Historian at Demjanjuk trial says POWs-turned-Nazi guards were executed if they fledBy AP
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Demjanjuk trial hears of Nazi guards’ use at camps
MUNICH — An expert witness in the trial of John Demjanjuk says former Soviet prisoners of war used by the Nazis as death camp guards would have been executed if they had fled with their weapons.
Demjanjuk is a Ukrainian-born retired Ohio auto worker who was once a Red Army soldier. The 89-year-old is accused of agreeing to serve as a guard for the SS at Sobibor following his capture in 1942.
Demjanjuk says he never served as a guard but the defense has also argued that those who did had no reasonable chance to escape once they found out they would be used in death camps.
Though guards did occasionally flee, Dieter Pohl, an expert at Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University, testified Tuesday that those who were armed while they escaped would have been executed if caught.