Ex nazi guard Demjanjuk dead at 91

2012-03-18 15:28

Berlin - John Demjanjuk, convicted last year for his role in killing 28 000 Jews at a Nazi death camp during World War Two, died on Saturday aged 91 in a care home in southern Germany, police said.

A Munich court convicted Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk in May 2011 of helping to kill the Jews at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. He was sentenced to five years in prison but freed because of his age.

The Bavarian police said in a statement Demjanjuk had died in the early hours of Saturday at the care home near Rosenheim, south of Munich, where he had been living.

Demjanjuk was extradited to Germany from his home in the United States in 2009 to stand trial. He attended the 18-month court proceedings in Munich - birthplace of Adolf Hitler's Nazi movement - in a wheelchair and sometimes lying down.

He denied the charges against him but otherwise did not speak at his trial.

The court verdict said guards had played a key role at extermination camps like Sobibor, where at least 250 000 Jews are thought to have been killed despite only 20 German SS officers being there.

Once top of the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of most wanted Nazi criminals, Demjanjuk said he was drafted into the Soviet army in 1941 and then taken prisoner by the Germans.

Prosecutors had faced several hurdles in proving Demjanjuk's guilt, with no surviving witnesses to his crimes and heavy reliance on wartime documents, namely a Nazi ID card indicating he had worked at Sobibor.

Demjanjuk was initially sentenced to death two decades ago in Israel for being the so-called "Ivan the Terrible" camp guard at Treblinka in Poland.

The guilty verdict was overturned on appeal by Israel's supreme court in 1993 after new evidence emerged pointing to a case of mistaken identity.

Demjanjuk emigrated to the United States in the early 1950s and became a naturalised citizen in 1958, working as an engine mechanic in Ohio.

Read more on:    germany  |  nazi crimes
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Use the first part of the day to visualise your plan and later you will be able to network and delegate things to work more...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.