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herman2
10-28-2009, 08:59 AM
SS death squad codenamed “Silbertanne

From Toronto Star Newspaper

AACHEN, Germany — An 88-year-old former member of Adolf Hitler’s fanatical Waffen SS went on trial Wednesday on three counts of murder for the wartime hit-style killings of three civilians in the Netherlands.
Heinrich Boere admitted to the three killings to Dutch authorities when he was in captivity after the war but has managed to avoid prosecution for decades — first escaping from the Netherlands before he could be brought to trial, then successfully eluding the courts in Germany.
Ahead of the trial’s start in Aachen, a handful of protesters held up a pair of black banners in front of the court building that read “No peace for Nazi criminals” and “Don’t forgive, Don’t forget.”
Elisabeth Souvignier, an Aachen elementary teacher and one of the protesters said that “It has taken far too long for this case. I’m here today because I should be.”
Teun de Groot, the son of one of Boere’s victims and a co-plaintiff, told reporters inside the court that he hoped Boere would be convicted.
“I’m in a good mood and I feel like it will go to a good result.” de Groot said.
Boere faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison if convicted of the 1944 killings of a bicycle-shop owner, a pharmacist and another civilian while part of an SS death squad codenamed “Silbertanne,” or “Silver Pine.”
The son of a Dutch man and German woman, Boere was 18 when he joined the SS at the end of 1940, only months after German forces had overrun his hometown of Maastricht and the rest of the Netherlands.
After fighting on the Russian front, Boere ended up back in Holland as part of “Silbertanne” — a unit of largely of Dutch SS volunteers like himself tasked with reprisal killings of their countrymen for resistance attacks on collaborators.
In statements after the war to Dutch authorities, which are expected to form the basis for the prosecution’s case, Boere detailed the killings, almost shot-by-shot.
Boere’s attorneys have declined to say how they will try to counter the confession, but could try to argue that their client was simply following orders.
“I don’t want to talk here of the defence’s strategy.” Boere’s attorney Gordon Christiansen said outside the court room.
In a 2007 interview with the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, Boere himself attempted to justify the killings, saying he was sorry for what he had done but that it was “another time, with different rules.”
The trial is currently scheduled over 13 days through December 18 but could last longer if more time is needed.

flamethrowerguy
10-28-2009, 10:12 AM
Yup, it was pretty busy around there today and the protesters weren't all anti-Nazi only. Some photos:
http://www.an-online.de/bilder/1096681#/fm/3586/IMG_1878.jpg

Panzerknacker
10-29-2009, 06:34 PM
Nearly 2010 and still there are living nazis to jugde, amazing.

Laconia
11-01-2009, 03:49 PM
First time I have heard of this "Silbertanne" situation. As a long time WW2 history buff it is a new one on me. Dosen't surprise me though. Lots of stuff that went on back then between one side and the other. I just read a book called Endgame 1945 by David Stafford. Pretty good read about lots that went on at the end.

flamethrowerguy
11-19-2009, 04:39 AM
The court case was postponed once again. The accused's attorneys succeeded in filing a petition to hand out an acoustic hearing apparatus to Boere first since he turned out to be hearing impaired and supposedly was not able to understand the charge...:rolleyes:

Rising Sun*
11-19-2009, 04:50 AM
The son of a Dutch man and German woman, Boere was 18 when he joined the SS at the end of 1940, only months after German forces had overrun his hometown of Maastricht and the rest of the Netherlands.
After fighting on the Russian front, Boere ended up back in Holland as part of “Silbertanne” — a unit of largely of Dutch SS volunteers like himself tasked with reprisal killings of their countrymen for resistance attacks on collaborators.
In statements after the war to Dutch authorities, which are expected to form the basis for the prosecution’s case, Boere detailed the killings, almost shot-by-shot.

So why didn't Holland try him after the war?

For the crimes as criminal acts under Dutch law or as a Dutch traitor?

How did he escape from Holland?

flamethrowerguy
11-19-2009, 05:31 AM
So why didn't Holland try him after the war?

For the crimes as criminal acts under Dutch law or as a Dutch traitor?

How did he escape from Holland?

He was arrested by the Dutch in 1945. He managed to escape though and made it across the border to his birthplace, the German town of Eschweiler.
Dutch authorities sentenced him to death - in absentia (punishment was later change to life imprisonment). Furthermore they revoked his Dutch citizenship which is the reason the German authorities wouldn't hand him over.

Rising Sun*
11-19-2009, 06:55 AM
Furthermore they revoked his Dutch citizenship which is the reason the German authorities wouldn't hand him over.

Maybe I'm missing something, but shouldn't this have produced Dutch and international outrage about Germany protecting an undoubted war criminal on an irrelevant citizenship technicality?

After all, German war criminals were by definition German citizens (As distinct from Nazi / Nazi aligned war criminals who were drawn from all over Europe.).

Or did the Dutch fail to press their case sufficiently?

From the little presented in this thread about the history of the matter, it strikes me as rather odd that such a clear case has been allowed to drift for so long and is then suddenly reinvigorated some six decades after it should have been concluded.

Rising Sun*
11-19-2009, 07:11 AM
Toronto Star

Boere’s attorneys have declined to say how they will try to counter the confession, but could try to argue that their client was simply following orders.

I hope that there isn't a lawyer left on the planet who thinks the Nuremberg defence could succeed. And most of all in Germany, where it went down like a lead balloon.



Toronto Star

In a 2007 interview with the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, Boere himself attempted to justify the killings, saying he was sorry for what he had done but that it was “another time, with different rules.”

