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Never-before-seen photographs, apparently depicting former concentration camp guard John Demjanjuk at work in the Sobibor death camp, were revealed to the public in Berlin on Tuesday.
Two sensational photos, which might prove the Ukrainian collaborator had worked in a Nazi extermination camp in Poland – a fact Demjanjuk denied till his death – have been shown to public for the first time by Berlin’s Topography of Terror museum, during the presentation “Photos from Sobibor” book, containing some of the recently discovered 350 picture archive of Sobibor’s former deputy commandant Johann Niemann.
According to Martin Cuppers, German historian from the University of Stuttgart and one of the editors of “Photos from Sobibor” book, “it is probably possible to see Ivan Demjanjuk in the Niemann photo collection.”
“We consulted with the State Criminal Investigation Office of Baden Wuertemberg in order to make comparisons with later photos of Ivan Demjanjuk. Is it really Demjanjuk? And the result of the modern police investigation was, yes it is probably him,” added Cuppers.
In 1986, Demjanjuk was charged in Israel as being “Ivan the Terrible,” a Ukrainian guard who tortured Jews at the Treblinka death camp. He was convicted and sentenced to death, but years later, in 1993, Israel’s Supreme Court overturned the conviction, based on new information obtained after the fall of the Soviet Union.
The court, however, said the Nazis had trained him as a guard and that he served at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. Demjanjuk returned to the United States, and a judge reinstated his citizenship. In 1999, federal prosecutors again sought his deportation and his US citizenship was later revoked in 2002.
Demjanjuk was later extradited to Germany in 2009, where he was tried for his role as a guard in Sobibor and in 2011 convicted as an accessory to the murder of 28,000 Jews and sentenced to 5 years in prison. He died in 2012 while living at an old peoples’ home while awaiting a decision on his appeal.
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