Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dutch WWII Collaborator Dies in Germany

May 1, 2009

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, May 1 (UPI) -- Hans Bikker, a Dutch collaborator with the Nazis who lived in Germany for decades after escaping from prison, has died in the Netherlands, officials said.

Bikker was 93, Radio Netherlands reported. Police in Germany confirmed that he died in early November and was buried in Haspe in the Ruhr, where he had lived.

A member of the Waffen SS, Bikker served on the Eastern Front and in the Netherlands. He was nicknamed the Butcher of Ommen for his treatment of inmates at the Erika concentration camp.

After the war, Bikker was convicted and sentenced to death for killing Jan Houtman, a member of the Dutch Resistance, in 1944. The sentence was commuted to life in prison, and he escaped from a prison in Breda with six other Nazi collaborators in 1952 and fled to Germany.

In Germany, Bikker took advantage of a 1943 law granting citizenship to foreigners who served in the German military. He was able to stay under the radar until 1995.

He escaped a new trial for killing Houtman in 2004 when a judge ruled he was mentally incompetent.