Associated Press | 12May2009 | Ralf Isermann
Former Nazi death camp guard arrives in Germany
MUNICH, Germany (AFP) – An 89-year-old former Nazi death camp guard
arrived in Germany on Tuesday after being deported from the United
States to face the prospect of a trial for war crimes over the killing
of 29,000 Jews.
After losing a months-long fight against deportation, John landed in a
specially-chartered plane at an isolated area of Munich airport where
he was met by officials from the state prosecutor's office.
Germany issued a warrant for Demjanjuk arrest on March 11, 2009 on
charges of helping to murder 29,000 Jews during his time as a guard at
the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943.
According to German television, Demjanjuk was accompanied off the plane
by a doctor and a priest who had flown with him on the overnight flight
from Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport.
The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, who his family says is seriously ill, was
expected to have the charges against him read out on his arrival and
then be transferred to nearby [???]
-- the same prison where Nazi leader Adolf Hitler served a month-long
sentence in 1922 for disturbing the peace.
Demjanjuk is right at the top of Nazi hunters' , and was sentenced to
death by an Israeli court two decades ago, suspected of being the
feared death camp guard nicknamed "Ivan the Terrible" who would hack at
naked prisoners with a sword.
That verdict was overturned in 1993 when statements from former guards
identified another man as "Ivan the Terrible". Demjanjuk has always
insisted he was forced to work for the Nazis and has been mistaken by
survivors for other cruel guards.
German television reported that a survivor of the Sobibor camp, where
he was a guard in 1943, could help confirm his identity.
Since 1977, through the 1981 denaturalization trial, through the
1987-1988 Jerusalem Show Trial, and especially since the exoneration of
John Demjanjuk by the Israeli Supreme Court on 29July1993, the
Holocaust Industry has been scouring the world for "survivors" (i.e.
Jewish Nazi collaborators), who would identify John Demjanjuk as being
present in Sobibor or any other German camps. They could find no one!]
This witness, 82-year-old Thomas Blatt, has described the conditions at
Sobibor akin to a death factory.
"They abused us. They shot new arrivals who were old and sick and could
not go on. And there were some who pushed naked people into the gas
chambers with bayonets," Blatt told the latest edition of Spiegel
"Sobibor was a factory. Only a few hours passed between arrival and the
burning of a body."
That is absolutely impossible!]
Demjanjuk's relatives however say there is nothing to tie him to any
deaths at the camp.
"Given the history of this case and not a shred of evidence that he
ever hurt one person let alone murdered anyone anywhere, this is
inhuman even if the courts have said it is lawful," his son John wrote
"This is not justice, it is a vendetta in the falsified name of justice
with the hope that somehow Germany will atone for its past."
His family had argued that flying the wheelchair-bound octogenarian to
Germany with, they said, kidney disease and blood disorders, would
cause him pain amounting to torture. He was expected to undergo medical
tests in prison.
Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre
noted that if Demjanjuk comes to trial it "will probably be the last
trial of a Nazi war criminal."
However, Kurt Schrimm, director of the Central Investigation Centre for
Nazi Crimes, told the daily Leipziger Volkszeitung in an interview to
appear Wednesday: "We still have a lot ahead of us this year. There are
similar cases to that of Mr Demjanjuk."
The president of the Central Council for Jews in Germany, Charlotte
Knobloch, said it was imperative that authorities now move swiftly.
"Now it is time to do everything legally possible to bring Demjanjuk
before a court. This is a race against time," she said in a statement.
"This is not about revenge but rather about justice for those crimes of
which the Munich prosecutor's office accuses (Demjanjuk)."
Demjanjuk was suspect number three in the latest report by the Simon
Wiesenthal Centre on Nazi war criminals behind two others thought
His deportation marked the end of months of legal wrangling which
culminated in an appeal to the US Supreme Court, which refused to hear
Blatt said the German trial could have a cathartic effect for
"I do not care whether he goes to prison or not. It is the trial that
is important to me. I want the truth. People need to know what it was
like at Sobibor," he said.