TIMELINE: The Life of John Demjanjuk

Demjanjuk, who was convicted of assisting in the deaths of 28 thousand people while serving as a guard in the Sobibor Nazi extermination camp, died at age 91. Here is a look at his life.

Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet

1920 – Demjanjuk is born Ivan Mykolaiovych Demianiuk in a village in Ukraine

1942 – While serving in the Red Army, Demjanjuk is captured by the Germans and transferred to an SS training camp as a prisoner of war. There he is trained to become a concentration camp guard

John Demjanjuk leaves the court room in Munich during his trial, May 2011.
In this file photo dated May 3, 2006, John Demjanjuk, right, is questioned by his attorney during the civil trial for claims by Jerome Brentar in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
John Demjanjuk is brought into the courtroom in Munich, southern Germany, Wednesday Feb. 23, 2011.
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John Demjanjuk leaves the court room in Munich during his trial, May 2011. Credit: AP
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In this file photo dated May 3, 2006, John Demjanjuk, right, is questioned by his attorney during the civil trial for claims by Jerome Brentar in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Credit: AP
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John Demjanjuk is brought into the courtroom in Munich, southern Germany, Wednesday Feb. 23, 2011.Credit: AP
John Demjanjuk

March 1943 – Serves as a guard at the Sobibor extermination camp

September 1943 – Demjanjuk is transferred to the Flossenbürg concentration camp in Germany

1945 – Transferred to a POW camp near Munich

1952 – Demjanjuk moves to the United States and begins working at a Ford factory in Cleveland

1958 – Receives U.S. citizenship under the name John Demjanjuk

1976 – U.S. authorities begin investigating Demjanjuk after Holocaust survivors claim he is “Ivan the Terrible,” a notorious guard who committed acts of murder and savage violence against prisoners in Treblinka extermination camp. His citizenship is revoked

1986 – Demjanjuk is extradited to Israel

1988 – After facing trial, he is sentenced to death

1993 – Archives in the U.S.S.R. reveal that Demjanjuk is not Ivan the Terrible. Demjanjuk is acquitted and released to the United States

2002 – U.S. authorities investigate suspicions that Demjanjuk was a guard at Sobibor. His citizenship is revoked once again

2009 – Extradited to Munich and detained upon arrival

2011 – Demjanjuk is convicted of assisting in the murder of 28 thousand people and is sentenced to five years in prison. He appeals the sentence and waits for the final outcome in a retirement home in Germany

2012 – Demjanjuk dies at age 91

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