Ex-Nazi, Heinrich Boere, Sentenced to Life in Prison for War Crimes

As German authorities pursue suspected Nazi war criminals to the last, a court in Aachen convicted an 88-year-old former SS soldier on Tuesday on charges of killing three Dutch civilians in reprisal for attacks by Dutch resistance fighters in 1944.

The case against the former soldier, Heinrich Boere, who is now a stateless person, was depicted by German analysts as one of the last major war crimes trials. Court proceedings began last November in another case, against John Demjanjuk, 89, who was accused of helping to force 27,900 Jews to their deaths during the Holocaust.

Prosecutors said Boere was a willing member of the SS, which he joined after the Netherlands was invaded in 1940.

But correspondents say that there remains some doubt over whether Boere, who uses a wheelchair and lives in a nursing home, will actually go to jail.

A 90-year-old former German infantry commander, Josef Scheungraber, was given a life sentence by a German court in August, but remains free while his appeal is heard.