US federal agents took a Nazi war criminal into custody Monday pending his deportation to Germany to face charges in the murder of 29,000 Jews HY”D people during the Holocaust. The agents placed John Demjanjuk, 89, into an ambulance outside his Seven Hills, Ohio home in the outskirts of Cleveland. He was taken into custody days after the Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal blocking his deportation.
German Justice Department officials have said they expect Demjanjuk to arrive on Tuesday. Prosecutors in Munich issued an arrest warrant for him in March, setting off legal steps by the US government to send him to Germany.
Demjanjuk’s attorneys had been able to delay his deportation by arguing in court that he was ill and that transporting him across the Atlantic could pose life threatening risks to his health.
Lower courts had dismissed the arguments, ruling that the US government was providing adequate health care for the trip. Demjanjuk attorney John Broadley could not be immediately reached for comment.
German authorities allege that the Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, then 23, worked from March-September 1943 as a guard in Nazi-occupied Poland at the Sobibor concentration camp, where at least 29,000 people were executed during that time.
Following World War II, Demjanjuk lived in Germany as a refugee until 1952 when he changed his first name from Ivan to John and moved to the United States. He has since been stripped of his citizenship.
Demjanjuk was acquitted in 1993 by the Israeli Supreme Court of charges that he worked at a different death camp, Treblinka, saving him from the death sentence of a lower court in Israel.
(Source: Earth Times)