Convicted Nazi criminal John Demjanjuk dies 


Click to follow
The Independent Online

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 told The Associated Press that the 91-year-old died today at a home for the elderly in southern Germany where he has been staying since his trial ended in Munich last year. 

Demjanjuk had been released pending an appeal in a federal court, which had yet to take place. 

Steger says prosecutors in nearby Traunstein are looking into Demjanjuk's death as 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. 

At the trial, judges found that evidence showed Demjanjuk was a guard during World War II at the Nazis' Sobibor death camp in then-occupied Poland. They sentenced him to five years in prison. 

The case was viewed as one of the last — if not the last — major Nazi crimes trial. It also represented the first time someone was convicted in Germany on the basis only of having been a guard, without evidence of a specific killing. 

Ukraine-born Demjanjuk was a Soviet Red Army soldier captured by the Germans in Crimea in 1942. 

The Munich court found that he had agreed to serve the Nazis as a guard at Sobibor. Demjanjuk had consistently rejected the allegation, insisting he never served as a guard anywhere and was held in German camps himself for much of the war.