Voices from Russia

Sunday, 29 November 2009

German Trial is New Twist in Demjanjuk Saga

Heartless bastards! If you wish to see the face of evil, this is it. Reflect on the fact that THIS is what “zero tolerance” means. Reflect also on the fact that the prissy konvertsy approve of this (in common with their self-congratulatory American suburban neighbours). I pity the Demjanjuk family and ask you all to pray for them. Poor old fellow… he deserves to be home with his family, not awaiting trial. He was nothing but a spear-dragger, you ignorant and boorish bastards. I spit on the lot of you… the only thing that you deserve is to be put against a wall and shot without mercy for your lack of proportion and lack of human decency. K Chortu!


Once, John Demjanjuk was the focus of the world’s attention for the bloodcurdling crimes he stood accused of. Today, he’s attracting notice for being the lowest-ranking person to go on trial for Nazi crimes in World War II. The latest chapter in a 32-year legal saga brings the retired Ohio autoworker to a court in Munich in a case opening Monday that breaks new ground in Germany’s pursuit of alleged Holocaust perpetrators. If successful, it could significantly lower the bar for who’s considered important enough to go to jail for being part of the Nazi apparatus. In the 1980s, Demjanjuk stood trial in Israel, accused of being the notoriously brutal guard “Ivan the Terrible” at the Treblinka extermination camp. They convicted him, sentencing him to death, then, freed him when an Israeli court overturned the ruling, saying the evidence showed he was the victim of mistaken identity. Now, at age 89, he’s accused of serving as a low-ranking guard at the Sobibór death camp, charged with being an accessory to the murders of 27,900 people during the time he’s alleged to have been there. Demjanjuk maintains he was a victim of the Nazis, first, wounded as a Soviet soldier fighting German forces, then, captured, and held as a prisoner of war under brutal conditions. German prosecutors paint a different picture. After the Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk was in German captivity, they maintain, he volunteered to serve with the fanatical German SS, going to Sobibór in Nazi-occupied Poland. It’s the first time prosecutors have tried someone so allegedly low-ranking, without proof of a specific offence. If they convict Demjanjuk, other low-ranking suspects could face prosecution.

Efraim Zuroff, the top Nazi-hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said, “This definitely marks a change in the decades-old policies of the German judiciary, a positive change”. Immediately after the war, war-crimes trials run by the Allied Powers convicted top Nazis such as Hermann Göring. Investigations of lower-ranking figures eventually fell to German courts. Many of those trials ended with short sentences, or acquittal, of suspects in greater positions of responsibility than Demjanjuk allegedly had. Demjanjuk faces accusations of having served as a “Wachmann”, a guard, the lowest rank of “Hilfswillige” volunteers, who were subordinate to German SS men. For example, Karl Streibel, commandant of the SS Trawniki training camp where the Germans allegedly trained Demjanjuk as a guard, stood trial in Hamburg, but his judges acquitted him in 1976, ruling that it hadn’t been proven that he knew what the guards being trained would be used for. However, today’s judges grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, and, recently, approached war crimes cases differently from their predecessors. In August, the same court that’ll hear Demjanjuk’s case convicted Josef Scheungraber, a former German officer, of murder for the massacre of 10 civilians in Italy in 1944, even though no witness saw him give the order. There are no direct living witnesses in Demjanjuk’s case either, but prosecutors argue that if he was a guard at the death camp, that necessarily proves his involvement in the death machinery. Kurt Schrimm, head of the special German prosecutors’ office responsible for investigating Nazi-era crimes, said, “In the early 1950s, there were certainly some mistakes made, and sometimes there may have been an agenda behind it. However, one must remember that our office embarked since its founding in 1958 into completely uncharted territory. It’s unique that a people pursues their own crimes over decades, and we’re always learning more”.

Demjanjuk’s family argues that there’s pressure from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the US Justice Department, and others to try him. John Demjanjuk Jr told the Associated Press in a telephone interview, “I think they’re going to push forward to have the trial no matter what, to have a media event, to make it seem like Germany is doing what it can to hunt down and prosecute so-called Nazi war criminals”, adding that his father suffers from a bone marrow disease and could only have months to live. Schrimm said it wasn’t until 2008, when his prosecutors’ office found lists of Jews transported to Sobibór during the time Demjanjuk was allegedly there, that there was enough evidence to pursue a case against him in Germany. Now, he said, there’s an obligation to proceed with the trial. Schrimm said, “It’s naturally difficult to deal with men who are soon in their 90th year. However, there are no doubts… the lawmakers decided in 1979 to remove the statute of limitations for murder, so, therefore, I see no reason to treat this case any differently”. Proving the case is another matter. Demjanjuk maintains he was never at the camp and questions how authentic one of the prosecution’s main pieces of evidence is… an SS identity card that they say features a photo of a young, round-faced Demjanjuk and that says he worked at Sobibór. He claims to be a victim of mistaken identity; a Red Army conscript from the Ukraine, captured in the Crimea in May 1942, and held prisoner until joining the Vlasov Army. Germany formed this force of anti-communist Soviet POWs and others to fight with them against the Soviets in the final months of the war.

