A man wanted in Germany on suspicion of being Nazi death camp guard Ivan the Terrible has had his deportation order from the United States suspended, for the time being at least.
Eighty-nine-year old John Demjanjuk was given an eleventh hour reprieve shortly after being seized by American enforcement officers at his home in Cleveland, Ohio. A US federal appeals court granted him a stay of deportation after his family argued he was too ill to travel. The suspect denies the charges claiming instead that he was held as a prisoner of war by the Germans in his native Ukraine during World War II. In 1988 Demjanjuk was sentenced to death in Israel after being stripped of his US citizenship and extradited. Israel’s highest court later quashed the sentence and freed him after documents unearthed in the former Soviet Union cast doubt on claims that he was an SS guard at the notorious Treblinka concentration camp. But Holocaust survivors persisted with claims that he served at at least two other camps in Poland and at one in Flossenburg in Germany. In 2005 a US immigration judge ruled he could be deported to Germany, Poland or Ukraine. Further investigations will now take place before a final decision is reached on his future.