June 14, 2012
Demjanjuk’s death hastened by medication, complaint says
An attorney for convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk filed a complaint with German prosecutors claiming that his death was hastened by medication administered at a nursing home in Bavaria.
Ulrich Busch asked prosecutors in Rosenheim, Bavaria, in a 12-page complaint to open an investigation of five doctors and a nurse, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.
The complaint posits that a specific pain medication, common in Germany but banned in the United States, led to Demjanjuk’s death in March as he awaited an appeal of his conviction last year by a Munich court for his role in the murder of 27,900 people at the Sobibor death camp in Poland.
Born and raised in Ukraine, Demjanjuk immigrated to the United States following World War II. In 1986 the Cleveland-area autoworker was sent to Israel to face trial on charges of being the notorious Treblinka guard “Ivan the Terrible.” An Israeli court sentenced Demjanjuk to death, but the Israeli Supreme Court ordered him released due to reasonable doubt while noting that substantial evidence emerged during the trial identifying him as a guard at Sobibor.
Demjanjuk returned to suburban Cleveland in 1993 and resisted multiple attempts to strip him of his U.S. citizenship and deport him again. But in 2009, U.S. authorities deported him to Germany, and in May 2011 he was convicted for his crimes in Sobibor. Demjanjuk was sentenced to five years in prison.