Demjanjuk and Sobibor
Demjanjuk and Sobibor.
Two names that are emerging out of some relative obscurity.
Two names that may share a common, very dark and odious past.
Bloomberg.com has just reported that suspected Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk is “fit enough” to stay in jail in Germany.
The 89-year-old Demjanjuk, after a long court battle, was finally deported from the U.S. to Germany yesterday to stand trial for allegedly assisting in the murder of 29,000 Jews during World War II.
According to Bloomberg.com:
Demjanjuk was examined by physicians who concluded he doesn’t need to be transferred to a hospital, Jochen Menzel, the vice-head of Munich’s Stadelheim jail, said in an interview today.
“He’s pretty healthy for an 89-year-old, fitter than others in his age group,” Menzel said. “He can walk around and doesn’t need a wheelchair. We can definitely take care of all his health needs here.”
The death camp where Demjanjuk is accused of helping to murder thousands of Jews is the infamous Sobibor, in South-East Poland.
As I wrote in “The ‘Road to Heaven’ at Sobibor,” just a few days ago, the Sobibor death camp was one of the Nazis’ best kept secrets during World War II.
It was the place where about 250,000 Jewish men, women and children were systematically exterminated in five gas chambers—more than 34,000 of them Dutch.
Among these 34,000 Dutch Jews there were about a dozen of my paternal relatives.
I don’t know much about John Demjanjuk—perhaps I should—just as I didn’t know much about Sobibor, until a few days ago. However, I am learning.
Again, according to Bloomberg.com:
The Munich Prosecutors’ Office has asked a medical expert to examine whether Demjanjunk is fit to stand trial. Prosecutors are planning to file charges in the weeks ahead unless Demjanjuk or his lawyers introduce new arguments that require further investigation, the Munich Prosecutor’s Office said yesterday.
Of course, I will keep a close eye on the legal proceedings against Demjanjuk.
If the charges against this man are proven true, I am sure that he will receive infinitesimally much better justice than his prisoners allegedly received from him.