German authorities issued an arrest warrant on March 11, 2009 for alleged n=Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk aka Ivan the Terrible. John Demjanjuk was a Nazi guard at Sobibor Concentration Camp in today’s Poland and is believed to be responsible for killing of 29,000 Jews.
John Demjanjuk was born in the Ukraine but lived in the USA since 1952. He was first identified as Ivan the Terrible in 1977 when former prisoner from Treblinka Concentration Camp recognized him. USA extradicted him to Israel in 1986 where he was sentenced to death, but later released after another Nazi guard – Ivan Marchenko was identified by Soviet KGB as Ivan the Terrible in 1993.
John Demjanjuk returned to the USA, but his citizenship has been taken away for lying about his wartime activities. He remained in Cleveland, Ohio but was under constant watch. US authorities re-initiated investigation against him in 1999 after new witnesses identified him as Nazi Sobibor death camp guard who was seen abusing Jews by kicking them and hitting them with rifle butt.
The name of John Demjanjuk remains on a Simon Wiesenthal Center list of the most wanted Nazi war criminals. Germany now claim that they have new evidence he is the camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible and their newly obtained materials allow them to pursue the case. A German court expects US authorities to expell John Demjanjuk and if it doesn’t happen, they will follow up with a formal extradition request.
Retired automotive worker John Demjanjuk is now 88 year old. He’s charged with more than 29 thousand counts of accessory to murder. He denies the charges and denies that he’s Ivan the Terrible from Sobibor Concentration Camp. His son says that John Demjanjuk is not in good enough health to take on a long distance flight. His wife says they just want to live the rest of their lives and die in peace. It would be interesting to know what kind of evidence Germans came by. Is John Demjanjuk really Ivan the Terrible? If he is Ivan the Terrible, why the hell would he come back to Cleveland after spending 6 years on a death row in Israel. Why would he not go to some lawless country, like Costa Rica? I’m also curious – John Demjanjuk was once tried for being Ivan the Terrible, was found guilty first but then found innocent after another man was identified as Ivan the Terrible. I mean, doesn’t international law commands that one man can only be charged for the same crime once?