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March 07, 1986 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-03-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

16 Friday, March 7, 1986

carol hoo Berman cc ilery

647-3666

155 south bates • birmingham

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NEWS
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Justice In Jerusalem

John Demjanjuk, known to his victims as
"Ivan the Terrible," has been extradited
to Israel to face charges. for Nazi-war
crimes. But some Israeli authorities are
critical of the pending trial.

BY HELEN DAVIS
Jewish News Israeli Correspondent

Jerusalem — John Demjanjuk
— known to survivors of the
Treblinka death camp as "Ivan
the Terrible" — arrived in Israel
last Friday to face charges of
killing up to half a million Jews
at Treblinka in Poland.
Demjanjuk, whose appeal
against extradition to Israel was
rejected in a landmark U.S.
Supreme Court decision last
week, will be tried under Israeli
laws which deal with crimes
against the Jewish people and
crimes against humanity.
Demjanjuk, now 66, a diesel
mechanic who allegedly oper-
ated the gas chambers at Treb-
linka during World War II, will
be the first alleged Nazi war
criminal go on trial in
Jerusalem since Adolf
Eichmann, the chief architect of
the Holocaust, was tried in 'Is-
rael 25 years ago.
Eichinann was abducted from -
Buenos Aires in 1960 by Israeli
intelligence agents and flown '
secretly to Israel. He was tried .
the following year and sub-
sequently hanged, the only per-
son in Israel's history to be exe-
cuted.
Israel's Justice Minister,
Moshe Nissim, noted pointedly
last week that Demjanjuk will
be tried by a panel of three
judges, the legal requirement for
cases which carry the death sen-
tence.
An Israeli Justice Ministry of-
ficial told The Jewish News that
it may be several months before
Demjanjuk's trial begins and
that the trial itself — which is
expected to attract enormous in-
ternational media attention —
is expected to last for several
months.
Elaborate security measures,
codenamed "Operation Justice,"
were in force for Demjanjuk's
arrival in Israel at 11:30 a.m.
last Friday in the custody of a
team of U.S. federal agents.
He was taken directly to his
cell in the Ayalon Prison, Ftamle
— the same prison where
Eichmann was confined — and
is being held in solitary con-
finement under round-the-clock
observation by a special five-
man security detail, who are
monitoring every move he
makes through two closed-
circuit television cameras to
ensure that he does not attempt
to take his own life.
Just hours before his arrival,
foreign correspondents were
shown the freshly painted '3 x
3.5-yard cell which is Demjan-
juk's new "home."
The cell contained a 'simple
bed, a small wooden chair, a
table and a kitchen sink. On the
bed were three woolen blankets,
orange shirts and brown trous-
ers, all labelled with the He-

John Demjanjuk

brew initials, "Bet Samech" —
prison. There was also a new
dark blue jersey and size 12
socks. Underneath the bed was
a pair of black shoes and plastic
slippers still in their original
plastic bag.
Demjanjuk's prison routine
involves rising each day at 6
a.m. and eating the regular
prison food — the same fare, in
fact, that Israeli soldiers eat in
the field.
Attached to the cell is a small
courtyard, roofed by barbed
wire, where he is able to walk
12 yards in one direction and
eight yards in the other. He will
receive whatever religious
ministrations he requires.
Some 600 prisoners, about 60
percent of whom are serving life
sentences, are accommodated at
the prison and Demjanjuk will
receive the same treatment as
all other inmates, although no
decision has yet been made
about •whether he will work.
It is also understood that
when his trial opens later this
'year, Demjanjuk will occupy the
same glass booth that was used
to shield Eichmann from possi-
ble attacks from the public who
attended the court hearings.
One team of six Israeli inves-
tigators and another of three
senior state prosecutors have
been working full-time for the
past six months assembling evi-
dence based on statements by
the very few inmates of Treb-
linka who survived and on
documents from the archives of
Yad Vashem, the Nazi
Holocaust memorial and
documentation center in
Jerusalem.
Demjanjuk settled in Cleve-
land, Ohio, in the early 1950s,
where he worked at a well-paid
job as a diesel mechanic for the
Ford Motor Co. He was iden-

,

Continued on Page 23

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