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Wednesday, 15 March, 2000, 05:15 GMT
Alleged Nazi guard sues US Government
John Demjanjuk
Demjanjuk was deported to Israel to stand trial
By Stephen Sackur in Washington

The 79-year-old man accused almost 20 years ago of being the Nazi death camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible is suing the US Government for millions of dollars in damages.

John Demjanjuk was deported from the US to Israel to stand trial but when it became clear that he was not Ivan the Terrible he was allowed to return to the US.

Mental torture

In the complex case of Mr Demjanjuk, there is agreement on one point - he is not the Nazi prison guard known as Ivan the Terrible, responsible for gassing thousands of Jews at the Treblinka concentration camp.

However, the US Government remains convinced that Mr Demjanjuk was a guard in several concentration camps and as a result it is still trying to strip him of his US citizenship.

But Mr Demjanjuk is fighting back. His lawyers have filed a $5m lawsuit against the Justice Department, accusing investigators of practising mental torture.

Embarrassment

Mr Demjanjuk, who lives in Ohio, denies that he was ever a concentration camp guard.

He says the Nazis forced him to work as a labourer after he was taken prisoner in 1942.

His lawsuit represents the latest twist in a story which has caused frustration and embarrassment in both America and Israel as investigators try to pursue surviving Nazi war criminals.

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20 May 99 | Americas
Demjanjuk's citizenship trial
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