Demjanjuk 'escaped justice': Holocaust centre chief

17th March 2012, Comments 5 comments

The director of the Yad Vashem Holocaust centre in Jerusalem said that former Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk, whose death in Germany was announced on Saturday, had "escaped justice."

"The fact that he died a free man at the age of 91 is a failure of (judicial) systems, but on the other hand the fact that he was judged and condemned shows the responsibility of people at all levels in the Holocaust," Avner Shalev said in a statement.

"It is important to bring these officials before the courts. There can be no statute of limitations for the crimes of the Holocaust," Shalev said.

The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, convicted last year in one of the last trials linked to the Holocaust, died in a care home in southern Germany, police said.

He was found guilty of more than 27,000 counts of accessory to murder from the six-month period when he was a guard in Poland at the Sobibor death camp in 1943.

The ailing Demjanjuk had been sentenced by a Munich court in May to five years imprisonment, but was released pending an appeal before a federal court, having already spent nearly two years in prison.

Efraim Zuroff, director in Israel of the Simon Wiesenthal centre that specialises in tracking down former Nazis, deplored the fact that Demjanjuk had died "in a bed in a home in Germany rather than in a prison cell."

In 1986, Demjanjuk was hauled before a court in Jerusalem accused of being "Ivan the Terrible," an infamous Ukrainian guard at the Treblinka death camp.

Initially convicted of all charges and sentenced to death in 1988, he was freed five years later when evidence surfaced suggesting Israel had got the wrong man.

One of the Israeli judges, Dalia Dorner, remained convinced however that he was the right man.

"He was identified by 11 survivors, and a former SS, it wasn't possible to get it wrong," she told Israeli public radio.

© 2012 AFP

5 Comments To This Article

  • Mannstein posted:

    on 25th March 2012, 03:07:37 - Reply

    A little Schadenfreude is in order John Demjanjuk had the last laugh.
  • brucewhain posted:

    on 19th March 2012, 12:13:31 - Reply

    While Demjanjuk was in the the process of having his innocence proven in Israel the lawyer who was helping him do it got "suicided". (See: "No Satisfaction in Demjanjuk Case", Toronto Sun, May 21, 2011.) Then his replacement got acid thrown in his face on going to attend the "suicided's" funeral (ibid.) causing an 18-month delay in the trial, during which the NAZI Monster presumably rec'd more well deserved jail time.
  • Balder posted:

    on 19th March 2012, 08:51:41 - Reply

    11 survivors witnessed, etc. etc.. One only has to look at what survivors "witnessed" in Spielberg's Hollywood film "The Last Days" to appreciate the value of such accounts. Spielberg boasts of his video archive containing tens of thousands of "testimonies" from "holocaust survivors". Still he picked the most horrendous and impossible fantasies for his "documentary". Considering the number of high and low profile "witness accounts" from so called holocaust survivors which have been completely or partly debunked, I would say that 11 "witnesses" who identified Demjanjuk as the mythical "Ivan the Terrible" after 60 years doesn't amount to anything at all. But holocaust entrepreneurs such as Zuroff and Co. need to continue to be able to continue their profitable business, and distract the eye of the public from current Zionist atrocities at the same time. Demjanjuk was probably just a scape goat. Anybody would have done, and anybody will do in the future.
  • kyle posted:

    on 18th March 2012, 17:17:16 - Reply

    The greatest murder spree in Europe's history was the Holodomor, in which upwards of 8 million Ukrainian Christians were killed by the overwhelmingly Jewish communist regime of the USSR. Starving to death while watching your wife and children starve would have been enough to make a man pray for the blessed mercy of a gas chamber. Many of the instigator of this horrific crime lived to comfortable old age in the racist state of Israel. None were ever prosecuted. Israel refuses to extradite KGB murderers of Christians to any of the countries that suffered under the cruel heel of Jewish communism. Hypocrites.
    The biggest difference between the Holodomor and the Holocaust is that the Ukrainians allow all the details to be examined while Jews have contrived laws to outlaw research into any detail of the sacred canon of the Holocaust industry. The truth of the Holodomor was used to justify actions against the Jews. The Holocaust was in large measure revenge for the Holodomor. No Holodomor, no Holocaust.
  • Florian posted:

    on 18th March 2012, 15:39:38 - Reply

    "He was identified by 11 survivors, and a former SS, it wasn't possible to get it wrong," Ah but they did get it wrong, almost terribly so - as Demjanjuk was sentenced to death. YouTube features several videos of survivors shouting, wailing and crying and swearing blind that the man in the dock in front of them (John Demjanjuk) was Ivan The Terrible of Treblinka. They got it wrong when it was proven that he was in fact someone else entirely. Whether the survivors were lying on oath or simply mistaken, we'll never truly know. This was another case of victor's justice whereupon the victor doesn't care about the truth, only about a result.