Wiesenthal Center Deeply Concerned Regarding Delays In Demjanjuk Extradition To Germany; Urges Bavarian Officials To Expedite Case

Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today expressed deep concern regarding the continuous delays in the extraditon of former Sobibor death camp guard Ivan Demjanjuk from the United States to Germany to stand trial for his complicity in the murder of 29,000 Jews in that camp. In a letter sent today to leading Bavarian officials Governor Horst Seehofer and provincial Justice Minister Dr. Beate Merk, as well as the attorneys in charge of the case, by its chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center noted that Germany’s Zentrale Stelle, which investigates Nazi war crimes had completed its examination of the Demjanjuk case months ago and had unequivocally recommended his extradition and prosecution in Munich, but the Bavarian judicial authorities had still not taken the necessary measures to bring Demjanjuk to justice.

According to Zuroff:

“The passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of the perpetrators and in a case like this, of a mass murderer who shares responsibility for the annihilation of so many innocent victims, it is especially important that he be brought to trial as quickly as possible, while justice can still be achieved.

“In that respect, the Bavarian judicial authorities and the court in Munich have an important opportunity to send a very powerful message about the necessity of pursuing Holocaust perpetrators and holding them accountable for their crimes, a message which continues to be timely and important throughout the world even, and perhaps especially, today.

“We therefore urge you to take whatever steps are necessary to help expedite the extradition to Germany of Ivan Demjanjuk to to face trial in Munich at the earliest possible date.”

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