered prosecutors a familiar excuse. "As a simple soldier, I learned to carry out orders," Heinrich Boere told the court. "And I knew that if I didn't carry out my orders I would be breaking my oath and would be shot myself."

Boere, a Dutchman who volunteered to join the SS, carried out the killings as part of a death squad and fled to Germany after the war. "At no time in 1944 did I act with the feeling that I was committing a crime," Boere said. "Today, after 65 years, I naturally see things from a different perspective." Boere, 88, could face a life sentence if found guilty, the BBC reports.

Heinrich Boere is seen in front of his house in Germany in this 2003 photo. Boere has confessed to killing a pharmacist, a bicycle shop owner, and another civilian as part of an SS death squad.   (AP Photo/ Eric Brinkhorst, File)
Former Waffen SS member Heinrich Boeresits in the dock of the court in Aachen, Germany, at the start of his trial.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
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