Former Nazi guard goes on trial for murder of resistance fighter

Former Nazi guard goes on trial for murder of resistance fighter
Siert Bruins, a suspected Nazi war criminal, gestures before the start of his trial in the western German city of Hagen September 2, 2013.

BERLIN - A 92-year-old who served in the Waffen-SS, Adolf Hitler's elite Nazi troops, goes on trial on Monday in the western city of Hagen on charges of having shot in the back and killed a Dutch resistance fighter at the end of World War Two.

Although an international military tribunal put some of the most infamous Nazi leaders on trial soon after World War Two in the Nuremburg Trials, Germany has a patchy record on bringing its Nazi war criminals to justice.

In the last few years, however, prosecutors in some parts of Germany have actively sought out some of the last survivors.

In an televised interview with broadcaster Das Erste, Siert Bruins says he was present at the murder of Aldert Klaas Dijkema but says another soldier, now dead, 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 Hagen court already sentenced the Dutch-born accused, who acquired German citizenship while serving as a German security and border guard in the Netherlands during World War Two, to seven years in jail in 1980 for being accessory to the murder of two Jewish brothers in April 1945.

Monday's trial deals with the murder of Dutch citizen Dijkema in 1944 who was suspected of working for the resistance against German occupation of the Netherlands.

"The accused is alleged to have taken Mr Dijkema on the orders of his superior ... in a car near to a factory," the court wrote in a statement. "There, the accused and his accomplice are alleged to have shot Mr Dijkema four times."

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