Trials

The first Sobibor trial took place in 1950. SS Oberscharführer Erich Bauer, the former ‘Gasmeister’, was sentenced to death on 8 May 1950, but later this sentence was commuted into life imprisonment. The second trial, against SS men Johann Klier and Hubert Gomerski, also took place in 1950. On 25 August 1950 Gomerski was sentenced to life in prison, Johann Klier was acquitted.

In September 1965 the third Sobibor trial started in Hagen against former camp SS. Charges were brought against, among others, Karl Frenzel, Kurt Bolender, Werner Dubois, Erich Fuchs and Franz Wolf. The sentences varied from life imprisonment to acquittal. Bolender committed suicide before he could be convicted.Karl Frenzel Gustav Wagner, who had managed to flee to Brazil, committed suicide in 1980 after being recognized by Stanislaw Smajzner, a Sobibor survivor.

In 1982 a retrial started in Hagen at the request of Karl Frenzel, who had been given a life sentence in 1965. On 4 October 1985 Frenzel was again sentenced to life imprisonment.

The trial against former camp guard Iwan Demjanjuk started on 30 November 2009 in Germany. He is accused of murdering 29,000 Jews in Sobibor. Dutch survivor Jules Schelvis acts as co-prosecutor during the trial.

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