Freed Nazi guard looking for home

13th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

German authorities are searching high and low for a home for former nazi camp guard John Demjanjuk, whose release from jail was ordered by a court Thursday, the prison director said Friday.

Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, 91, was sentenced to five years imprisonment by the court on Thursday for assisting in the killing of almost 30,000 people while a guard at the Sobibor extermination camp in German-occupied Poland in 1943.

But he was immediately set free, pending a final decision by a federal court and possible appeal, as he had already served two years in prison.

His lawyer, Ulrich Busch, said Thursday evening he would be placed in the care of social services, or put up by the Ukrainian community in this southern German city.

But the director of the Munich-Stadelheim prison, Michael Stumpf, told AFP Friday that Demjanjuk had returned to his prison bed Thursday evening. Because of poor health, he has spent the past two years in the jail's hospital wing.

"We are still looking for an institution that will take him in," Stumpf said Friday. Because nothing has been found so far, Demjanjuk might spend yet another night in prison, he added.

Demjanjuk himself asked to be taken back to the prison at the end of his trial because he is familiar with its surroundings after spending two years there after being extradited from the United States, Stumpf said.

Ordering his release presiding judge Ralph Alt said he no longer posed a threat to society and was unlikely to be able to leave the country as he is stateless after the United States revoked his citizenship.

His family lives in the United States.

© 2011 AFP

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