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German court convicts former Nazi death camp guard

RIA Novosti

16:57 12/05/2011 MOSCOW, May 12 (RIA Novosti) - A Munich court on Thursday found Ukraine-born Ivan (John) Demjanjuk guilty of helping to kill Jews at a Nazi extermination camp and convicted him to five years in prison.

Demjanjuk, 91, was drafted into the Soviet army in 1940 and was serving in eastern Crimea in 1942 when he was captured by the Germans. Than he worked as a guard at the Sobibor concentration camp in occupied Poland. According to German prosecutors, Demjanjuk was involved in the murders of at least 27,900 Jews at the death camp between March and September 1943.

After the war, Demjanjuk lived in southern Germany, working as a driver. In 1952, he emigrated with his family to the United States, where he worked as an engine mechanic at a car plant. Demjanjuk was deported from the United States to Israel in 1986 to face allegations that he had served as a camp guard nicknamed Ivan the Terrible at Treblinka death camp. However, this accusation was not proved.

The Munich trial began in November 2009 and has attracted worldwide media attention. Demjanjuk attended the 18-month court proceedings in a wheelchair and sometimes lying down, with his family trying to argue that he was too infirm to stand trial.

His lawyers will appeal the verdict.



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