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Netflix’s The Devil Next Door Hailed As Best True Crime Documentary Of The Year

by : Emily Brown on : 06 Nov 2019 17:21
Netflix's The Devil Next Door Hailed As Best True Crime Documentary Of The YearNetflix's The Devil Next Door Hailed As Best True Crime Documentary Of The YearNetflix

Netflix’s new series tackles a harrowing subject but it’s being called the best true crime documentary of the year. 

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The Devil Next Door tells the true story of ‘family man’ John Demjanjuk, a Ukrainian-American mechanic who was enjoying his retirement in the suburbs of Cleveland in the 1980s.

His peaceful life was quickly turned upside down, however, when a group of Holocaust survivors accused Demjanjuk of being ‘Ivan the Terrible’, a notoriously cruel Nazi death camp guard who tortured and killed nearly one million Jewish prisoners during World War II.

You can watch the trailer for The Devil Next Door here:

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As a result of the accusation, the 66-year-old was extradited to Israel to stand trial for crimes against humanity.

The five-part series attempts to explain the allegations Demjanjuk faced through interviews with family members, prosecutors and defence lawyers.

It also includes footage from a trial which examined whether the retiree really had performed the horrible acts, as well as information about what happened afterwards, when the emergence of new evidence created doubt about his conviction.

The Devil Next Door John DemjanjukThe Devil Next Door John DemjanjukNetflix

Demjanjuk was born in Ukraine and endured an engineered famine in the 1930s, which killed millions of Ukrainians, according to TIME. He was drafted into the Soviet Army around 1940 and was captured by the Nazis in 1942 after being wounded while fighting.

The question that became the focus of his trial was what he did for the three years following 1942. Demjanjuk claimed he was forced to work as a guard, and conflicting evidence placed him at different concentration camps during the final years of the war.

War survivors who testified as witnesses in the trials described how Ivan the Terrible would cut off Jewish prisoners’ body parts using a sword, stab women and children, and use a steel pipe to beat people while herding them towards gas chambers, The New York Times reports.

The Devil Next Door John DemjanjukThe Devil Next Door John DemjanjukNetflix
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Demjanjuk passed away in 2012 but questions about his identity still remained.

The Devil Next Door was released on November 4 and many Netflix users have taken to social media to praise the series.

One wrote:

If you like documentaries, I suggest y’all watch the Devil next door on Netflix.. I’m shook.

Another tweeted:

I’m watching The Devil Next Door on Netflix and I think this might be the most gripping thing I’ve watched in years. It’s a documentary that’s a mini series and yeses [sic] its amazing.

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One Twitter user advised viewers not to start the series unless they have a ‘good amount of free time and don’t need to sleep any time soon’, suggesting The Devil Next Door makes for perfect bingeing material.

The Devil Next Door is on Netflix now.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Film and TV, Holocaust, Ivan The Terrible, John Demjanjuk, Nazi, Netflix, The Devil Next Door, True crime, World War II

Credits

The New York Times and 1 other
  1. The New York Times

    John Demjanjuk, 91, Dogged by Charges of Atrocities as Nazi Camp Guard, Dies

  2. TIME

    The History Behind Netflix’s Nazi Trial Documentary Series The Devil Next Door