Could a US Demjanjuk grave become neo-Nazi shrine?

By Thomas J. Sheeran

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, March 20 2012 12:35 a.m. MDT

FILE - In this May 12. 2011 file picture John Demjanjuk waits in a courtroom in Munich. German police say John Demjanjuk, who was charged with 28,060 counts of accessory to murder and convicted last year of serving as a Nazi death camp guard, has died. Rosenheim police official Kilian Steger told The Associated Press the 91-year-old died Saturday March 17, 2012 at the home for elderly people in southern Germany where he stayed since the end of his trial in Munich last year. Demjanjuk, a retired Ohio autoworker, was deported to Germany in 2009 to face trial after being stripped of his U.S. citizenship.

Matthias Schrader, File, Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Some advocates worry that if convicted World War II criminal John Demjanjuk (dehm-YAHN'-yuk) is buried in suburban Cleveland, his grave could become a place of neo-Nazi pilgrimage.

Demjanjuk died at age 91 in Germany. He was awaiting appeal on more than 20,000 counts of accessory to murder at a camp in occupied Poland.

He was once mistaken as "Ivan the Terrible," a feared guard at another camp. The Israeli government later said it appeared that was another man.

Still, Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center says that could lead neo-Nazis to visit his grave if he is buried in his adopted hometown of Seven Hills.

And Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center says a funeral would turn into a spectacle.

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