Demjanjuk during trial
Photo: Reuters

John Demjanjuk dead at 91

Nazi war criminal convicted on more than 28,000 counts of accessory to murder, died Saturday at elderly home in southern Germany

German police say John Demjanjuk, who was convicted last year of serving as a Nazi death camp guard, has died.


Rosenheim police official Kilian Steger said the 91-year-old died Saturday at a home for the elderly in southern Germany where he has stayed since his trial ended in Munich last year.


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Steger says prosecutors in nearby Traunstein are looking into the case as a routine procedure.

Demjanjuk, a retired Ohio autoworker, was deported to Germany in 2009 to face trial in Munich after being stripped of his US citizenship.


A German court found he had served as a guard at the Nazis' Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland. He was sentenced to five years in prison.


דמיאניוק על אלונקה, בבית משפט בגרמניה (צילום: MCT) 

Demjanjuk wheeled into court room (Photo: MCT)


He was later released pending appeal, and lived at a German nursing home.


Demjanjuk has been in poor health for years and has been in and out of a hospital since his conviction. During the 18-month court proceedings in Munich, he often appeared in a wheelchair and sometimes lying down, with his family trying to argue that he was too frail to stand trial.


דמאניוק במשפט בישראל, ב-1987 (צילום: לע"מ) 

Demjanjuk during 1987 trial in Israel (Photo: GPO)


Demjanjuk had been exonerated in a separate Holocaust trial two decades ago in Israel, where he was initially sentenced to death for being the notorious "Ivan the Terrible" camp guard at Treblinka in Poland. The ruling was overturned by Israel's supreme court after new evidence exonerated him.


  Federal authorities had said Demjanjuk, who has denied serving as a guard at any Nazi camp, was trying to cast himself as a victim following his conviction in Germany on more than 28,000 counts of accessory to murder.


Ukraine-born Demjanjuk, who was once top of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of most wanted Nazi war criminals, said he was drafted into the Soviet army in 1941 then taken prisoner of war by the Germans. He emigrated to the United States in 1952 and was granted citizenship in 1958.





פרסום ראשון: 03.17.12, 14:03
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