Demjanjuk, who faces trial in Munich because he lived in the area briefly after the war, emigrated to the USA in 1952 and gained citizenship in 1958. The USA extradited him to Israel in 1986 after the US Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, or OSI, said it had evidence that he was “Ivan the Terrible”. He went on trial in 1987, being convicted and sentenced to death. However, in 1993, the Israeli high court overturned the ruling and freed him after it received evidence that another Ukrainian, not Demjanjuk, was that Nazi guard. At the trial, former Treblinka prisoners misidentified Demjanjuk as Ivan the Terrible. However, this time, there are no Sobibór survivors who claim to remember him at all. Thomas Blatt, a Sobibór survivor whose mother, father, and brother were killed immediately on arrival at the camp in April 1943, is to testify at the German trial, but he concedes that even if he had met Demjanjuk, he wouldn’t be able to remember him after so many years. “I don’t remember the faces of my parents now”, said Blatt, 82. “How could I remember him?” However, he said he still looks forward to testifying about the role of the camp guards, whom he recalls seeing returning from the gas chambers, their boots splattered with the blood of Jews who resisted. “That is what I can tell, only what the group (has) done. They weren’t regular guardsmen. They were murderers”.

Some evidence against Demjanjuk comes from statements attributed to Ignat Danilchenko, a now-deceased Ukrainian who once served in the Red Army, exiled to Siberia following World War II for helping the Nazis. In 1979, he told the Soviet KGB that he served with Demjanjuk at Sobibór and that Demjanjuk “like all guards in the camp, participated in the mass killing of Jews”. However, the OSI itself questioned his statements’ validity, saying in reports that there are “numerous factual errors”. If convicted, Demjanjuk faces a possible 15-year sentence, although he could be given credit for some or all the seven years he spent behind bars in Israel. However, even if acquitted, Demjanjuk will likely have to remain in Germany because the USA revoked his citizenship. Demjanjuk Jr said, “There’s no justice in this case, regardless of the outcome”.

29 November 2009

David Rising

Associated Press

As quoted in Yahoo! News



Here’s what I think of you goodthinkers and your “zero tolerance”. Nuts to you! Grow up and get some good-sense, too. NO… I don’t have to “like it”. Makes ya reach for the jug, doesn’t it?



Firstly, this badly-written piece resembles Trotskyite propaganda at its worst. Mr Rising, hang your head in shame. You didn’t even know the proper name of General A A Vlasov’s force, the Russian Liberation Army (there was no “Vlasov Army”, you bloody boob… you’re supposedly educated, after all). That means that you only have limited knowledge of World War II; it’s restricted to what you learnt in PC textbooks in college. It wasn’t your most egregious error, but let’s leave it at that. Secondly, did you note the self-congratulatory tone of all involved in this? It’s enough to make decent people hurl in disgust.

“I don’t remember the faces of my parents now,” said Blatt, 82. “How could I remember him?” However, he said he still looks forward to testifying about the role of the camp guards…

THIS is the evidence? God Almighty, please, do spare me. They’re all bloviating as though Mr Demjanjuk was some sort of evil and cunning demon. He wasn’t such. He was an ordinary fellow caught up in the maelström of the Russian Front in World War II. He did what he had to, to survive. He gave no orders, not even as a subordinate NCO. He planned no killings. There’s no evidence that he even laid a hand on any Jew. Then, why are some cowardly windbags persecuting him and why are they putting his family through sheer hell and needless pain and grief? I think that they wouldn’t even allow his family to bring his remains home for burial, the inhuman brutes.

Look at the photo at the head of this piece again. The poor old coot can’t even stand on his own two feet, so, the immigration agents had to carry him out of his home. I don’t blame the agents; they were only following the orders of some officious scumbag. I have no doubt that they are as angered at this as I am… they not only can’t do anything about it, they have to either praise such wickedness or keep their mouths shut… poor fellows, let me pour you all a drink… crazy and demented world that we live in, isn’t it? THIS is why I hate the konvertsy and everything that they stand for. They approve of such… they’re such goodthinkers. They believe that America the Bloody is an exemplar for the world. Never forget that America rained bombs on Belgrade on Orthodox Easter, but declared a bombing halt on Iraq for Ramadan. That is sheer hypocrisy, rank duplicity, and absolute double standards. America once stood for something… now, it’s nothing but the bottom line and satisfying mewling “interest groups”. God, do spare me!

I weep for the Demjanjuk family. As for those who persecute them… I wish that God sends you a tithe of what you have heartlessly sent the Demjanjuks (note well that I don’t wish the same on them, only a fraction thereof). Watch ’em scream and holler at the injustice of the world! I’d just walk by, spit in their general direction, and say, “It couldn’t have happened to nicer folk”. This is the sort of thing that screams to heaven for vengeance. God, don’t delay your justice… these pigs are so far gone that they’ll never listen to you, even if you sent plagues and scorpions. I know that we live in a fallen world… but must it be so obviously and maliciously twisted? God, help all us all.


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