True, for the Nazi occupiers, but now is another time with different rules of the type which govern proper conduct in civilised societies.

flamethrowerguy
11-19-2009, 07:24 AM
I see meanwhile the accused has his own wiki article - even in the English edition. This should save me some attempts of juristic explanations.;)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Boere

Rising Sun*
11-19-2009, 07:27 AM
True, for the Nazi occupiers, but now is another time with different rules of the type which govern proper conduct in civilised societies.

I should mention that my reference to 'proper conduct in civilised societies' refers to an ideal enshrined in notions of justice as distinct from the practice of supposedly civilised, notably Western and especially Anglophone and Francophone, societies since 1945.

Rising Sun*
11-19-2009, 07:33 AM
I see meanwhile the accused has his own wiki article - even in the English edition. This should save me some attempts of juristic explanations.;)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Boere

Thanks.

****ing law!

****ing lawyers!

They're the only two things that stand in the way of justice. :(

tankgeezer
11-20-2009, 09:53 AM
Thanks.

****ing law!

****ing lawyers!

They're the only two things that stand in the way of justice. :(
Here Here!! (particularly divorce lawyers) :)

peopleselbow
11-23-2009, 04:19 PM
i had never heard of the silbertanne death squad until today i am also a ww2 and history buff as are 2 of my cousins and we have each read a lot about ww2 and have never noticed the various ss death squads
cheers for the info guys

Moreheaddriller
11-23-2009, 10:09 PM
as far as foreign units of the ss im not so familar with the dutch but i know the french and lativia had em one lativian earned earned a iron cross so ive heard ha ha not sure how much truth is behind it but ive heard rumors of an american pow ss unit called the george washington legion?

flamethrowerguy
11-23-2009, 11:52 PM
as far as foreign units of the ss im not so familar with the dutch but i know the french and lativia had em one lativian earned earned a iron cross so ive heard ha ha not sure how much truth is behind it but ive heard rumors of an american pow ss unit called the george washington legion?

The existence of the American Free Corps (aka "George Washington Brigade") was never officially confirmed.
The Silbertanne death squad can not be compared with official battle units. It was founded for assassinations on resistance members and for acts of reprisal only.

MrGwinny
11-28-2009, 07:19 PM
He may have comitted murder but that was a long time ago, following orders is what you have to do in the military no matter what branch, protestors need to actually learn the history beofre they make accusations.

forager
11-29-2009, 07:59 AM
Check previous post on Nuremburg defense.

You are wrong about "..following orders is what you have to do in the military...."
Read up on My Lai.

Do a little learning on your own.

Certain things are illegal, no matter the situation and a responsible troop has a duty to resist them.
I agree this would have been difficult in a Nazi organization.

flamethrowerguy
11-29-2009, 11:14 AM
After the defence's petition for closing of the proceedings was turned down by the court the case was continued last Friday, November 27.
Basically Heinrich Boere reflects his life's story and how he ended up as a Waffen-SS member. Boere- who today is a stateless person btw- lived with his family in the town of Maastricht/Southern Netherlands, quite close to the Dutch-German border. As mentioned before he's the son of a Dutch father and a German mother.
In contrary to his strong Dutch accent Boere announced during the trial he always felt as a German. As a juvenile back in 1940, when the Third Reich conquered the Netherlands, his declared ambition was to become a German citizen. "We lived in Masstricht, I saw the recruiting posters of the SS. Two years of membership guarateed German citizenship, it said. Afterwards there was a chance to become a policeman or a public official". Furthermore he claimed to originate from a destitute extended family. Three Dutch guilders a week his father was paid as an unemployed person, four guilders Boere could earn by the serving in the SS.
When the Germans came everything improved, he told during the interrogation. "They're coming. There they are. Now, my boy, everything will turn to the better" he quoted his mother. Eventually he and his sister got work, even his father was employed to build bunkers at the Dutch coast. Later Boere joined the Waffen-SS division "Wiking" and served in the "Westland" regiment which contained of Dutch and Flemish volunteers. After basic training Boere was deployed on the Eastern Fron until 1943 where he allegedly never fired his rifle.

The questioning concerning the charges will be on Tuesday, December 1.

flamethrowerguy
12-01-2009, 10:45 AM
The questioning concerning the charges will be on Tuesday, December 1.

...or not. It was postponed once again.

flamethrowerguy
01-31-2010, 03:09 AM
Just this week, when the hearing of evidence was almost finished, Boere was accused by the ancillary suit for seven more murders.
Before he joined the 'Silbertanne' death squad Boere worked as a spy for the German occupying forces and is said to have denunciated several Dutch escape agents for Resistance members. Seven of those people later died in German concentration camps.
Trial will be continued on February 4.

flamethrowerguy
03-23-2010, 04:03 PM
Today 88-year-old Heinrich Boere was sentenced to life imprisonment, of course his attorneys appealed on points of law. Since there's no danger of flight Boere remains free for now.
The chief judge mentioned he has his doubts about the former SS member Boere ever to end up in jail since revision might go up to the European Court of Justice and this could take years.

http://www.an-online.de/fm/4067/2q0a4802.jpg
photo: DPA/Steidl

HOS Bandit
03-28-2010, 10:50 AM
That is pure fantasy, there never was any American POW S.S. Unit.www.bills-bunker.privat.t-online.de/64490.html

Valkyrie
06-02-2010, 12:39 PM
Holland did try Heinrich Boere after the war and he was first sentenced to death but later commuted to life, he escaped from Breda prison.He remained a single man all his life as he expected to be caught anytime.