the Terrible'--More Doubts
by Patrick J. Buchanan
May, Israel's Supreme Court will decide
whether John Demjanjuk, the
Cleveland auto worker convicted of being
"Ivan the Terrible," the butcher of
Treblinka who operated the gas chambers
to the gallows.
Oddly, the closer Demjanjuk comes to
death, the more certain his innocence
appears. Had we known in 1980, when he was
stripped of his citizenship, what we know
today, he would have walked out of his
Cleveland courtroom a free man.
Just weeks ago, CBS' "60 Minutes"
discovered Marianna Dudek in a
village near Treblinka. Did she remember
"Ivan the Terrible"? Indeed, she did; she
had slept with him for the gold Ivan had
taken from the Jews, she said; his real
name was Ivan Marchenko.
At the War Crimes Commission in Warsaw,
CBS was shown a list of guards from
Treblinka. Marchenko's name was on it;
Demjanjuk's was not.
The only hard evidence against
Demjanjuk remains the I.D. card from
Trawniki training camp, which puts
Demjanjuk in a different camp,
Late in the
Jerusalem trial, we learned that the
U.S. Justice Department had withheld
evidence, dating to 1979, that another
guard, Danilchenko, also
recalled Demjanjuk at Sobibor in the
same months Demjanjuk's accusers swear
he was at Treblinka.
Now, a U.S. researcher has finished an
exhaustive study of the I.D. card, and
three like it from Soviet archives,
delivered to Israel by Armand
Hammer. All four are patent
Demjanjuk's card, supposedly issued in
mid-1942, is validated with the seal of
SS-Brigadefuehrer Odilo Globocnik.
But Himmler dismissed Globocnik in March
of '42, while Demjanjuk was still in the
Three of the cards, including
Demjanjuk's, carry the stamp of the Waffen
SS; but the Waffen SS did not take over
Trawniki until 1943, a year after
Demjanjuk supposedly departed.
On Guard Juchnowoskij's card,
his picture is reversed (buttons are on
the left side of the blouse) while the
numbers on the blouse are not reversed,
proof the picture was composed in a
One card bears the signature of a
Corporal Teufel; Teufel had been
promoted to sergeant three months before.
The same card bears the signature of
Capt. Hoefle: Hoefle had already been
promoted to major to carry out the
deportation of the Warsaw Jews.
Moreover, graphic elements of the seals
are grossly misaligned; the SS
thunderbolts are wrongly printed in the
Roman script; one stamp is upside
Nazi documents have been copied
professionally for years; why, then, such
clumsy forgeries? Simple: The KGB forgers
had no authentic Trawniki card to work
what about the
Well, among the atrocities for which
Demjanjuk must hang is using a drill to
bore into the rectum of prisoner
Finkelstein. Only, in his 1945
sworn testimony, Finkelstein did not
Moreover, S. Reizman, the leader
of the Treblinka prisoners, never
mentioned any Ivan in his list of
Ukrainian personnel at Treblinka, compiled
at meetings of survivors in Lodz on Nov.
Another witness at Demjanjuk's trial
swore in 1945 and 1947 that he'd killed
Ivan in 1943.
collective perjury? No, something else.
Since the war, 1,600 medical papers
have been written on "The Psychological
and Medical Effects of the
Concentration Camps on Holocaust
This so-called "Holocaust Survivor
Syndrome" involves "group fantasies of
martyrdom and heroics." Reportedly, half
of the 20,000 survivor testimonies in
Jerusalem are considered "unreliable," not
to be used in trials.
Finally, the death engine. During the
war, the underground government of the
Warsaw Ghetto reported to London that the
Jews of Treblinka were being electrocuted
and steamed to death.
The Israeli court, however, concluded
the murder weapon for 850,000 was the
diesel engine from a Soviet tank which
drove its exhaust into the death chamber.
All died in 20 minutes, Finkelstein swore
The problem is: Diesel engines do not
emit enough carbon monoxide to kill
anybody. In 1988, 97 kids trapped 400 feet
underground in a Washington, D.C. tunnel
while two locomotives spewed diesel
exhaust into the car, emerged unharmed
after 45 minutes.
Demjanjuk's weapon of mass murder
cannot kill. The Soviet I.D. cards are
patent forgeries. Polish witnesses say
"Ivan" was another man; Israeli
eyewitnesses contradict their own sworn
statements, contradict one another, and
are contradicted in turn.
And John Demjanjuk, bewildered and
innocent, advances toward execution.
God help us. We are the Salem judges of