Frank Augstein / AP
Siert Bruins, 92-year-old former member of the Nazi Waffen SS, sits in a courtroom in Hagen, Germany, Monday, Sept. 2, 2013. Dutch-born Siert Bruins, who is now a German, is on trial on allegations he executed a Dutch resistance fighter in 1944. Bruins, who volunteered for the SS after the Nazis took the Netherlands in 1941, already served time in Germany in the 1980s after being found guilty in the wartime killing of two Dutch Jews.
A 92-year-old former member of the Nazi party went on trial Monday in Germany — 69 years after he allegedly shot a Dutch resistance fighter in the back at the end of World War II.
Siert Bruins, who served with the Nazi Waffen-SS, appeared in court in the western city of Hagen with a walker and was reportedly alert as the proceedings began, the AP reports.
Bruins is accused of killing Aldert Klaas Dijkema, but claims although he was present during the murder, another soldier had shot him. That soldier has since died.
"I walked on the right (of Dijkema), he was on the left, then suddenly I heard the shots and someone fell," he told broadcaster Das Erste recently.
Bruins’ attorney, Klaus-Peter Kniffka, said that it’s unlikely that his client will address the court during the proceedings.
"I will probably deliver a defense declaration, but it depends upon the course of the trial," Kniffka told reporters.
The Dutch-born Bruins, who’s now a German citizen, was already sentenced to seven years in prison in 1980 for being an accessory to the murder of two Jewish boys in 1945.
German federal prosecutors are also expected to announce this week that they are recommending the pursuit of charges against 40 former Auschwitz guards.
The renewed probes of former Nazis comes after the death of Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk who was appealing his 2011 conviction of accessory to murder after it was alleged that he served at a death camp in Sobibor.
The trial is expected to last until the end of September.
Reuters contributed to this report.
First published September 2 2013, 9:50 AM