Skip to comments.Demjanjuk trial opens in Germany
Posted on 11/30/2009 10:05:19 AM PST by mojito
A German court put John Demjanjuk on trial Monday to face charges of being an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews at a Nazi death camp, and his lawyer immediately accused the court of bias.
The 89-year-old retired Ohio autoworker arrived at the opening of the trial in a wheelchair to face the final chapter of some 30 years of efforts to prosecute him, wearing a navy baseball cap and covered in a light blue blanket.
After the first 90-minute session, Demjanjuk was returned to the courtroom lying flat on his back on a gurney, covered in blankets.
Doctors who had examined Demjanjuk before the second session began said he had complained of serious pain and was given a shot. They ordered the session be cut short, and it wrapped up 30 minutes later.
Demjanjuk's attorney had opened the proceedings by filing a motion against the court's judge and prosecutors, accusing them of treating the Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk harsher than Germans who ran the Nazi's Sobidor death camp in occupied Poland.
Lawyer Ulrich Busch charged that the case should never have been brought to trial. He cited cases in which Germans assigned to Sobibor - where prosecutors allege Demjanjuk served as a guard - were acquitted.
"How can you say that those who gave the orders were innocent ... and the one who received the orders is guilty?" Busch told the court. "There is a moral and legal double standard being applied today."
Demjanjuk was deported in May from the United States to Germany, and has been in custody since then. He could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
(Excerpt) Read more at jpost.com ...
This is a show trial pure and simple. The Germans want to prove to the world that non-Germans participated in the Holocaust which is why they want to make an example out of John Demjanjuk. Never mind the fact that Demjanjuk was already tried in Israel and served time in prison and later released because it was proved that he was not Ivan the Terrible. War crimes trials were originally intended to try the major leaders and policy makers of beligerent countries violating international law like what happened at Nuremberg. They were not intended to go after low level camp guards who were conscripted into the German ranks like John Demjanjuk. It is highly unlikely that there are any major Nazi war criminals alive today—all of which makes Demjanjuk a convenient scapegoat for this outrageous show trial..
Finally we shall see the evidence they have.
Israel first convicted him, then overturned the conviction when “evidence emerged” that he might not have been the guard in question. Later an immigration judge , obviously
‘hot on the case that would not die” cobbled together some more “evidence’ sufficient enough to call for a new trial, and that’s where it is now.
That's good advice, since he is not now facing charges of being Ivan the Terrible.
“See, not just us Germans were the bad guys.”
perhaps someone can explain what
jurisdiction the court has?
(the supposed crimes were not committed
Whatever else John Demjanjuk may or not be, it is absurd to suggest he is a major war criminal.
I, too, will be interested to see if there is any new evidence. I doubt there are any eyewitnesses alive today who claim they saw him kill anyone.
At worst he was a low level camp guard forcibly concripted into German ranks. The Germans should put themselves on trial. Demjanjuk lived in a country which was first brutalized by the Soviets (they slaughtered 8 million Ukrainians in the 1930s just before the German invasion) then brutalized by the Germans. Demjanjuk was nothing more than a small cog in a big machine. He was not even an officer but the way he is being constantly treated and put on trial you’d think he was another Eichmann, Kaltenbrunner, Hoess, or Heydrich.
I've seen no such suggestions.
At age 89 this man is already very close to his Final Judgement. Why do the Germans feel such a compelling need to put him on trial again? Don’t you think within the borders of their own country they could round up hundreds of aging prison camp guards and SS members and Waffen SS troops to put on trial? Since when is simply being a member of a certain organization automatically make you guilty of war crimes?
Dont you think within the borders of their own country they could round up hundreds of aging prison camp guards and SS members and Waffen SS troops to put on trial?
If you have any information that could help authorities, I suggest you contact the FBI and/or the German or Israeli embassies.
Since when is simply being a member of a certain organization automatically make you guilty of war crimes?
I don't see the relevance of the question.
Well I happen to see relevance to ALL of these questions. Obviously I am not an attorney but I do have common sense. This is clearly a case of selective vengeance. Many collaborators in WWII were never punished including Francois Mitterrand who went on to become the president of France, fashion designer Coco Chanel who slept with Nazi officers, and Kurt Waldheim who became head of the UN. It seems to me that enough history has passed to allow Demjanjuk to live out his remaing few years left without all of this sanctimonous posturing coming from the Germans of all people. It is my understanding that there are no surviving witnesses who can postively identify Demjanjuk. Now how would like being put on trial twice without any witnesses and being tried twice and often with flimsy evidence manufactured by Communist regimes? This whole thing is completely outrageous and defies common sense. In war lots of terrible things and the instigators ought to be brought to justice and held accountable for their crimes. Demjanjuk was forcibly conscripted into the Red Army then into the German army. He has had is day in court served his time prison. He should be left alone now. Our government has no real interest in deporting people who came into this country under false pretenses. Look at all of the millions of illegal aliens who live here. Germany has no real interest in prosecuting aging camp guards, if they did they would be rounding up and arresting a lot of people in their own country. Logic and reason tell me the Germans simply want to make an example out of Demjanjuk and prove to the world that non-Germans also participated in the Holocaust even if they were conscripted into the German ranks. So Demjanjuk will be convicted merely for being a camp a guard and with no valid eyewitness accounts of war crimes. What a complete and total farce.
No it’s the freaking truth! Demjanjuk is being singled out for special justice and vengeance. Any reasonable person can clearly see a railroad.
Just curious, are you campaigning for former gulag guards to be tried, also? Or is your long-distance lust for vengance confined to 89-yr old Ukranian conscripts?
If you have any information about former GULAG guards, I suggest you contact the FBI.
Or is your long-distance lust for vengance confined to 89-yr old Ukranian conscripts?
I have no lust for vengeance, if that's what you mean.
I have to admit I didn't read the whole thing. I have no use for hysterical word-salad (the very same reason I don't read Maureen Dowd).
You’re pretty snotty for somebody who thinks “The World At War” is the be-all and end-all of WW2 history. Maybe you should read a book or two, or at least watch another TV show before you make a bigger fool of yourself.
You know as well as I do that everything I wrote is truthful. You know that Demjanjuk was already tried in Israel, had his conviction overturned and then released. You know that Israel never would have released him if they thought he was a ruthless war criminal. You know that none of the camp survivors could positively identify him. You know that he will be found guilty by association which is unfair because he was forcibly conscripted into the German forces. So what more is there to prove in this trial? You can stop patronizing me because you know everything I say is the truth. If someone is gulity of a war crime simply by being a member of the SS, I’m sure there are plenty of old men and veterans the Germans could round inside their own country.
Lay off the mind-reading. You're not any good at it.
You know that Demjanjuk was already tried in Israel, had his conviction overturned and then released.
You know that...
Try to calm down. Breathe.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.