Demjanjuk Witness May Face Prosecution for War Crimes

Former concentration camp guard who testified in Demjanuk trial may be prosecuted himself for war crimes.

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Elad Benari, | updated: 03:33

Auschwitz entrance
Auschwitz entrance
Israel news photo: Wikipedia

A former concentration camp guard who testified last February in the trial of John Demjanuk trial may face prosecution himself for war crimes.

A report published on Monday on German website Spiegel Online, cited the Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes in Ludwisburg, Germany, as saying that the man, identified only as Alex N., is accused of having taken part in shooting Jewish prisoners at the Treblinka labor camp. He is believed to have been trained by the SS at the same camp in Poland as Demjanjuk was.

N. was born in Ukraine in 1917 and has lived in the Bavarian city of Landshut since the end of World War II. He received German citizenship in 1991.

N. had been investigated for half a year by a judge at the Ludwigsburg office. Other camp guards that have been interrogated in the Soviet Union claimed that N. had bragged about shooting Jewish prisoners. The Ludwigsburg Office is passing on its report to the Munich state prosecutor's office, which has already started its own investigation and will soon decide whether to charge Alex N. If charged, he will be the third alleged SS camp officer to face charges in less than a year. Another man, Samuel K., 88, was charged at the end of July with taking part in the killing of 430,000 Jews at the Belzec death camp in 1942 and 1943.

Meanwhile, Demjanjuk was ordered by a German judge to appear in court on Monday despite his health complaints, according to an AP report. This is the second time the judge has ordered Demjanjuk to attend since the trial at the Munich state court opened last November.

Demjanuk’s attorney protested the decision, saying his client was not fit to follow along and could barely hear what was being said in court. However, the court doctor said that Demjanjuk answered his questions "clearly and energetically" despite complaining about having a very strong headache.

Although Demjanjuk suffers from several medical problems he was declared fit enough to stand trial. He is being tried on 28,060 counts of accessory to murder. His defense maintains Demjanjuk was a Soviet soldier captured by the Germans and spent most of the war in prison camps himself.