Second World War

Demjanjuk formally charged with 27,900 counts

By Jessica Elgot, July 13, 2009

German prosecutors have formally charged John Demjanjuk with 27,900 counts of being an accessory to murder.

The date of the trial of the Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, 89, has not yet been confirmed.

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Demjanjuk is 'fit to stand trial'

By Jessica Elgot, July 3, 2009

The suspected war criminal, John Demjanjuk, has been declared fit enough to stand trial in Germany, despite his family's pleas that he is too frail.

Demjanjuk, 89, was deported in May from his home in the US to stand trial in Munich, where he is currently in hospital with gout.

But after a medical check-up, doctors declared him fit to face trial by the German court for his alledged war crimes, even though his family insist he is too ill to cope with the trial.

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No Hitlers on the heritage railway, thanks

July 2, 2009

Organisers of a World War Two-themed weekend have banned participants from wearing swastikas, Nazi uniforms and dressing up as Hitler.

Visitors to the Severn Valley Railway event, run on 16 miles of railways through Worcestershire and Shropshire this weekend and last, were told to wear non-offensive clothing.

Promotional flyers said: “The wartime period does have difficult memories for many who were closely involved. We therefore ask you that you give some thought to the costume that you choose.

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The last hurrah

By Leon Symons, May 27, 2009

A group of World War II evacuees who spent the war at the same school will be holding a reunion on September 1 — and it could be the last time they meet.

The group, who were at Dame Alice Owen boys’ school in Islington, were evacuated on September 1, 1939, two days before Britain declared war on Germany.

They were taken to the town of Bedford and Bedford Modern School, where they have held a reunion on that day every decade since 1979.

One of the organisers, David Bernstein, who lives in Croydon, has helped write a book about the group, most of whom are now in their 80s.

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Smile Hitler. The Nazis invade trainspotters’ day out

By Simon Rocker, May 27, 2009

Organisers of a Second World War re-enactment event have apologised after some participants breached its dress code and sported swastikas.

Men in German military uniforms were seen displaying the Nazi emblems at the East Lancashire Light Railway’s annual “wartime weekend” in Bury.

But Andy Coward, the railway’s general manager, said that such insignia were off-limits and people would have been asked to remove them if they had been spotted.

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Max Block helped Iranian Jewish family gain UK asylum

By Keren David, May 21, 2009

Seventy-five years after arriving in England as a refugee from Nazi Germany, Max Block has helped an Iranian Jewish family gain asylum in the UK.

The Sinaei family have been helped by the entire Liverpool Jewish community as they struggled to survive without state aid when their application for asylum was turned down.

They fled Iran after their land was seized, their home demolished and a grandmother’s funeral was disrupted, with security guards destroying the coffin and kicking the corpse.

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Demjanjuk to be tried in Germany

By Toby Axelrod, May 14, 2009

One of the last major Nazi war crimes trials is within sight, with the arrival of accused war criminal Ivan Demjanjuk in Germany on Tuesday.

Demjanjuk, 89, is accused of having been a guard at the Sobibor extermination camp in Poland from March to September 1943, and of having been involved in the murder of at least 29,000 Jews.

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Demjanjuk: 29,000 murder charges

By Jenni Frazer, May 12, 2009

Accompanied by American federal agents, overseeing his deportation from the United States, 89-year-old John Demjanjuk arrived in Munich today to face 29,000 counts of murder as a guard in the Sobibor death camp during the Second World War.

Demjanjuk, a retired car worker, had repeatedly tried to block his deportation from Cleveland, Ohio, but just four days after the US Supreme Court refused to consider his latest request, he was in a wheelchair, being loaded onto the German-bound jet.

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New award for Britain’s Shoah heroes

By Simon Rocker, April 30, 2009

An award is to be created by the government to honour British heroes of the Holocaust who risked their lives to rescue those persecuted by the Nazis during the Second World War.

Liam Byrne, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, announced the initiative on Wednesday, the day after Prime Minister Gordon Brown paid his first visit to Auschwitz, accompanied by his wife Sarah.

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France honours wartime resistance fighter, 92

By Simon Rocker, April 14, 2009

An Orthodox woman living in Manchester has been awarded one of France’s highest honours for her wartime activities on behalf of the French resistance.

Rose Warfman, 92, a retired nurse and social worker, has become an officer of the Legion of Honour, having previously been made a knight of the order 50 years ago.

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