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Omroep / Broadcaster

LEVY & the Last Nazis: part 4


Gideon Levy visits one of  the last surviving Dutch fugitives and war criminals Siert Bruins. After the war Bruins was sentenced to life imprisonment for the execution of Jews and resistance fighters. He appears to have no regrets.

At the moment Bruins, who during the war nicknamed 'the beast of Appingedam', lives in Altenbreckenfeld, Germany. Bruins has served 5 years of his sentence in Germany for the murder of the 2 Jewish brothers Sleutelberg. In the interview it soon becomes clear that Bruins has more crimes on his conscience which he was never punished for.

By looking at the German case records of the Bruins Trial it’s evident that Bruins shot resistance fighter Dijkstra, who had sheltered the 2 brothers, in the back. When Dijkema was arrested by Bruins, Bruins commanded him to get out of the car to urinate and shot him in the back.

In the 80’s Bruins could not be convicted by the German court for these actions because he was fighting in the war as a German servant against the enemy.

Levy researches if the German judiciary has a different point of view on these murders nowadays. Should Bruins still be convicted for his crimes?

Gideon Levy asks German public prosecutor and professor emeritus of criminal law Frans Ruter. The opinions of the interviewees diver greatly.