Wiesenthal Center: Decision To Stop Prosecution of SS Executioner Boere Highlights Failures of German Judiciary To Hold Nazi War Criminals Accountable

Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today expressed its “deepest frustration” in the wake of a decision by a German court not to proceed on medical grounds with the prosecution of Dutch SS executioner Heinrich Boere, who was finally indicted last year for his role in the murder of three civilians in the Netherlands during World War II. A member of the SS Silbertanne commando, Boere was convicted and sentenced to death in The Hague in 1949, but he escaped to Germany, where he lived unprosecuted for decades.

In a statement issued here today, the Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, severely criticized the German judiciary’s failure in this and many similar cases of non-German Nazi collaborators, who committed terrible crimes in their native countries and were able to escape justice by fleeing to Germany, where they had been granted citizenship by order of Hitler. Zuroff also emphasized the failure of the German authorities to give the cases of Holocaust perpetrators the priority they deserved, which would have significantly reduced the number of suspects spared for reasons of ill health.

According to Zuroff:

“The case of Heinrich Boere is a perfect example of all the failures of German justice in holding Nazi war criminals accountable. For years, the Dutch authorities asked for him to be returned to the Netherlands or be tried in Germany to no avail. Had this case been given the priority it deserved, Boere would have been in jail long before he was able to escape justice on medical grounds.”

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