Survivors shed tears during Demjanjuk trial

MUNICH (WJC) — In the war crimes trial against Ivan (John) Demjanjuk, which resumed on Monday, Holocaust survivors gave testimony. The court rejected a defense motion to suspend the trial and release Demjanjuk, who complained about back problems. Prosecutors accuse him of assisting in the killing of 27,900 Jews at the Nazi death camp Sobibor in occupied Poland during World War II.

Demjanjuk showed no emotion as 12 plaintiffs, some of them with tears in their eyes and their voices breaking, described how they had survived the Holocaust while their relatives perished.
A prison official quoted in the German newspaper ‘die tageszeitung’ said that Demjanjuk regularly took breaks in the prison yard, either in his wheelchair or with the assistance of a walker. He also had been reading Ukrainian newspapers and preparing meals of salad.

Demjanjuk denies he was involved in the Holocaust and his family insists he is too frail to stand trial. His attorney Ulrich Busch provoked outrage on Monday when he asked one of the survivors: “Do you believe the Judenpolizei was worse than the Nazis?” Busch said he had read that the Jewish support officers in the Dutch collective camp of Westerbork treated the Jews who were sent to Sobibor much worse than the SS did. When the court and the lawyers of the plaintiffs asked where he had found the information he could not name a source but said: “If you google it, you’ll find it.”

Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

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