John Demjanjuk, the retired US car-worker convicted of being a guard at the Nazis' Sobibor death camp, died yesterday. He was 91. Demjanjuk was convicted in May 2011 of 28,060 counts of being an accessory to murder and was sentenced to five years in prison, but died a free man in a nursing home in Bad Feilnbach, Bavaria. He had been released pending his appeal, and had steadfastly maintained he was mistaken for someone else.
Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk's conviction was the first time someone had been found guilty solely for serving as a camp guard, with no evidence of being involved in specific killings. Presiding over the trial, Judge Ralph Alt said: "The court is convinced the defendant served as a guard at Sobibor."
Yehuda Bauer, the Israeli Holocaust scholar, said: "You don't let people, even if they were only junior staff, get away from responsibility."
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