Former Nazi guard Demjanjuk may have had son in Poland
A DNA comparison could clarify whether Demjanjuk, who is facing trial in Germany for activities at a different camp in Poland, Sobibor, is indeed "Ivan the Terrible."
Warsaw -- John Demjanjuk, recently deported from the United States to Germany on suspicion of war crimes, may have had a son with a Polish girl living near a Nazi death camp where he worked, a Polish newspaper reported Wednesday.
Jadwiga Kucharek was 16 when she was forced to have sex with a guard at the Treblinka camp identified as the brutal "Ivan the Terrible," who specialised in hacking at naked prisoners with a sword.
In 1943 Kucharek gave birth to a son, according to her friend Irena Pylka, quoted by Poland's liberal Gazeta Wyborcza daily.
"She was very beautiful, she had blond hair. He noticed her straight away," Pylka recalled. "The camp guards either raped girls or paid them with gold," she said.
Demjanjuk, born Ivan Demjanjuk in Ukraine and now aged 89, has long been suspected of being "Ivan the Terrible," something he flatly denies.
Having been convicted as such, Demjanjuk spent five years on death row in Israel before being acquitted in 1993 when the verdict was overturned for lack of conclusive proof that he was the right man.
Jadwiga Kucharek and Demjanjuk's presumed son, Wladyslaw Buczynski, died several years ago. But Buczynski's three children and eight grandchildren live in Poland.
Gazeta said a DNA comparison could clarify whether Demjanjuk, who is facing trial in Germany for activities at a different camp in Poland, Sobibor, is indeed "Ivan the Terrible."
Twenty years ago Nazi death camp survivors identified Demjanjuk, employed for decades as an Ohio autoworker, as the notorious "Ivan the Terrible."
Israel freed him when KGB files came to light naming another man, Ivan Marchenko, and Demjanjuk returned to the United States.
On Monday he was deported to Germany for trial on different war crimes allegations, that as a guard at Sobibor he assisted in the murder of at least 29,000 Jews.
Authorities in the Munich prison where Demjanjuk is being held said Wednesday he is fit to stay in jail as he awaits formal charges.
Doctors must still determine whether Demjanjuk is fit to undergo the stress of an inevitably lengthy trial, but prosecutors said the additional medical checks could take some time.