MUNICH, Germany - Accused Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk arrived from the United States Tuesday to face charges he helped kill 29,000 Jews in 1943, and what is likely to be Germany's last major Nazi trial.
Police cars and ambulances surrounded his plane when it landed at Munich airport in southern Germany. After a medical examination the 89-year-old was whisked off to Stadelheim jail, where Hitler was held after a failed 1922 coup attempt.
Pictures showed Demjanjuk lying in an ambulance wearing a baseball cap, with tubes coming out of his nose.
Demjanjuk tops the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of its 10 most-wanted suspected war criminals. Munich prosecutors want him tried for assisting in the murders at Sobibor extermination camp, in what is now Poland.
The Wiesenthal Center says Demjanjuk pushed men, women and children into gas chambers.
Germany's Central Council of Jews welcomed the deportation.
All living Nazi war criminals should know there can be no mercy for them, regardless of their age, said the Council's President Charlotte Knobloch in a statement.
Demjanjuk, born in Ukraine, has denied any role in the Holocaust and a court could decide he is unfit to stand trial.
More than 60 years after World War Two, there is little appetite for a new Nazi trial among Germans. Many feel a duty to pursue Nazi perpetrators, but there is also a desire, especially among the young, to draw a line under the past.
The transfer marks the end of a long legal battle for the retired U.S. auto worker.
The removal ... of John Demjanjuk is a historic moment in the federal government's efforts to bring Nazi war criminals to justice, said U.S. Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer.
Munich prosecutors plan to charge him in a few weeks. They said an investigating judge would read the 21-page warrant to Demjanjuk later in the day and a medical expert had been asked to assess his fitness to stand trial.
Demjanjuk's lawyer said he would assess the warrant.
It isn't necessarily all correct, just because it is there, Demjanjuk's lawyer Guenther Maull told NTV television.
Historians detect a fatigue among Germans with the Nazi era.
For what theologians call catharsis, this Demjanjuk trial comes too late, people just think 'Aha, they have caught another one of these swines', said Hans-Ulrich Wehler, history professor emeritus at Bielefeld University.
Demjanjuk seems like a ghost from the past, he added.
The Wiesenthal Center says far fewer criminals have been brought to justice than were involved in the Holocaust.
Demjanjuk has said he was drafted into the Soviet army in 1941, became a German prisoner of war and later became a guard in German prison camps until 1944.
He was stripped of his U.S. citizenship after he was accused in the 1970s of being Ivan the Terrible, a notoriously sadistic guard at the Treblinka death camp.
He was extradited to Israel in 1986 and sentenced to death in 1988, but Israel's Supreme Court overturned his conviction when new evidence showed another man was probably Ivan.
He regained his citizenship in 1998, but the U.S. Justice Department refiled its case against him in 1999, arguing he had worked for the Nazis as a guard at three other death camps. His citizenship was stripped from him again in 2002.