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People Are Saying 'The Devil Next Door' Is Netflix's Most Gripping Documentary Yet

Ciara Sheppard

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People Are Saying 'The Devil Next Door' Is Netflix's Most Gripping Documentary Yet

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Netflix's latest true crime exploring the story of a seemingly normal a Ukrainian-American immigrant who was suspected to be 'Ivan the Terrible', a notorious guard at a Nazi extermination camp, is being described as "harrowing" online.

The Devil Next Door, which arrived on the streaming service on Monday 4th November, is getting rave reviews online with people lauding the "unmissable" and "haunting" film.

The documentary centres on the true story of John Demjanjuk, a Ukrainian-American immigrant who lived a peaceful life in a leafy suburb in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and daughter.

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Demjanjuk, an auto worker, was by all accounts living the American Dream, until in 1975, Michael Hanusiak, an editor of Ukrainian News, cited his name in a list of ethnic Ukrainians living in the US suspected of collaborating with Germans in World War II.

Eleven survivors of the Holocaust identified Demjanjuk as 'Ivan the Terrible', a notorious guard at a Nazi extermination camp responsible for untold savagery and torture and an accessory to systematic murder of thousands of Jews.

The ID suspected to be John Demjanjuk which was used in evidence. (Credit: Netflix)
The ID suspected to be John Demjanjuk which was used in evidence. (Credit: Netflix)

In 1986, Demjanjuk - who had changed his name to John from Ivan after receiving US citizenship - was deported to Israel to stand trial for his alleged war crimes.

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He was sentenced to death in 1988, but the verdict was overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court in 1993, based on new evidence that cast 'reasonable doubt' over the true identity of 'Ivan the Terrible', including the fact he was nearly a decade younger than the age the war criminal was believed to be.

What followed was a tug-of-war between Demjanjuk's defence and the international judicial system (even seeing his US citizenship restored and then revoked again).

Eventually, Demjanjuk was convicted in Germany as an accessory to the murder of 28,060 Jews.

However, according to Munich state court, Demjanjuk does not have a criminal record because his conviction had not been completed through the appeal judgment at the time of his death.

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The Devil Next Door, a five-part series, features tear-filled testimony from Holocaust survivors, now well into their 80s and 90s, who believed Demjanjuk to be the monster they they knew all those years ago.

It also delves into the other side of the story, and the people who believed Demjanjuk was innocent.

In the two days since its release, the documentary has stirred viewers online, with many unable to comprehend the horror of the Holocaust.

Supreme court justice Dov Levin and district court judge Dalia Dorner looking at a photo album during the trial of John Demjanjuk in Jerusalem (Credit: Yaakov Saar/Wikimedia)
Supreme court justice Dov Levin and district court judge Dalia Dorner looking at a photo album during the trial of John Demjanjuk in Jerusalem (Credit: Yaakov Saar/Wikimedia)
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"Hearing these people testify is gut wrenching. I can't believe this happened," said one person.

"The devil next door on Netflix. F*cking hell its harrowing. Hearing the Treblinka testimonies is heartbreaking and STILL we do not learn from history," penned another.

"THE DEVIL NEXT DOOR on Ivan the Terrible - an infamous Nazi death camp guard - is riveting, thought-provoking and haunting. Unmissable!," said another.

"It was chilling to be reminded how recent the Holocaust was and I still can't wrap my brain around how humans could be that monstrous. absolutely devastating," said one more.

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"The Devil Next Door is one of the most horrific, harrowing yet incredible docu-series I've seen," penned another.

The Devil Next Door is available to stream on Netflix now.

Topics: Entertainment, True Crime, TV Entertainment, Netflix

Ciara Sheppard
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