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Demjanjuk indicted in Germany

BERLIN (JTA) — Convicted Nazi guard John Demjanjuk was formally charged with being an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews.

The Munich State Prosecutor on Monday issued the indictment accusing Demjanjuk of being an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews at the Sobibor death camp in Poland. No date has yet been set for a trial, but Demjanjuk’s attorney has suggested it will not take place before the end of September.

The 89-year-old retired autoworker, who has spent most of the postwar period as a United States citizen, was extradited to Germany in May and has been held since then in a Munich prison. 

According to the German Press Association, Demjanjuk was formally accused of having been a guard at Sobibor, where he allegedly drove thousands of victims into gas chambers. Among the evidence against him is an SS identification. His name is also on a 1943 list showing that he was transferred to Sobibor, the press group noted.

Earlier this month, Demjanjuk was declared medically fit to stand trial, but medical experts said he could not be on the stand longer than three hours per day, broken up into two segments.

Demjanjuk, who was born in Ukraine, has claimed that he was a Soviet prisoner of war in a German prison camp.

He reportedly was later trained to be a guard, and was transferred from an agricultural posting to Sobibor, where he stayed for seven months before being transferred to the concentration camp at Flossenbuürg. After the war he was labeled a "displaced person" and in 1952 immigrated to the United States.

Germany was able to apply for his extradition after Demjanjuk was stripped of his U.S. citizenship for lying about his Nazi past.
 

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