Kyiv Post | 05May2011 | Associated Press
Demjanjuk attorney: Client
suffered like Jews did
MUNICH (AP) -- John Demjanjuk's attorney
argued Thursday [05May2005] for his client's acquittal on 28,060 counts of
accessory to murder at the Nazis' Sobibor death camp, saying the
91-year-old alleged former guard suffered as much as the Jews did at
the hands of Nazis.
The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk was a young Soviet army soldier when he
was captured in 1942 by the Nazis during World War II and thrown into a
prisoner of war camp.
Prosecutors say after that, he agreed to serve as a guard and trained
at the SS Trawniki camp before being sent to Sobibor.
But Demjanjuk says he was held prisoner for most of the rest of the war
and never served as a guard in any camp.
In his third day of closing arguments, attorney Ulrich Busch said
Ukrainians and other Soviet prisoners were held in what amounted to
death camps themselves, where millions died.
"They were considered subhuman; Jews, Ukrainians or Gypsies did not
count" for the Nazis, he told the court.
Several members of Munich's Ukrainian community appeared in court to
support Demjanjuk, who lay in a bed as he has for most of the trial,
wearing sunglasses and showing no reaction.
Cornelius Nestler, who represents the families of Sobibor victims who
have joined the trial as co-plaintiffs, accused Busch outside the court
of distorting history.
"Mr. Busch has built a parallel world that has nothing to do with the
truths we have heard in the courtroom," he told reporters.
But Demjanjuk's son, John Demjanjuk Jr., said the comparison Busch made
"Trial records confirmed 3.5 million Soviet POWs died in German
captivity -- a POW holocaust by starvation," he said in an email to The
Associated Press. "My father survived such torture under the rule of
Stalin as a child and at the hands of the Nazis as a young man. One
people's suffering should not be greater than another."
Busch resumes his closing arguments on May 10, with a verdict possible
by May 12, 2011.