Dutch SS war criminal Siert Bruins dead at 94

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No image availableNL Times

The Dutch SS war criminal Siert Bruins has passed away at the age of 94. Bruins had been living in Germany. He fled to the country after the war, and Germany refused to extradite him because he had German nationality.

Late in 2013 Bruins was prosecuted for the murder of resistance fighter Aldert Klaas Dijkema from Oosterwijtwert, De Hart Van Nederland reports. The German court in Hagen dismissed the case in January 2014 due to insufficient evidence. Bruins died on September 28th.

Bruins was born in Weite in the municipality of Vlagtwedde in 1921. He enlisted in the Waffen SS during the war and fought in the Eastern Front. He joined the Sicherheitsdienst, the German intelligence service, in Delfzijl after he was wounded and hunted resistance fighter. In September 1944 Bruins, along with his superior August Neuhauser, were involved in the murder of Dijkema. He was shot and killed at the Bronsfabriek in Appingedam.

Survivors of the victims are relieved, yet sad, at the news of the former SS-man's death. This includes 99 year old Aukeline Blokzijl from Hoogeveen, Dijkema's sister. "For her the issue actually ended after the court ruling", her son said to the newspaper. "And he was so old." Aldert Klaas Veldman from Ten Boer, Dijkema's nephew, passed away in March last year. His wife told the newspaper that he would have had peace at the Bruins' death. "But he always regretted that Bruins never broke his silence."