John Demjanjuk: Sixty Years Later, Alleged Nazi Guard May Stand Trial





John Demjanjuk has been living in the United States for more than 50 years. Now a German court is considering prosecuting him for his alleged crimes as a Nazi prison guard. It would be a coup for Nazi hunters, but legal details stand in the way of a trial.

In his first appearance before the global public, Ivan "John" Demjanjuk chose to be provocative. After arriving in Tel Aviv on a flight from New York, he tried to kneel down and kiss the ground of the Holy Land, but his guards pulled him back.

In a Jerusalem courtroom Demjanjuk, accused of being a Holocaust henchman of the SS, cheerfully greeted the participants in Hebrew, and during the trial he irritated everyone by blowing kisses and doing stretching exercises.

That was then. Now, 15 years after being acquitted in Israel, Demjanjuk could be flown to a foreign country once again to be put on trial, this time in Germany. Last week the Central Office of the State Justice Administration for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes in the southwestern German city of Ludwigsburg concluded its preliminary investigation and submitted a 140-page final report to the public prosecutor's office in Munich.


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