March 17, 2012
Jerusalem-The Simon Wiesenthal Center today noted the passing of former Sobiboir death camp guard Ivan Demjanjuk in Germany at age 91, while awaiting an appeal of his conviction for accessory to murder for the deaths of the Sobibor inmates murdered while he served at the infamous Nazi death camp from March to September 1943.
In a statement issued today by its chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center noted that the length of the Demjanjuk case, which began in the United States in the late seventies and continued initially in Israel and later back in the US and then in Germany, unfortunately might have raised some doubt as his role during World War II, but there was never any doubt as far as the Center was concerned, that Demjanjuk had been an active participant in the implementation of the "Final Solution," the Nazis' plan to annihilate European Jewry.
According to Zuroff:
"Ivan Demjanjuk died guilty of his service in the Sobibor death camp and that is how he should be remembered, not as a person falsely accused, but as an individual who volunteered to serve in the SS, and who at the height of his physical powers spent months helping to mass murder innocent Jews deported to that death camp. Justice was unfortunately delayed in this case, and hindered by complicating factors, but was ultimately achieved to the credit of the prosecutors in the US and Germany who handled the case."
For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).