Dutch Kapo Acquitted of War Crimes

A former inmate of a prison camp in Nazi-occupied Holland was acquitted Monday of war crimes charges by a tribunal in The Hague.

The court found that while Marinus de Rijke, 68, may have been brutal when he was a kapo in charge of other prisoners at the Erica camp near Ommen in 1942 and 1943, it was not proven that he caused anyone’s death or that he collaborated with the Nazis.

The tribunal noted that Erica was a Dutch, not a German, camp and that Rijke, incarcerated for black marketeering, was brainwashed and forced to become a kapo.

Fellow prisoners had testified that a Jewish inmate, Salomon Roet, had been forced by Rijke to crawl between heaps of burning straw and died of burns.

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