Demjanjuk's Estate Files New Citizenship Appeal

Nazi War Criminal's Family Wants U.S. Tie Restored

Nazi Appeal: The estate of Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk wants his U.S. citizenship posthumously restored.
getty images
Nazi Appeal: The estate of Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk wants his U.S. citizenship posthumously restored.

By JTA

Published August 15, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The estate of convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk again has asked an appeals court to help posthumously restore his U.S. citizenship.

In a filing Monday, Demjanjuk’s estate asked the full 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati to take up the case. In June, a three-judge panel of the court ruled that Demjanjuk’s U.S. citizenship cannot be posthumously restored and that his death made the case moot.

Demjanjuk, a former Ohio autoworker, died in southern Germany on March 17 at the age of 91.

The defense said the American government withheld potentially helpful material and said that the full court must take up the matter.

The defense claimed that U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland violated basic fairness by ruling against Demjanjuk’s citizenship appeal without holding a hearing on a 1985 secret FBI report uncovered by The Associated Press. The document indicates that the FBI believed a Nazi ID card purportedly showing that Demjanjuk served as a death camp guard was a Soviet-made fake.

“Fraud is fraud. It does not die” with the death of parties involved, the defense said in its latest filing, reported The Associated Press.

The government argued that the earlier defense filings contained no new information in the matter.

“Over three decades, we have repeatedly rejected Demjanjuk’s challenges to the authenticity of the Trawniki card and fraud on the court,” the court said last June.

Restoration of his citizenship would have enabled his widow to seek Social Security benefits.

A Munich court convicted Demjanjuk last year on 28,060 counts of being an accessory to murder at the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland. Demjanjuk, who maintained that he had been mistaken for someone else, died while his conviction was under appeal.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.