Demjanjuk Guilty

We've been unable to post this Times article for a day -- Google's blogger had a major outage.

…The case against Mr. Demjanjuk involved some 15 transport trains known to have arrived between April and July 1943 from the Westerbork concentration camp in the Netherlands, carrying 29,579 people. Prosecutors initially charged Mr. Demjanjuk with 27,900 counts based on the theory that some must have died in transit or been spared for a time to work at the camp. By the end of the trial on Thursday, that figure had been revised to 28,060 counts.

Some 250,000 Jews were killed at Sobibor, most of them poisoned with exhaust fumes.

Mr. Demjanjuk was convicted and sentenced to death in Israel in 1988 as the infamously sadistic Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka, only to have his conviction overturned in 1993. He was freed by Israel’s Supreme Court after evidence surfaced suggesting that another man was most likely to have been Ivan the Terrible.

In a statement on its Web site the day before the verdict, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said: “This case has historic meaning because while it may be the last ‘major’ case tried in Germany, it is the first time a non-German has been charged by Germany with Nazi war crimes and brought to trial in Germany.”

Speaking to the German news agency on Thursday, Efraim Zuroff, the chief Nazi-hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said the organization was “very satisfied” that Mr. Demjanjuk had been sentenced to a prison term. The court’s decision “sends a very strong message that even many years after the crimes of the Holocaust, perpetrators can be held to account for their misdeeds,” he said.

Avner Shalev, the head of the Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance authority in Jerusalem said that, while “no trial can bring back those that were murdered,” the conviction of Mr. Demjanjuk showed that there was “no statute of limitations on the crimes of the Holocaust” and that the killings “could not have taken place without the participation of myriads of Europeans on many levels.”

Elan Steinberg, the Vice President of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants said in a statement that the conviction was “a clarion pronouncement that the pursuit of justice should know no barriers of time and geography.”

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