Friday, June 01, 2001

Papers for 'Ivan the Terrible,' retiree similar, witness says

The Associated Press

        CLEVELAND — Documents for a Nazi death camp guard named Ivan Demjanjuk include the birth date and other personal details matching those of a retired autoworker accused of complicity in atrocities, a government witness said Thursday.

        Charles W. Sydnor, a historian who has written about Nazi war crimes, testified in the trial over whether John Demjanjuk should lose his U.S. citizenship on charges of lying about his past when he entered the United States after World War II.

        It is the government's second case against the man once accused of being sadistic guard “Ivan the Terrible” at the Treblinka death camp. Mr. Demjanjuk was sentenced to die in Israel but was acquitted in 1993 when Israel's Supreme Court concluded “Ivan” probably was someone else.

        Mr. Demjanjuk's attorneys say the 81-year-old again is the victim of mistaken identity.

        Mr. Sydnor testified he found the name Ivan Demjanjuk, often with different spellings, in World War II-era documents.

        He said information John Demjanjuk supplied to U.S. officials in a visa application matched the April 3, 1920, date of birth; birthplace and father's name on Ivan Demjanjuk documents.


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