John Demjanjuk (born Ivan Mykolaiovych Demianiuk; Ukrainian: Іван Миколайович Дем'янюк; April 3, 1920) is a retired auto worker and former United States citizen, who gained notoriety after being accused numerous times of Holocaust-related war crimes. On 12 May 2011, Demjanjuk, then 91, was convicted by a German court of complicity in the murder of over 28,000 Jews whilst serving at Sobibor, and was sentenced to 5 years in jail. However, the court ordered him released pending appeal. He is now living free, in a German nursing home.
Born in the Ukrainian SSR during the Polish–Soviet War (when territories in Ukraine quickly changed hands), Demjanjuk migrated to the United States in 1952. He was deported to Israel in 1986 and later sentenced to death there in 1988 for war crimes, based on his identification by Israeli Holocaust survivors as "Ivan the Terrible", a notorious prisoner/guard (KAPO) at the Treblinka and Sobibor extermination camps during the period 1942–1943 who committed murder and acts of extraordinarily savage violence against camp prisoners. In a case of mistaken identity, his conviction for crimes against humanity was later overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court in 1993 due to a finding of reasonable doubt based on evidence suggesting that Demjanjuk was not "Ivan the Terrible" and had, in fact, been a guard at camps besides the one at Treblinka. After the trial, he was returned to Cleveland, Ohio. He eventually moved to nearby Seven Hills, Ohio.
Demjanjuk was put on trial again in 2001 on charges that he had served as a guard at the Sobibór and Majdanek camps in occupied Poland and at the Flossenbürg camp in Germany. His deportation was again ordered in 2005, but he remained in the United States after exhausting his appeals in 2008 as no country initially agreed to accept him. On April 2, 2009, it was announced that Demjanjuk would be deported to Germany and would face trial there on charges of accessory to 29,000 counts of murder. On April 3, 2009, a judge ordered that Demjanjuk be given a temporary stay, pending a judicial decision on his newly filed (April 2) motion to reopen his deportation order, on the ground that deporting him would amount to torture under the applicable international convention. The stay was overturned on April 6.