Tuesday 21 November 2017

German authorities seek a home for freed Nazi guard

Eric Kelsey in Berlin

Authorities in Germany are searching for a place for 91-year-old convicted Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk to live while he is free on appeal.

Demjanjuk was convicted on Thursday in a Munich court of helping to kill more than 28,000 people at the Sobibor camp in Poland in the Holocaust during World War Two.

Sentenced to five years in prison, he was immediately set free because of his age and left custody yesterday, though his immediate destination was not known.

"They're searching for a place for him to stay," defence lawyer Guenther Maull said. "I can't say whether they'll immediately find a permanent residence or something temporary."

Ukraine-born Demjanjuk has been in German jail since he was extradited from the US two years ago and his lawyers had sought his release on age and health grounds. He attended the 18-month trial in a wheelchair, sometimes lying down during proceedings.

Mr Maull said the appeal will take at least a year. In the meantime, Demjanjuk, who is stateless after being stripped of his US citizenship, will need to live in a nursing home in Germany.

"The government will have to support him," he said.

"It's very clear he needs social assistance and he needs to be housed where he can receive medication."

Irish Independent

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