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Ex-nazi Goes on Trial

February 10, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

— A trial, expected to last as long as seven weeks, to determine whether John Demjanjuk, a 60-year old naturalized citizen of Ukrainian orgin lied about his participation in Nazi war crimes when he applied for citizenship in 1958, will open in U.S. District Court here tomorrow before federal Judge Frank Battisti.

Demjanjuk, a Ford assembly line worker since 1952, has been charged by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) with supplying false information about his activities in World War II. If the charges are proven, he could be stripped of citizenship and face deportation proceedings.

The INS contended that Demjanjuk served as a guard in the Nazi extermination camps at Treblinka and Sobibor in Poland in 1942-1943, that he tortured countless inmates and herded Jews into the gas chambers. Demjanjuk insists that he was a prisoner of war at that time.

U.S Attorneys Norman Moscowitz and John Horrigan are expected to fly in nine survivors from Germany, Israel and Uruguay to testify against Demjanjuk. The INS began its investigation into his background five years ago on the basis of affidavits from death camp survivors detailing atrocities allegedly committed by Demjanjuk who they referred to as “Ivan the Terrible.” His first name at the time was Iwan.

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