'Archives may resolve 1947 murder claim'

Ulm researcher hopes arc

christof maihoefer (photo credit: )
christof maihoefer
(photo credit: )
Investigators in Ulm are trying to track down the original police reports of the incident in August 1947 in which Moshe Lisogorski was run over and killed by a Ukrainian truck driver working for the US army motor pool, the Ulm-based historian who brought the incident to the attention of the German authorities said on a visit to Israel this week. Lisogorski's son Saul Liskin, who lives in the United States, has alleged that John Demjanjuk, currently on trial in Munich for his role in the murders of 27,900 Jews at Sobibor during World War II, was the driver and that the incident was a deliberate, murderous attack. After The Jerusalem Post reported Liskin's allegation earlier this month, an eyewitness to the incident, survivor Noah Neiman, came forward to confirm that the attack was deliberate; however, Neiman said he had no means to identify the driver beyond recalling "a big, tall, broad-shouldered Ukrainian guy." Christof Maihoefer, an Ulm-based historian who said he has combed through considerable amounts of documentation from the area that dated back to the immediate post-war period, said that he was also hoping to find US army motor pool records, with the aim of categorically identifying the driver. Maihoefer said hospital records documenting Lisogorski's death had been produced. He added that there was also documentary evidence showing that Demjanjuk, who worked as a driver in the US army motor pool in 1947-49, spent time in Ulm. "Ironically, Demjanjuk's daughter Lydia was born in the very same Ulm hospital as Jack Liskin [the younger brother of Saul Liskin]," said Maihoefer. Maihoefer said the incident on August 20, 1947 took place in Ulm's Boelke barracks, and that the search was now on in Ulm and in archives overseas for the original police reports and other documentary evidence. "We hope to be able to determine who was driving that truck, that day. There's a good chance that Ulm police will find a record of the investigation, with details of the truck." Maihoefer said he was also hoping to find information on a related matter - regarding unmarked graves in the Jewish sections of the Ulm central cemetery where Lisogorski is buried. The historian, who has full charts and lists of the cemetery, said there were about 60 unmarked graves dating from 1947-1948. He said he had recently identified one of the deceased, whose family lives in Herzliya. "These are Jews who died after the war, and yet were buried with no gravestones, no identification. I would like to try and help close some of these circles," he said. Maihoefer, a Yiddish speaker and Judaica specialist who is not Jewish, said there were 400 Jews living in Ulm today, most of them from the former Soviet Union. Local non-Jews helped raise money for a Sefer Torah a few years ago, he added, and a Chabad rabbi, Sneur Trebnik, arrived from Israel in 2000. He said the original synagogue, which dated from the 1870s, was destroyed in 1938 and later demolished. The community at that time numbered some 450-600, and almost all of its members were sent to Theresienstadt and other concentration camps in 1942. After the war, displaced persons camps in the area were home to some 7,000 Jews, but almost all of the Jews were moved to other camps in Bavaria in 1948.