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Brooklyn Leaders Demand that Body of Nazi War Criminal Not Be Returned to U.S. for Burial

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Councilman David G. Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) gathered today in front of Greenfield’s district office in Borough Park with Jewish community leaders to demand that the body of convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk not be returned to the United States for burial following his death last weekend in Germany. Demjanjuk was charged with 28,060 counts of accessory to murder and convicted last year of serving as a guard at a German Nazi concentration camp in occupied Poland. Despite being stripped of his United States citizenship in 2004 and extradited to Germany in 2009, the United States consulate in Munich is providing assistance to his family and has approved flying his body to Cleveland, Ohio for burial.

“The decision to allow someone who played an active role in one of the greatest atrocities known to mankind to be buried in the United States is an insult to every Jew in this country. Our government should not assist with the burial of a convicted war criminal known to have helped carry out the systematic murder of more than 28,000 Jews at a Nazi concentration camp in Poland. I am demanding that the federal government reverse this decision to prevent the reopening of deep wounds for so many Jews around this city and country,” said Greenfield.

“John Demjanjuk was nothing but a monster. He was found guilty of 28,000 counts of accessory to murder. The United States deported him for his crimes. We don’t want him back alive or dead,” said Assemblyman Hikind.

Following Demjanjuk’s death last weekend, reports of the U.S consulate’s assistance to his family leaked out, leading to concerns that the gravesite could become a shrine for neo-Nazi sympathizers. In response, Greenfield and Hikind are asking that the United States government not give material assistance to the family or allow the body to be returned to Ohio for burial. Exact details about the burial have not been released, except that it’s expected to take place in Seven Hills, Ohio sometime next week.

“We need to send a clear message that Nazis are not welcome here in America. The idea that an individual responsible for so many horrific deaths would be flown back to the United States for burial is outrageous and unacceptable. He does not deserve to be back in the United States, and we are calling on the United States government to end any cooperation,” added Greenfield.

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