In the ‘80s, a retired Ukranian-American autoworker in Cleveland was thrust into the national spotlight when he was accused of being “Ivan The Terrible,” one of the Holocaust’s most violent and notorious SS guards. Per a number of survivors, John Demjanjuk, a grandfather and respected member of his community, had allegedly tortured, whipped, and maimed an untold amount of prisoners as a twentysomething enforcer in the Trebinka extermination camp. As such, he was arrested and extradited to Israel, where he stood trial for crimes against humanity.
His story is the focus of a new Netflix docuseries, The Devil Next Door, which digs into whether Demjanjuk really was Ivan, or if it was a case of mistaken identity. This week, Netflix released a trailer for the project. Give it a watch below.
Here’s the official synopsis:
THE DEVIL NEXT DOOR is the true story of John Demjanjuk, a retired Ukrainian-American autoworker living a peaceful life with his family in Cleveland, Ohio suburbs in the 1980s. When a group of Holocaust survivors identify Demjanjuk’s photograph as “Ivan the Terrible” – a notoriously cruel Nazi death camp guard who tortured and killed nearly one million Jewish prisoners during World War II – Demjanjuk’s American dream is shattered and he is extradited to Israel to stand trial for crimes against humanity. Israel is transfixed as a media frenzy erupts around the trial in Jerusalem, the nation plunged into trauma and fascination by “the trial of the century.” As the case uncovers dark corners of memory and the horrors of war, the Demjanjuk case becomes a race against time for the defendant and his alleged victims.
The Devil Next Door’s five episodes hit Netflix on November 4.