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He Long Denied Role in 28K Deaths. Now, This

Historian says this is John Demjanjuk
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2020 2:29 PM CST

(Newser) – Two newly released photos might confirm what John Demjanjuk long denied—his service as a Nazi death camp guard, the LA Times reports. The Ukrainian-born American claimed he was never at the Sobibor death camp, where more than 167,000 Jews were murdered, and died in 2012 appealing a conviction over his role there. Now a Berlin museum has released a collection of Sobibor photos, two of which appear to include Demjanjuk. "We had a suspicion it was him and we were able to enlist the support of the state police," says historian Martin Cuppers. "They used modern investigation tools such as biometrics to conclude 'this is the same person' as Demjanjuk."

Each photo shows a possible young Demjanjuk with around 20 officers, and one of them is up close, per Cleveland.com. The date on that photo also matches the timing of Demjanjuk's March 1943 transfer to the camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. Demjanjuk was convicted twice for his involvement in the Holocaust—once in Israel, which was overturned, and once in Germany, where he got five years for his role in 28,000 deaths at Sobibor. But he denied everything and claimed he'd been a Soviet soldier taken as a POW; after the war, he moved to a Cleveland suburb and quietly raised a family until officials tracked him down in 1975. He's the subject of a five-part Netflix series, The Devil Next Door. (Read about another one of his denials.)

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