Skip to comments.John Demjanjuk found guilty of helping kill Jews in Nazi death camp
Posted on 05/12/2011 7:08:48 AM PDT by Old Teufel Hunden
MUNICH A German court sentenced John Demjanjuk to five years in prison on Thursday for his role in the killing of 27,900 Jews at a Nazi death camp.
Lawyers for Ukraine-born Demjanjuk said they would appeal the verdict.
The Munich court found the 91-year-old guilty of being an accessory to mass murder as a guard at Sobibor camp in Poland during the Second World War.
Demjanjuk, who emigrated to the United States in the early 1950s, became a naturalized citizen in 1958 and worked as an engine mechanic in Ohio, had been exonerated in a separate Holocaust trial two decades ago in Israel. In that trial he was initially sentenced to death for being the notorious "Ivan the Terrible'' camp guard at Treblinka in Poland, but the ruling was overturned by Israel's supreme court after new evidence exonerated him.
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.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
The Holocaust was tragic indeed. However, if he was a Russian POW who was forced to either be a guard at this camp is be killed, is this something that he should do jail time for?
But and However
Says it all about how you feel
I share your doubts and always have. And, as you say, the Holocaust was a horrible thing but I believe that there is probably a great deal of overreach in ferreting out the guilty. It is as though several people die as a result of eating spoiled food at a restaurant and the authorities set about to prosecute the busboy.
I agree... This poor ole coots main sin is living too long. Hes been tried several times, including U S federal court in Cleveland where is was a retired auto worker. He said it was a case of mistaken identity. That yes, he was a guard, but no he was not a bad guy. He was forced by Nazis to work in the camp. I have followed the case and therefore have some doubts as to the validity of the guilty finding, but leave it to the Germans to take it out on this schlub to sooth their collective guilt. [Not defending him if he IS guilty - just as it is obvious that OJ was guilty and got away with it, this guy may have been at the wrong place at the wrong time and may be a scapegoat]
Prosecute his kids?
If only the Germans went after their own war criminals with the vigor that they pursued the Ukrainian, Demjanjuk.
More like a “busboy” who daily reported to work knowing murder and cannibalism was going on in the kitchen - and he bussed tables under the stench of burning human flesh, death and decay.
But hey! Work is work, right?/s
German citizens are exempted from prosecution for NAZI collaboration in Germany. If Demjanjuk had become a German citizen instead of an American, he could not have been put on trial. The same exemption applies for Israeli citizens in Israel.
What could Demjanjuk do? If he somehow managed to escape the Nazis and return to the Soviet Union, they would have killed him, because Stalin’s policy was that any Red Army soldiers who were taken prisoner were traitors and subject to the death penalty.
Well it wasn’t like he was an innocent busboy. He knew they were serving up death on an industrial scale. He may not have had many attractive options - but it wasn’t like he didn’t know what was going on.
That was my point.
There aren’t enough jail cells in the world to hold everyone who knew what was going on. Certainly the vast majority of Wehrmacht soldiers knew what was going on, but they weren’t prosecuted.
They’ve gone after their own war criminals with a lot more vigor then, say, the Russians have over Katyn. But then again, they were under a lot more pressure from us than the Russians ever have been.
That's setting a pretty low bar.
Wasn’t he also tried, convicted in Israel?
His conviction was later overturned by the Israel supreme court and he was ordered released by the same.
I don’t believe there’s a time limit on justice, particularly for the crimes of The Holocaust, but I hope that this guy got a fair trial because it seemed that nobody could get a clear verdict.
The German guards who worked alongside Demjanjuk and any Jewish collaborators are exempt. Only the Slavs are prosecuted. Is that justice?
The only good news here is that if this guy is past 90 then there’s gotta be few if any left to hunt down. This is been Israel’s and the Jewish disapora’s obsession for 70+ years now.
I’m sorry for the crudity, but it is time to move on. My grandpa stopped harboring grudges against Japanese people around 1980.
I would agree if he were an SS member who volunteered to join the SS, and got assigned to the camp, that would be one thing. People knew when they joined the SS what they were all about. A German was not forced to join the SS, it was strictly voluntary.
Demjanjuk’s only choices were to be a guard, or get a bullet in the brain. I think that should be a clear distinction.
I am all for going after all legitimate Nazi war criminals, even if they’re over 100, Demjanjuk was not such a case. People still thought he was “Ivan the Terrible”, if he was never originally identified as him, he probably never would have gotten prosecuted again.
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