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Yad Vashem Comment on death of John Demjanjuk

18 March 2012

The following statement is by Avner Shalev, Chairman of Yad Vashem, on the death of John Demjanjuk:

On the one hand he escaped justice. The fact that Demjanjuk - who had been convicted of accessory to murder for his time as a guard in Sobibor -- died a free man at 91, indicates the incapacities of the systems that should have brought him to justice. At the same time, the very fact that he was tried and convicted confirms the culpability of perpetrators at all levels for the crimes of the Holocaust, which could not have taken place without the collaboration of many citizens and functionaries at all levels of society. There is, and can be, no statute of limitations on the crimes of the Holocaust. It remains morally and educationally vital to bring the guilty to justice and of course to go on remembering the victims and their heritage