German Nazi hunters compile Demjanjuk case

11th November 2008, Comments 0 comments

Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk is accused of having participated in the murder in 1943 of at least 29,000 European Jews at the death camps in Sobibor and Treblinka.

Ludwigsburg, Germany -- German investigators handed over on Monday what they said was adequate evidence to try a former Ukrainian, Ivan John Demjanjuk, for Nazi war crimes.

The file was compiled by the German national office on Nazi crimes.

The head of the office, Kurt Schrimm, said he hopes the prosecutors in Munich will seek extradition of 88-year-old Demjanjuk from the United States, where he immigrated in the 1950s and worked in the car industry.

Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk is accused of having participated in the murder in 1943 of at least 29,000 European Jews at the death camps in Sobibor and Treblinka, Poland, during World War II.

US authorities extradited him to Israel in 1986 after his alleged role in the Holocaust became known in the 1970s.

He was accused of crimes committed at the Treblinka death camp, where survivors said he was given the nickname Ivan the Terrible for his alleged crimes.

Demjanjuk was found guilty and sentenced to death in 1988 but the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the verdict in 1990, saying that it could not be proven that he was the same person as Ivan the Terrible.

The German Nazi hunters are now convinced that their investigation has brought new evidence about his activities in Sobibor. They said Germany has jurisdiction because 1,900 Jewish victims were German citizens.

Currently Demjanjuk is stateless and Ukraine refuses to take him back. Munich prosecutors are to be asked to take on the case because Demjanjuk lived near there until moving to the United States in 1952.

Schrimm said the decision was up to the Munich prosecutors. His team had provided hundreds of pages of documentation from archives in Israel, the United States and various sites in Germany.

The investigation office, which has faced criticism from Israeli-based groups for not delivering results, celebrates its 50th anniversary on Dec. 1.

DPA/Expatica

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