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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ivan the Terrible goes to hell

It's a pity that he died peacefully. He deserved to die painfully, like his (at least) 28,060 victims died.
John Demjanjuk, the Cleveland auto worker convicted for crimes he committed as a Nazi death camp guard, died in a German nursing home.

Demjanjuk, 91, died Saturday at an old-age home in southern Germany, where he was free while he appealed his conviction last year for his role in the murder of 28,060 people at the Sobibor death camp in Poland, NPR reported.

Demjanjuk, born and raised in Ukraine, was first identified as "Ivan the Terrible," a notoriously sadistic guard at the Treblinka death camp, in the 1970s. In 1986, U.S. authorities deported him to Israel. A court there sentenced him to death, but during his appeal process the Israeli prosecution uncovered evidence suggesting that another man who had died in the Soviet Gulag in the 1950s was "Ivan."

The Israeli Supreme Court ordered him released, noting, however, that substantial evidence emerged during the trial identifying him as a guard at Sobibor. He returned to Cleveland in 1993, and resisted multiple attempts to strip him of his citizenship and deport him again.

But he lost that battle in 2009, and U.S. authorities deported him to Germany. In May 2010, he was convicted for his crimes in Sobibor, and he was sentenced to five years in prison. The decision to allow him to remain free during the appeal process was criticized by many Jewish groups.
But former Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner, who was on the court when it ordered Demjanjuk released, is convinced that he really was Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka.
"I believe without a shadow of a doubt that he was 'Ivan the Terrible'," she told Ynet on Saturday. "But I still support the Supreme Court verdict that ruled he could not be convicted due to reasonable doubt."


"The man who was executed as 'Ivan the Terrible' does not resemble Demjanjuk in any way, who was identified by 11 Holocaust survivors as Ivan the Terrible, and that is why I personally believe he was in fact that person," she said.

"The most important thing is that these terrible times are on the public agenda again and they must be remembered, so such things never happen to us again."
Nazi hunter Ephraim Zuroff points out a positive result that came out of Demjanjuk's trial.
“This is the first time a war criminal was convicted in Germany without proof of a specific crime,” said Efraim Zuroff, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Israel. “This has paved the way for more to come.”

Zuroff, who spoke on Saturday over the phone from Riga, Latvia, where he attended an anti-fascist rally, said the legal precedent could lead to the trial of up to 80 other former guards.

“If only 2 percent of the 4,000 people who guarded the camps then are alive then we might convict up to 80 people,” he said.

The Jewish official said his organization was offering a reward of up to 25,000 euros for the indictment and conviction of a Nazi war criminal.
Unfortunately, Demjanjuk died peacefully. Hopefully they're firing up the ovens in hell today.

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