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John Demjanjuk
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Military Personnel
    (April 3, 1920-March 17, 2012)
    Born in Dubovi Makharyntsi, Ukraine
    Birth name was Ivan Demianiuk
    Soldier in the Red Army
    Taken prisoner by Germany in the Crimea
    Joined the anti-Soviet Russian Liberation Army
    Emigrated to the United States (1952) and became an American citizen (1958)
    Became an autoworker in Cleveland, Ohio
    Deported to Israel to stand trial on charges that he was 'Ivan the Terrible,' a notorious guard at the Teblinka and Sobibor death camps (1986)
    Found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death (1988)
    Conviction overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court (1993)
    US citizenship restored by a federal appeals court (1998)
    Deported to Germany (2009)
    Convicted as an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews in the Sobibor concentration camp (May 12, 2011)
    Died in a German nursing home while free on appeal
    German and Soviet records showed that he went to Trawniki, where concentration camp guards recruited from the ranks of Soviet POWs were trained.
    He admitted that a scar under his armpit was from an SS tattoo he removed after the war.
    He lied on US immigration forms.
    During his televised trial in Israel, he blew kisses to the crowd and gave a 'Hello, Cleveland' shout out to the cameras.
    He tried to prevent his deportation to Germany by claiming that, due to his failing health, it would constitute 'torture,' which was a pretty ballsy choice of word considering the crimes he was accused of.
    In response to protests that he was convicted solely on the basis of being a camp guard rather for specific criminal acts, Helen Hyde noted, 'If the argument is that he was just a cog in the wheel, the cogs are still human individuals with a mind of their own.'
    He claimed that he lied to immigration authorities not to cover up participation in war crimes but to avoid being returned to the Soviet Union.
    KGB files released after the collapse of the USSR included statements from 37 former Treblinka guards identifying Ivan the Terrible as Ivan Marchenko.
    In addition, evidence emerged suggesting that the SS identity card that identified Demjanjuk as a Treblinka guard was a KGB forgery.
    The main evidence against him during his German trial was another SS ID card that had emerged from the Russian archives.
    FBI document experts doubted the authenticity of the ID card.
    He and Vera Kowlowa were married for over 60 years until his death.

Credit: C. Fishel

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