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John Demjanjuk

The complex and controversial case of Nazi guard John Demjanjuk.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Selling Nazi Militaria: Controversy, How nazis escaped, Last days in Hitler's bunker, Most wanted Nazi War Criminals.

Russian WWII POW John Demjanjuk, who saved his life by agreeing to work as a Nazi camp guard, dies
The stranger settled in Cleveland after World War II with his wife and little girl. He became an autoworker and changed his first name from Ivan to John. He had two more children, became a naturalized American, lived quietly and retired. Decades later, the past came back to haunt John Demjanjuk. And for the rest of his life it hovered over an odyssey of denunciations by Nazi hunters, of questions over his identity, citizenship revocations, deportation orders and trials in Israel and Germany for war crimes. He was acquitted in Israel and, steadfastly denying the accusations, was appealing a guilty verdict in Germany when he passed away at 91.
(nytimes.com)

Demjanjuk case sparks hundreds of new investigations about Nazi guards
Thousands of dormant investigations into former Nazi death camp guards have been reopened because of the conviction of John Demjanjuk. Even the narrowest probe into guards at the four death camps used only for killings - Belzec, Sobibor, Chelmno and Treblinka - could lead to scores more prosecutions. Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff explained: "We`re talking about an estimated 4,000 people, to round it off. Even if only 2% of those people are alive, we`re talking 80 people."
(sky.com)

John Demjanjuk found guilty, gets 5 years, but is released immediately
John Demjanjuk, a Soviet soldier who risked his life to fight the Nazis but ended up serving as a Nazi guard at the Sobibor death camp to avoid dying of hunger as a POW was sentenced to five years in prison for abetting the killing of 27,900 people. The judge, however, ordered that Demjanjuk, who has spent the last two years behind bars, be set free despite the sentence. Demjanjuk claims he had few options. "I find it an unbearable injustice that Germany, with this trial, is trying to make me out to be a war criminal, when I was a POW, and wants to use me to distance itself from its own war crimes."
(spiegel.de)

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John Demjanjuk - BBC Profile
Lengthy profile of John Demjanjuk, a Red Army soldier who fought against the Nazis and served as a driver for various international refugee organisations after the war.
(bbc.co.uk)

FBI: The only solid evidence against John Demjanjuk, the Nazi ID card, is a Soviet forgery (long article)   (Article no longer available from the original source)
John Demjanjuk`s defense attorney Ulrich Busch says his client`s trial on Nazi war crimes charges should be suspended after a revelation that an FBI report states that the Soviet Union fabricated evidence - especially the Nazi ID card - that is in the center of the allegations that Demjanjuk served as an SS guard at the Sobibor death camp.

"Justice is ill-served in the prosecution of an American citizen on evidence which is not only normally inadmissible in a court of law, but based on evidence and allegations quite likely fabricated by the KGB," the FBI`s Cleveland field office said in the 1985 report, four years after the Soviets had shown U.S. investigators the card.

(msnbc.msn.com)

Prosecutors call for a 6-year jail term for 90-year-old John Demjanjuk
German prosecutors call for a 6-year jail term for John Demjanjuk, saying there is "no reasonable doubt" that he took part in the Nazi massacre of Jews in World War II. The 90-year-old is accused of helping to kill 27,900 Jews at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943. Prosecutor Hans-Joachim Lutz claims Demjanjuk participated willingly in the Holocaust, while Demjanjuk, former Red Army Soldier, insists that he had no choice but to help the Nazis.
(bbc.co.uk)

John Demjanjuk threatens to go on hunger strike if he is not allowed to present documents about the case
John Demjanjuk, a former Red Army soldier, has threatened to go on hunger strike to force the Munich court to allow him to present KGB documents he claims will prove his innocence. In a statement he calls his case a "political show trial" and accuses the German authorities of trying to "find him guilty for the crimes ccommitted by Germans in WWII."
(spiegel.de)

Strange Nazi trials: A Gestapo torturer protected by the CIA, a Soviet POW serving as an SS guard
Klaus Barbie was a Gestapo torturer protected by the CIA, John Demjanjuk and Samuel Kunz were Soviet Red Army soldiers fighting the Third Reich but ending up as a Nazi guards. These are only some of the strange Nazi court cases which have emerged over the decades, and even the bigger trials are stuck with own controversies.
(cloudworth.com)

The never-ending saga of John Demjanjuk continues: Spain requests an arrest warrant
A Spanish court has requested an arrest warrant for John Demjanjuk due to the fact that 60 of the 150 Spaniards imprisoned at the Flossenburg concentration camp - where Demjanjuk allegedly worked as a Nazi guard - perished. Some people, talking about this case on WWII forums, are questioning if spending this much money, time and resources on a low-level Holocaust functionary - how is in his twilight years - is necessary.
(cnn.com)

