Germany charges Nazi guard with 28,000 Jew deaths

Author: Reuters

“State prosecutors in Munich have today charged the 89-year-old John Demjanjuk
as an accessory to murder in a total of 27,900 cases,” prosecutors said in a

Prosecutors said Demjanjuk, who has been held in a jail in southern Germany
since 12 May after he was deported from the United States, would be tried
at a court in Munich.

The court could not give details on when the trial would take place, though
lawyers for the prosecution and the defence have previously said autumn
could be feasible.

Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, who denies any role in the Holocaust, was deemed fit
by medical experts to stand trial despite protestations from his family that
he is too frail.

“Doctors recommend that the hearings should be restricted to two sessions of
90 minutes per day,” prosecutors said.

Demjanjuk tops the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list of its 10 most-wanted
suspected war criminals. They say he pushed men, women and children into gas
chambers at the Sobibor death camp in what is today Poland.

The retired auto worker has said he was drafted into the Soviet army in 1941,
became a German prisoner of war and later became a guard in German prison

Demjanjuk was stripped of his U.S. citizenship after he was accused in the
1970s of being “Ivan the Terrible”, a notoriously sadistic guard at the
Treblinka death camp.

He was extradited to Israel in 1986 and sentenced to death in 1988, but
Israel’s Supreme Court overturned his conviction when new evidence showed
another man was probably “Ivan”.

The accused regained his citizenship, but the U.S. Justice Department refiled
its case against him in 1999, arguing he had worked for the Nazis as a guard
at three other death camps. His citizenship was stripped from him again in

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