The End of Something: Demjanjuk in Munich


ACLS Fellowship Program


Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought


The death of John Demjanjuk in a Bavarian nursing home in March 2012 brought to an end the most convoluted and lengthy case to arise from the crimes of the Holocaust. Demjanjuk’s legal odyssey began in 1977, when American prosecutors filed a motion to strip the Ukrainian-born émigré of his US citizenship. It reached a conclusion of sorts in May 2011, when a German court convicted the 91-year-old defendant of assisting the SS in the murder of 28,060 Jews at Sobibor, a death camp in eastern Poland. This project situates Demjanjuk’s Munich trial within Germany’s larger troubled history of attempts to punish those responsible for the crimes of the Holocaust.