Dutch Jews urge Demjanjuk conviction

14th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Dutch Jews were among the 40 Holocaust survivors or relatives of Holocaust victims who asked a German court on Thursday to sentence John Demjanjuk to the maximum 15-year prison term.

Fourteen Dutch people read their pleas, in addition to the only Dutch lawyer involved in the case, Manuel Bloch, who is representing other victims’ relatives.

Attorney Bloch told the court “the evidence against Demjanjuk is abundant and fits together like a puzzle. The picture that emerges is crystal clear.” 

Demjanjuk stands accused of more than 28,000 counts of accessory to murder while he was allegedly a guard at the Nazi Sobibor concentration camp.

Dutchman Paul Hellmann said, “Demjanjuk is the only one from whom we’ve heard nothing the whole time. He should have said a few words, seven or eight would have been enough. I’m sorry, I’m very sorry for what I’ve done.”

One Dutch survivor toward Demjanjuk. "Out of my respect for my humanist parents," said 90-year-old Jules Schelvis, "I ask the court to enter a finding of guilty against this aged man, who has already spent nine years in jail, but not to punish him."

Demjanjuk’s defence attorney attempted to have the trial delayed to allow him time to examine new material found in a US FBI file. On Thursday, the judge rejected the request. A verdict is expected next month.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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