A suspected Nazi death camp guard has been formally charged with helping to murder 27,000 Jews in World War II.
The trial of John Demjanjuk, 89, will be held in Munich, possibly this autumn. He has been in custody in Germany for two months since being extradited from the United States. Demjanjuk denies the charges against him. An official from Munich’s prosecutor’s office said one element judges will need to look at is whether Demjanjuk was forced into committing any crime and whether his life would have been in danger had he disobeyed orders. In the 1980s, an Israeli court sentenced him to death after identifying him as the notoriously sadistic guard ‘Ivan the Terrible’ in Treblinka death camp. But the verdict was overturned when new evidence came to light identifying another man who could have been ‘Ivan.’ Earlier this month German authorities rejected Demjanjuk’s family’s claim that he was too frail to stand trial. However doctors did recommend hearings should be limited to two 90-minute sessions per day.