THE HAGUE – Two Dutch journalists will stand trial in Germany for allegedly
invading the privacy of the escaped Nazi war criminal whom they helped
Journalists Jelle Visser and Jan Ponsen are to report on Thursday
morning to the courthouse in Eschweiler, a sleepy border town in western
Germany. They will have to answer charges that they had violated the privacy and
trust of Heinrich Boere, a Dutch Waffen-SS assassin.
The journalists for
the investigative show Een Vandaag secretly filmed Boere in September 2009 at
his home in Eschweiler, where he was also born. A German court sentenced Boere
in March 2010 to life imprisonment for his wartime crimes.
He filed a
complaint against the journalists for violation of privacy from prison. The
investigation into the journalists’ actions began that year.
authorities began preparing an indictment against Boere in 2008. The Dutch
government repeatedly sought Boere’s extradition since the 1980s, to no
“This case is ridiculous,” Visser told The Jerusalem Post.
German authorities took more than 60 years to prosecute Boere, but they took
less than two years to prosecute the reporters who filmed him at
If convicted, the journalists face up to three years in
Accompanying the journalists will be representatives of the
journalist unions of the Netherlands and Germany, as well as family members of
people whom Boere had murdered.
One of them is the daughter of Fritz
Bicknese, a pharmacist and father of 12. Boere executed him near Breda in
July 1944. Also present will be Anny Schröder-Schilte and her
sister. Her father hid people wanted by the Germans and their
collaborators in his home until Boere reported him to the Nazis.
Mr. Schilte, father of five, died in a German concentration
“I was relieved to see the broadcast,” Anny Schröder- Schilte told
the Post. “Finally the person who killed my father had a face. I knew who had
done it. I was 12 when it happened and it all happened very fast. It is
unbelievable that he [Boere] dares file complaints after what he
“The judge in this case will need to balance the public’s best
interests with those of the individual,” said Esther Voet, deputy director of
CIDI, Holland’s watchdog on anti-Semitism, and former editor-in-chief of the
country’s Jewish journal, NIW. “The public’s interest here clearly outweighs the
Along with Boere’s extradition, the Netherlands is also
seeking that of Klaas Carel Faber, another convicted Dutch Nazi who fed to
Germany. Faber is still at large.