Accused Nazi Guard Demjanjuk Arrives in Germany

It was around 9 o'clock this morning when a private jet plane from Cleveland, Ohio, with John Demjanjuk onboard arrived at Munich airport.

Suspected Nazi guard Demjanjuk, 89, was deported to Germany by the U.S. immigration authorities after a legal tug of war. The proceedings began with a warrant that accused him of being an accessory to the murder of 29,000 Jews and others during World War II at a death camp in Sobibor, in then Nazi-occupied Poland.

But Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, a retired autoworker, insists he's innocent.

He maintains he was drafted into the Russian army in 1941, later held by the Germans as a Soviet prisoner of war serving at German prison camps until 1944.

He says he was never at the Sobibor death camp, but Germany's chief Nazi prosecutor, Kurt Schrimm, says there is proof he was there.

Experts from the Bavarian State Office of Criminal Investigation have recently verified the validity of Demjanjuk's identification card, which puts him in Sobibor during the period when the Nazis committed mass murders. The identification card is only one of the many pieces of evidence against him.

According to the evidence gathered by Central Office for the Investigation of Nationalist Socialist Crimes in Ludwigsburg, which Schrimm heads, there's evidence that he was a member of a group known as the Trawniki, a band of about 5,000 "foreign volunteers" who did the Nazis' dirty work in the occupied areas of Eastern Europe.

Schrimm told German magazine Der Spiegel that "these henchmen of death participated in mass shootings and helped wipe out Jewish ghettos. In the death camps, they drove the prisoners from the trains to the areas where they were forced to undress and taken to the gas chambers."

In early 1945, Demjanjuk, according to the documents gathered by the agency, joined the Vlasov Army, a group of Russian volunteers allied with Nazi Germany against the Soviets.

After the war, he found a job as a truck driver in a displaced persons camp in Bavaria, where his SS past was never an issue.

He met his wife Vera and the couple had a daughter Lydia. The young family applied for permission to immigrate to America, where they arrived onboard the USS General Haan, a former troop transporter, in January 1952.

Demjanjuk gained U.S. citizenship in 1958. He moved his family to Ohio, where he began working for Ford. The couple had two other children, Irene and John Jr., and the family moved to a small house in the Cleveland suburb of Seven Hills, where they still live today.

Demjanjuk Already Tried for War Crimes in Israel

Demjanjuk was tried in Israel where he was accused of being the notorious Nazi guard "Ivan the Terrible" during World War II at the Treblinka concentration camp in Poland.

He was found guilty in 1988 of war crimes and crimes against humanity, a conviction later overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court.

He returned to Cleveland a free man but a U.S. judge revoked his citizenship in 2002, based on evidence showing he concealed his service at the Sobibor death camp when he applied for U.S. citizenship.

A U.S. immigration judge ruled in 2005 he could be deported to Germany, Poland or the Ukraine.

It wasn't until March of this year, however, that Munich-based prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for him.

Today marks the end of a legal battle, which has been going on since then.

Upon his arrival in Munich, an ailing Demjanjuk was taken to the medical facility at Munich-Stadelheim prison, where he will undergo a physical examination in order to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.

Demjanjuk's health is said to be in poor condition. His family doctors claim he's suffering from a rare form of leukemia, which mainly affects older men, and he also has kidney stones and a chronic kidney condition. Because of arthritis, he can no longer stand without help and walks only short distances, his son said.

The German government has said preparations have been made to ensure he will receive appropriate care.

Once the medical tests are concluded, Demjanjuk will be brought before a judge and will be formally arrested.

He will then be given the opportunity to make a statement to the court as is standard legal procedure.

Munich prosecutor Anton Winkler told ABC News this morning, "I reckon it will probably take a few weeks before all necessary formalities are concluded and the formal charges will be delivered to Mr. Demjanjuk."

Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told broadcaster ARD, "I had been hoping that Demjanjuk would have to stand trial. He deserves to be punished for his crimes during his lifetime. Demjanjuk and all other Nazi criminals still alive should know that for them there is no mercy."