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.