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Photo: Ofir Hacohen
Treblinka
Photo: Ofir Hacohen
John Demjanjuk
Photo: AP
Witness in Demjanjuk case suspected of war crimes
Germany considers trying Treblinka guard after witnesses say he boasted of shooting prisoners

One of the witnesses in the trial of suspected war criminal John Demjanjuk is also suspected of murdering Jews, Der Spiegel reported Monday.

 

Alex Nagorny (93), a former Treblinka guard who testified at Demjanjuk's trial, is suspected of being involved in shooting Jewish prisoners in a labor camp northeast of Warsaw.

 

The report said that after initial investigations into his case were completed, the German prosecution is considering whether to submit an indictment against him for war crimes.

 

A judge at the Nazi Crimes Office in Ludwigsburg in southeast Germany investigated his case for about six months. Other former guards investigated by the former Soviet Union claimed that Nagorny boasted he had shot Jewish prisoners. Similarly to Demjanjuk, it seems he underwent training at an SS camp at Trawniki, near the Polish town of Lublin.

 

The trial of "Ivan the Terrible", who was a guard at the Sobibor death camp in Poland, opened in Munich in November 2009 and continues today. He is accused of aiding in the murder of 27,900 Jews in 1943 at the camp.

 

After the initial investigations were completed, the report on his case was transferred to the prosecutor's office in Munich, which will decide whether to indict him.

 

If he stands trial, Nagorny will be the third camp guard to stand trial in less than one year. Samuel Kuntz (88) has been convicted of involvement in the murder of 430,000 Jews in the Lodz death camp in 1942 and 1943. His trial too was opened due to the investigations into Demjanjuk.

 

Germany has stepped up efforts in recent years to try Nazi war criminals who remain alive. However, they have admitted that Demjanjuk was just a bit-player in the Nazi death camps during World War II. Senior SS officers were far more skilled in getting away with just light punishment or were acquitted in Germany in the sixties and seventies.

 

 

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