Jewish Journal

U.S. Seizes Demjanjuk, But Court Halts Deportation

by Jay Firestone

April 14, 2009 | 9:15 pm

Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

[UPDATE]From Reuters:

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court halted the deportation of accused Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk on Tuesday, just hours after immigration agents carried him out of his Ohio home to send him to Germany for trial.

Following the ruling, Demjanjuk was released from custody, according to local media reports. He had returned home and was resting, they reported. More at Reuters.com.

From JTA:

Immigration officials removed John Demjanjuk from his home for deportation to Germany.

Family members told media they were caught unaware Tuesday afternoon when a van arrived to remove the former death camp guard from his suburban Cleveland home. One report said the ailing 89-year old was removed on a stretcher. CNN broadcast images of a white van headed for Cleveland’s airport.

In recent months, Germany has sought his extradition on charges related to the deaths of 29,000 Jews.

An Israeli court convicted Demjanjuk in 1988 of being the ruthless “Ivan the Terrible” at the Treblinka death camp. In 1993, Israel’s Supreme Court dismissed the charges and freed Demjanjuk because he could not be positively identified as “Ivan.”

The latter ruling upheld evidence that Demjanjuk had been a guard at another death camp, Sobibor, but reasoned that he had already served the sentence for that crime—seven years—waiting out the “Ivan” charges.

Demjanjuk returned to the Cleveland area and U.S. courts subsequently stripped him of his citizenship because he had lied about being a death camp guard. He and his family have appealed those orders for years.

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