The Devil Next Door is a Netflix docuseries directed and produced by Daniel Sivan (The Oslo Diaries) and Yossi Bloch (Poisoned). The true-crime series will focus on a hugely controversial case that claimed to identify one of the most villainous Nazis years after World War II. It will explore the story of a man named John Demjanjuk who was accused of being a Nazi war criminal. According to the documentary, the guard nicknamed after a bloodthirsty Russian tsar was said to be one of the ‘Cruellest people who ever existed on earth.’
John Demjanjuk is known to his friends and family as, simply, a retired autoworker. But he may be hiding a diabolical past. Demjanjuk is accused of actually being the notorious “Ivan the Terrible,” a Ukrainian SS guard at the Treblinka extermination camp during the Holocaust. The then twenty-something guard operated two tank engines that fed the camp’s gas chambers. He was known as a cruel torturer of his victims, cutting off their ears as they worked, whipping them, and piercing them with a sword before sending them to their ultimate demise.
Demjanjuk died in 2012 at age 91, the New York Times reports, at which time he was appealing a guilty verdict in Germany. He had previously been put on trial in Israel and was convicted in 1988 for crimes against humanity, sentenced to hang. Five years later, though, the conviction was overturned when it looked like another man could possibly be the notorious Ivan. He was then deported to Germany in 2009, where he was tried for the killing of 27,900 Jews at the Sobibor camp in German-occupied Poland in 1943.
He was found guilty in 2011, but he died a year later. His son, John Demjanjuk Jr., told the Times that his father died “A victim and a survivor of Soviet and German brutality. History will show Germany used him as a scapegoat to blame helpless Ukrainian prisoners of war for the deeds of Nazi Germans.”
Netflix has released a trailer on October 23 along with a short description, “A Cleveland grandfather is brought to trial in Israel, accused of being the infamous Nazi death camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible.” The five-episode series will be released on November 4. You can check out the gripping trailer above.