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US To Deport 88-Year-Old Nazi Death Camp Guard

An 88-year-old ex-Nazi may have nowhere to go. The US Supreme Court just rejected the deportation appeal of John Demjanjuk, who worked as a guard at a Nazi death camp during the Holocaust. Demjanjuk came to the US in the 1950s, only to be extradited to Israel and sentenced to death for war crimes. After his conviction was overturned, he came back to the US, lying about his Nazi past.

In 1993, Demjanjuk successfully proved he was not the notorious Nazi "Ivan the Terrible" after almost three decades of accusations. But, in 2002, an immigration judge ruled that there was enough evidence of a Nazi past to strip the guard-turned-Ohio car worker of his American citizenship. Yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld that decisions without comment.

Now that the highest court says he has to leave, it's not clear where he will be welcomed. He claims that he will be tortured in his native Ukraine. It is also uncertain whether Germany will accept him.

Should America make this senior citizen leave his family in America? Are some crimes so atrocious that more than six decades do not let us forget? Does America have an interest in stripping a former Nazi death camp worker, responsible for thousands of deaths, of his citizenship lest it offer his actions even the most passive approval?


drinkerofh2o drinkerofh2o 9 years
I know this is a pretty late comment, but I always have a soft spot for the elderly. If there was a criminal case against an elderly person I would have to recuse myself from serving on the jury, I am that emotionally biased. With that said, I think it would be wrong to send him back to the Ukraine to be tortured. Can't he go to Brazil? Didn't they take in former Nazis?
stephley stephley 9 years
I was very young when I lived in Germany, and couldn't get my head around how those nice people let such horrible things happen. The last 10 years have opened my eyes to what happens when good people are afraid or unwilling to speak up when they see bad things happening - so the people doing the bad things do more, until it's gotten completely out of hand.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I meant to say "the Soviet Union made a pact with the Germans..." I am tired.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
JuJu, it's easy to judge the German people, but everyone in the world knew what was going on. FDR turned Jewish refugees away for fear of offending the Third Reich. The Soviet Union made a pact with Russian and the Vatican knew very, very well, what was going on and still made their concordat. Let's not pretend we can even begin to understand what it was like under the Nazi's.
janneth janneth 9 years
Put a shirt on, bud.
stephley stephley 9 years
I've been told you pretty much had to join Hitler Youth or your family was labeled suspicious - but it just something you joined, wore the uniform, sang the songs, but didn't have to do anything more.
juju4 juju4 9 years
Hitler wasn't the only one responsible for the atrocities of the death camps. It wasn't just those that pulled the trigger, or performed the experiments, or gassed the children that are to blame for the millions of people that were tortured and murdered. The blame lies with every person that participated. If he just stood by a gate and guarded it, and never once used his rifle to kill a person trying to escape, his mere presence kept people in the camp. I don't care what his excuse is. I don't think any decent human being could stand by and watch while the ashes of exterminated human beings rained down from the chimneys. I don't care what kind of nice guy he has been since he left. He came here illegally and should be kicked out.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
ha ha yesteryear! He's kind of like the sound of music hottie who joins the Hitler Youth. could you be in the Hitler Youth but not have committed crimes? are any of those guys still around? I think the Austrian guy who imprisoned his daughter was Hitler Youth.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Kris thanks for saying that cuz I thought the same thing!! But I didn't want to say it! :oops:
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
WAS kind of hot? its hard to find men in my age range who are still brave enough to wear wife beaters.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
does anyone else think he was kind of hot? too bad he was EVIL.
lavieenrose lavieenrose 9 years
I think he should be allowed to stay in the US. What I find somewhat strange is that fact that the US recruited Nazi scientists following WWII to help them build nuclear weapons. Those men, such as Otto von Braun were not punished for their war crimes, so it seems hypocritical to punish this man.
stephley stephley 9 years
Depends on what you mean by responsible. The leaders of Nazi Germany are pretty much all dead. Someone who worked at a camp though, could rape and torture prisoners, help conduct brutal scientific experiments on them, literally work them to death - I read one job was to load them into a truck, run exhaust into the truck and sit in the cab with a foot on the gas until all the prisoners in the cab are dead. So we've punished some - if we don't punish every one we know about, do we send a message that says 'hide long enough and you'll get away with it'? What if we discover a really bad guy still hiding here?
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
It doesn't make sense to me to make him leave. I don't believe he's dangerous. I don't believe that people will think "oh, we're going easy on the Nazis, now I can go be a prison guard without fear of consequenses!" I don't know enough about his role in Nazi Germany based on the above story, but weren't the people responsible for most of the outrage imprisoned or killed already?
Bettyesque Bettyesque 9 years
I agree with ZeZe way way up top. Im kind of behind on these blogs....:/
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
yep, i can see that.
stephley stephley 9 years
I think because they're too busy trying to deny they are guilty. Usually, they go with young and following orders - when it's been proved they actually were the guy, the behavior was so gross that 'I'm sorry' seemed a pathetic response.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
one thing I find interesting is that I don't hear of many former Nazi's who offer contrition as an excuse to be pardoned. I never hear of them saying that they were sorry or saw the error of their ways. not that it changes anything but i just never seem to hear that. You'd think someone would have tried it to get themselves off the hook.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
What goes around comes around even if it takes 50 years send him back, he came to America illegally didn't he and we all know how Americans hate that if they aren't bothered by the fact that he was a Nazi. He participated in other people's torture, deportations and deaths, he deserves no mercy or sympathy.
stephley stephley 9 years
He came to the U.S. in the early 50s and has support in his U.S. community, but the Justice Department says he definitely has a Nazi background. We've deported other people for similar crimes and I believe one guy was sent to Israel to be hanged in the '90s. Canada just sent a guy in his 80s back to Italy to serve time for being a guard there.
7Spirit 7Spirit 9 years
If he repents forgive him and let him stay....? Or just leave him here and let him get it when he dies...
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I have a lot of questions. The article says that he was a guard. I can understand if he were a commanding officer originating inhuman commands, but I would think twice before I hold him accountable for being a guard who must follow orders or be killed himself. Since his trans-Atlantic move here to the U.S. what kind of life has he led? Once here in the U.S. did he lead a life as a good citizen with out display of Nazi views? If so I would have given him a pardon and the benefit of the doubt.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
That would make me poser, wouldn't it? I don't want to jinx myself! Thanks Shop. I do try to ignore them.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
well if he did commit the crimes, he deserves to pay them, i dont care if he has been in the US this long.
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