Demjanjuk case slowly progresses, as one of the judges yells at the defense attorney
Stefan Schuenemann, a lawyer who represents two victims registered as co-plaintiffs, sums up Demjanjuk case: "This trial has been dragging on... If you have to examine facts that are 67 years old, no direct witness alive and the defendant is keeping quiet, you couldn`t really expect it to be much different."
(bloomberg.com)

Demjanjuk case: Nazi guard Alex Nagorny testifies: "I was asked if I wanted to work and I was hungry"   (Article no longer available from the original source)
A Soviet Red Army soldier taken POW by the Germans during World War 2 testified in John Demjanjuk case that he didn`t know he would be used as a camp guard when he agreed to co-operate with the Nazis. Alex Nagorny stated that when he was recruited from a POW camp, he agreed to serve to stave off hunger. "I was simply asked if I wanted to work and I was hungry. That was all." Nagorny explained he received only basic military training in the Trawniki SS camp. "They said go left, go right, there was nothing more. We were shown how to use a weapon, but we did not shoot."
(washingtonpost.com)

Russian Sobibor survivor says John Demjanjuk was at Nazi death camp
A Russian survivor of the Sobibor Nazi death camp says he can identify accused Nazi guard John Demjanjuk - If called to testify, he would be the first in the trial to id the accused directly - while some ask why the survivor hasn`t spoken up during the previous Demjanjuk trials. Sobibor prisoner Aleksei Weizen told Czech public radio in an interview that he remembered Demjanjuk. "I remember him as a guard, I saw him before he took a group of detainees to work in the woods." Germany`s main agency for investigating Nazi atrocities said it had not been aware of Weizen.
(csmonitor.com)

Nazis killed SS guards (basically Soviet POWs in SS uniform) too - Historian at Demjanjuk trial
Nazi death-camp guards could expect the firing squad or hanging if they fled their posts, a historian told the trial of John Demjanjuk. Dieter Pohl detailed how Nazis "recruited" Soviet POWs to wear the SS uniform (alternative was to die of hunger in POW camps) and carry out killings. If these SS guards tried to flee after seeing the death camps, they could expect to be executed. Yet many did run away: After being caught some were executed, some given military prison terms, and some locked up in concentration camps. Some of these "SS guards" identified with the Nazis while others passed warnings to inmates.
(haaretz.com)

John Demjanjuk trial raises questions
John Demjanjuk, a Ukrainian-born car worker from Cleveland, Ohio, goes on trial in Munich accused of assisting in the killing of 27,900 people at Sobibor in 1943. The trial will most likely be a last chance for young Germans to face the horrors of the 1940s. The case presents moral questions about holding such a hearing so long after the crimes. The defendant is a man of 89 in poor health - accused of is being a very small cog in a huge killing machine. Demjanjuk has always insisted that he was just a captive of the Germans, who changed sides to fight communism in Nazi uniform, to get out of POW camps where his comrades died in droves.
(telegraph.co.uk)

A very ordinary henchman: John Demjanjuk trial to break ground in Germany
The case against suspected Nazi SS guard John Demjanjuk is a legal first for Germany. For the first time, a person who was low on the chain of command is to be indicted, even though there is no proof of his having committed a specific offence. Other henchmen - over 100 men have had their American citizenship revoked for hiding their Nazi past, and 27 of them ended up in Germany - have gotten off far more lightly. But now a low-level foreign henchman will be prosecuted, not because of his cruel behavior as a perpetrator of "excessive acts," but because he helped keep the killing machinery running.
(spiegel.de)

German prosecutors: Nazi guard John Demjanjuk fit for trial
John Demjanjuk "is fit to stand trial with the restriction that trial days do not last longer than two sessions of 90 minutes," spokeswoman Margarethe Noetzel said. The case - maybe Germany`s last major Nazi case - will be sent to the court in July. John Demjanjuk is wanted for complicity in the deaths of thousands of Jews during his time at the Sobibor death camp in 1943. Demjanjuk`s lawyer says his client was never there, but courts in Israel and the US have stated he was a guard at Sobibor - claims he had never previously denied. Prosecutors have an SS identity card and transcripts of witness testimony placing him at the camp.
(thelocal.de)

Death camp Nazi guard carried to jet in wheelchair for trial in Munich, Germany
John Demjanjuk, born Ivan Demjanjuk in Ukraine in 1920, arrived in Munich to face accusations of crimes committed as a Nazi guard at the Sobibor death camp. He was deported for the second time by the US. The first time - accused of being "Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka" - he was sentenced to death in Israel, but questions about the evidence won him a freedom and the return of his US citizenship. But the wheels of justice began to grind again, and the process has repeated itself. On monday Demjanjuk, 89 and once again without nationality, boarded an airplane bound for Germany, where he is accused of being an accessory in the murder of 29,000 Jews.
(nytimes.com)

