Demjanjuk war crimes trial told how Nazis recruited Ukrainians
A historian described at the trial of alleged concentration camp guard John Demjanjuk on Wednesday how Nazi Germany recruited and trained Ukrainians to work at the Holocaust death camps, DPA reported.
Munich University historian Dieter Pohl was giving evidence for a second day as an expert witness at the trial in Germany.
Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, 89, is alleged to have worked at Sobibor concentration camp in German-occupied Poland in 1943 after the Nazis offered to free him from a camp for Soviet prisoners of war if he would work as a uniformed guard for the SS.
Demjanjuk lay on a stretcher as Pohl spoke. Throughout the trial so far the former Ohio factory worker has not spoken and has drawn down a trademark blue cap over his face.
Pohl, who is a historian at the university's Institute of Contemporary History, described how hundreds of prisoners of war were trained by the SS in the occupied town of Travniki and were later known as the Travniki staff of the SS.
Pohl estimated the previous day that roughly 170,000 people had died in Sobibor, adding that it was impossible now to know of all the individual fates. Around 25 to 30 Germans are thought to have worked at Sobibor, as well as 100 to 120 captured Soviet Red Army soldiers.
Demjanjuk stands accused of being one of the guards who herded 27,900 Jews into Sobibor's gas chambers during his stint at the camp.
Demjanjuk has been indicted as an accessory to murder and could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
The court case is expected to be one of the last major war crimes trials from the Nazi period.