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Suspected Nazi Guard John Demjanjuk Finally Makes it to Germany to Stand Trial

John Demjanjuk/msnbc

John Demjanjuk/msnbc

After one appeal after another, suspected Nazi John Demjanjuk made it to Germany to stand trial. Questions remain: Will he be physically fit to stand trial and will some legal entanglements keep him from trial?

By NICHOLAS KULISH
New York Times
BERLIN — John Demjanjuk of Seven Hills, Ohio, born Ivan Demjanjuk in Ukraine in 1920, was deported for the second time by the United States on Monday, accused of crimes committed as a Nazi death-camp guard.

The first time was 23 years ago, and he was bound for worldwide notoriety, accused of being the unfathomably cruel ”Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka,” one of the Holocaust’s most infamous sadists. He was convicted and sentenced to death in Israel, before new evidence won him a reprieve and eventually a trip back to the United States and the return of his stripped citizenship.

But the wheels of justice began to grind again, and the whole process has repeated itself step by step. Monday night, a frailer Mr. Demjanjuk, now 89 and once again stateless, boarded a special medically equipped airplane, this time bound for Germany, federal officials said, where he is accused of being an accessory in the murder of 29,000 Jews while working as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in eastern Poland.

Investigators say that the documentary evidence is strong and that they will be able to prove that Mr. Demjanjuk was a living cog in a killing factory, where some 250,000 people were put to death in just one and a half years of operation.

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