Pictures reveal that accused Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk is fit for trial
Just weeks ago, accused Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk was photographed being carried out of his Cleverland home too frail to even walk. But the U.S Department of Justice argues he is fit enough to travel to Germany - and submitted videos of Demjanjuk walking and talking vibrantly. The video shows a contrast from the frail man who groaned as agents carried him from his home. Demjanjuk was a Red Army soldier who was captured by the Nazis in 1942. To survive he served two years as a nazi guard in the camps of Sobibor and Majdanek. Demjanjuk claims he was forced to work for the Nazis and had been mistaken by survivors for other cruel Nazi guards.
(dailymail.co.uk)

John Demjanjuk dragged out of his house, but US court halts deportation
A US federal appeals court has temporarily halted the deportation of the alleged Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk. The ruling came hours after US agents seized Demjanjuk from his Ohio home to deport him to Germany. The move marks the latest turn in a long extradition row about Demjanjuk`s alleged war crimes during World War 2. The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk is accused of having voluntarily served the Nazis at the Sobibor and Majdanek concentration camps in 1943. Demjanjuk claims he was drafted into the Russian Red Army in 1941, became a German POW a year later and served at German prison camps until 1944.
(dw-world.de)

Nazi guard John Demjanjuk deportation blocked two days before he was due to be extradited
A US judge has blocked an order to deport an alleged Nazi camp guard, two days before he was due to be extradited to Germany. John Demjanjuk is accused of involvement in the deaths of 29,000 Jews at a camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. He denies having any part and has asked for refuge in the US, claiming that deportation would constitute torture. An immigration judge said the block would stay until a decision had been reached on whether to re-open his case. Lawyers for Demjanjuk say his health is far too poor for him to make the journey, while Demjanjuk says he was a POW of the Nazis rather than a prison guard.
(bbc.co.uk)

Nazi guard John Demjanjuk - Sick old man - Or both?
German officials think that John Demjanjuk was a Nazi guard at the Sobibor death camp. They would like to put him on trial in Munich, but his family says the 88yo is too frail to be deported - and that he is innocent anyway. His wife Vera Demjanjuk looks exhausted as she explains that everything is starting over again and that, once again, she will have to fear for the fate of her husband. John Demjanjuk Jr. has said that his father is "very frail," going to hospical several times a month, adding and: "There`s no evidence to say that he was personally involved in killing anybody in his life. He was a Red Army soldier who was caught up in what was happening in WW2."
(sanfranciscosentinel.com)

From Red Army soldier to Nazi guard - John Demjanjuk may stand trial, again
John Demjanjuk has been living in the U.S. for over 50 years. Now a German court want to prosecute him as a Nazi guard - it would not be his first time. 15 years ago Demjanjuk was in an Israeli courtroom: Where he provocatively blew kisses and greeted everybody in Hebrew. He was acquitted because of "reasonable doubt". -- In 1942 Demjanjuk, a member of the Red Army, became a POW. Millions of Soviet POWs died, and he recalled: "I would have given my soul for a loaf of bread." 1942-1945 he was a member of Trawniki group, "foreign volunteers" who did the Nazis` dirty work. In 1945 he joined the Vlasov Army, an army of Russian volunteers allied with Nazi Germany.
(spiegel.de)

Poland drops Nazi war crimes probe against John Demjanjuk
Polish war crimes prosecutors have dropped a probe against John Demjanjuk, an ethnic Ukrainian living in the U.S. dogged by allegations of Nazi war crimes. "The investigation was dropped... due lack of evidence to incriminate Demjanjuk for murder," said Anna Galkiewicz. 20 years ago eyewitnesses identified Demjanjuk as "Ivan the Terrible", one of the torturers at the Treblinka nazi camp. Deported by the US to Israel Demjanjuk was sentenced to death in 1988 but then cleared by Israel`s supreme court which used KGB archives to id a different man, Ivan Marchenko, as "Ivan the Terrible".
(eurojewcong.org)

Nazi guard John Demjanjuk finally loses last US appeal
John Demjanjuk, accused of being a guard at a Nazi death camp, has finally lost his fight to stay in the United States. He moved to the US in the 1950s. He was handed over to Israel in 1986 and sentenced to death, but the ruling was overturned. He traveled back to the US but was accused of lying on his immigration application about working for the Nazis. The US Supreme Court has now rejected his appeal against deportation. It`s unclear if any country is willing to take Demjanjuk in, or prosecute him again. Demjanjuk has insisted he was a prisoner of war with the Nazis, instead of a guard serving under them.
(bbc)

US death camp Nazi guard John Demjanjuk faces deportation
An 85yo man accused of having been a guard at a Nazi death camp has lost an appeal against his deportation from the US to Ukraine. John Demjanjuk can still make a further appeal against ruling. He has denied the allegations and argued he would be tortured if sent back. He migrated to the US in 1951 and was briefly deported to Israel amid a 30-year battle over his past. At the time, he was suspected of having been a camp guard "Ivan the Terrible". But his name was cleared and he was spared the death penalty. The Board said there was no evidence to prove he would be tortured if returned to the Ukraine.
(bbc)


See also:
Selling Nazi Militaria: Controversy
How nazis escaped
Last days in Hitler's bunker
Most wanted Nazi War Criminals.