Associated Press | 12May2009 | Ralf Isermann

Former Nazi death camp guard arrives in Germany

MUNICH, Germany (AFP) – An 89-year-old former Nazi death camp guard arrived in Germany on Tuesday after being deported from the United States to face the prospect of a trial for war crimes over the killing of 29,000 Jews.

After losing a months-long fight against deportation, John landed in a specially-chartered plane at an isolated area of Munich airport where he was met by officials from the state prosecutor's office.

Germany issued a warrant for Demjanjuk arrest on March 11, 2009 on charges of helping to murder 29,000 Jews during his time as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943.

According to German television, Demjanjuk was accompanied off the plane by a doctor and a priest who had flown with him on the overnight flight from Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport.

The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, who his family says is seriously ill, was expected to have the charges against him read out on his arrival and then be transferred to nearby [???] -- the same prison where Nazi leader Adolf Hitler served a month-long sentence in 1922 for disturbing the peace.

Demjanjuk is right at the top of Nazi hunters' , and was sentenced to death by an Israeli court two decades ago, suspected of being the feared death camp guard nicknamed "Ivan the Terrible" who would hack at naked prisoners with a sword.

That verdict was overturned in 1993 when statements from former guards identified another man as "Ivan the Terrible". Demjanjuk has always insisted he was forced to work for the Nazis and has been mistaken by survivors for other cruel guards.

German television reported that a survivor of the Sobibor camp, where he was a guard in 1943, could help confirm his identity.
[W.Z. Since 1977, through the 1981 denaturalization trial, through the 1987-1988 Jerusalem Show Trial, and especially since the exoneration of John Demjanjuk by the Israeli Supreme Court on 29July1993, the Holocaust Industry has been scouring the world for "survivors" (i.e. Jewish Nazi collaborators), who would identify John Demjanjuk as being present in Sobibor or any other German camps. They could find no one!]

This witness, 82-year-old Thomas Blatt, has described the conditions at Sobibor akin to a death factory.

"They abused us. They shot new arrivals who were old and sick and could not go on. And there were some who pushed naked people into the gas chambers with bayonets," Blatt told the latest edition of Spiegel magazine.

"Sobibor was a factory. Only a few hours passed between arrival and the burning of a body."
[W.Z. That is absolutely impossible!]

Demjanjuk's relatives however say there is nothing to tie him to any deaths at the camp.

"Given the history of this case and not a shred of evidence that he ever hurt one person let alone murdered anyone anywhere, this is inhuman even if the courts have said it is lawful," his son John wrote on Monday.

"This is not justice, it is a vendetta in the falsified name of justice with the hope that somehow Germany will atone for its past."

His family had argued that flying the wheelchair-bound octogenarian to Germany with, they said, kidney disease and blood disorders, would cause him pain amounting to torture. He was expected to undergo medical tests in prison.

Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre noted that if Demjanjuk comes to trial it "will probably be the last trial of a Nazi war criminal."

However, Kurt Schrimm, director of the Central Investigation Centre for Nazi Crimes, told the daily Leipziger Volkszeitung in an interview to appear Wednesday: "We still have a lot ahead of us this year. There are similar cases to that of Mr Demjanjuk."

The president of the Central Council for Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, said it was imperative that authorities now move swiftly.

"Now it is time to do everything legally possible to bring Demjanjuk before a court. This is a race against time," she said in a statement.

"This is not about revenge but rather about justice for those crimes of which the Munich prosecutor's office accuses (Demjanjuk)."

Demjanjuk was suspect number three in the latest report by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre on Nazi war criminals behind two others thought already dead.

His deportation marked the end of months of legal wrangling which culminated in an appeal to the US Supreme Court, which refused to hear his case.

Blatt said the German trial could have a cathartic effect for survivors.

"I do not care whether he goes to prison or not. It is the trial that is important to me. I want the truth. People need to know what it was like at Sobibor," he said.