Expatica news

German war criminal, 91, robs Belgian pharmacy

25 September 2008

RECKLINGHAUSEN — A 91-year-old convicted German war criminal held up a Belgian pharmacy shop with a toy gun, a prosecutor told a German court Wednesday.

The defendant had been convicted in 1968 of murdering six Jews in Gorlice, Poland during World War II and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He served 22 years and was freed on grounds of age.

He has now been indicted in Recklinghausen, Germany for extortion for the purpose of robbery in Eupen, Belgium.

The court heard how he took a train from Recklinghausen to Eupen in March 2007, walked into a pharmacy and pointed the lifelike toy gun at the pharmacist saying, "Give me all your money. This is no joke."

But when a woman customer walked in, he departed with no booty.

He confirmed his war crimes Wednesday, saying:  "They were vile acts, and I did do them."

Some of the murders occurred in the street, with the German shooting people in the head at point-blank range. However he contended that his trial in Nuremberg for the war crimes had been unfair because no weight was given to orders from above.

He said the Belgium robbery had been an act of protest to attract public attention to his point of view.

"I didn’t care about the money," he asserted.

[dpa / Expatica]