(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A Munich court’s guilty verdict in the case of John Demjanjuk, for his
responsibility relating to the murder of some 28,000 Jews at Nazi death camp
Sobibor, was welcomed on Thursday by former Supreme Court justice Dalia
It was a way to “close the circle,” she said.
Demjanjuk: A powerful verdict, bitterly underminedJewish groups hail news of Demjanjuk guilty verdict
while on the Jerusalem District Court presided over the 1988 case in Israel in
which Demjanjuk was convicted and sentenced to death for being “Ivan the
Terrible,” a notoriously sadistic guard at the Treblinka death camp, also said
she still had no doubt that he had been in both camps and had committed terrible
“As the judge in the case of Ivan the Terrible, I have no
doubt that he was the guard in Treblinka and he was only set free because of the
legal process in this country,” said the judge, who served as a Supreme Court
justice from 1993 to 2004.
“In my court room, I heard his victims
identify him and I knew that he was guilty,” said Dorner, who was further
convinced by his SS identification card that throughout both trials was claimed
by the defense to be false.
Despite being convicted and sentenced to
death on the basis of testimonies from 10 Holocaust survivors who had been in
Treblinka, the Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk (who changed his name from Ivan to John
after immigrating to the US in 1952) was later freed by Israel’s Supreme Court
on the basis of reasonable doubt when new evidence undermined the contention
that he was Treblinka’s gas-chamber- operating Ivan the Terrible.
don’t like to call [what he did] murder, it was more ethnic cleansing of a
nation,” continued Dorner, who in recent years headed a government commission
aimed at improving the lives of Holocaust survivors in Israel. “It has always
been clear to me that this person, according to all the information and
testimonies I heard, was in both Sobibor and Treblinka.”
1993 reprieve, Demjanjuk returned to US. However, he was deported to Germany in
2009, when enough evidence had been gathered to place him at the Sobibor death
camp between March and September 1943. German prosecutors accused him of being
involved in the murders of tens of thousands of Jews.
“For the first time
we have even found lists of names of the people who Demjanjuk personally led
into the gas chambers,” Kurt Schrimm, head of Germany’s special office
investigating Nazi crimes, said in a BBC report.