Boere’s father was Dutch and grew up in the Netherlands; his mother was a German from Eschweiler, Germany. Heinrich moved to the Netherlands when he was very young.
He was only 18 years old when he saw a recruiting poster signed by Heinrich Himmler. The program offered German citizenship for those who were going to serve for more than two years. Of 100 Dutchmen who showed up at the recruitment office, he was one of the 15 chosen.
“I was very proud,” he said.
The man, who was being treated for dementia, was the state’s oldest prisoner. He was sentenced to life imprisonment after confessing the murder of three people in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, in 1944. The three civilians were Frans-Willem Kusters, pharmacist Fritz Bicknese and bicycle shop owner Teunis de Groot.
Boere, who didn’t speak to much during the trail, sat in a wheelchair throughout the proceedings.
Before being sentenced, Boere insisted that it was his responsibility as a member of an SS commando unit to carry out the mission successfully. He also said that if his superiors would have suspected resistance from the members of the unit, they could have ended up in a concentration camp, The Local reports.
“As a simple soldier, I learned to carry out orders,” confessed Boere in a written statement.“And I knew that if I didn’t carry out my orders I would be breaking my oath and would be shot myself.”
Heinrich Boere escaped from a prisoner-of-war camp in 1947 and returned to Germany. In 1949 he was sentenced to death in absentia, in Amsterdam. He then remained free and started working in a coal mine in Germany, until 1976.
Before his conviction in 2010, Boere was one of the most wanted Nazi criminals.