Demjanjuk was born in Ukraine and fought in the Red Army before being captured by the Nazis and recruited as a camp guard. He emigrated to the United States in 1951.

In May, he was extradited from the US where he had lived in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.

Demjanjuk has acknowledged being at other camps but not at Sobibor, which was run by 20 to 30 Nazi SS members and up to 150 former Soviet war prisoners.