Demjanjuk convicted of Nazi camp deaths

John Demjanjuk is free pending appeal after being sentenced to five years in prison. Demjanjuk, a retired American autoworker, was convicted for the role he played in sending 28,000 Jews to their death during the Holocaust. Boston University professor Steven Katz, a renowned Holocaust scholar, is the director of the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies. He offers the following comments:

“Though requiring a long and difficult process, Demjanjuk’s conviction is an act of justice.

“All camp guards, trained by the SS and assigned to serve in death camps such as Sobibor, were crucial cogs in the overall genocidal machinery of the Third Reich. Their function was the daily extermination of Jewish men, women and children in pursuit of the Nazi state’s ultimate ambition: to make the world Judenrein, free of Jews.

“No camp guard, or other camp official, was uninvolved in this process of mass killing. And for such extraordinary crimes there is no statute of limitations.”

Contact Steven Katz by email at