Demjanjuk Convicted for Role in Nazi Death Camp
Retired Ohio autoworker sentenced to five years
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2011 7:20 AM CDT
John Demjanjuk arrives at the court in Munich, southern Germany, on Thursday, May 12, 2011.   (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

(Newser) – John Demjanjuk, the retired Ohio autoworker charged with 28,060 counts of being an accessory to murder at a Nazi death camp, was convicted and sentenced today to five years in prison. Demjanjuk, a native of Ukraine, was accused of being a guard at Nazi-occupied Poland's Sobibor camp where thousands died. There was no evidence he committed a specific crime. The prosecution was based on the theory that if Demjanjuk was at the camp, he was a participant in the killing—the first time such a legal argument has been made in German courts.

The 91-year-old, who showed no emotion as the verdict was announced, insists he fought against the Germans as a Soviet soldier, and was captured and held as a POW before joining a force of anti-communist Soviet POWs to fight with the Germans toward the end of the war. His defense has pledged to appeal, the AP reports. Click for more background on Demjanjuk.