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March 28, 1986 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-03-28

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

16 Friday, March 28, 1986

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

NEWS

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U.S. Attorney May
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Jerusalem (JTA) — The
Justice Ministry is considering
a request by an American at-
torney, Mark O'Connor, to
represent alleged Nazi war
criminal John Demjanjuk when
he stands trial in an Israeli
court. O'Connoer, who came to
Israel last week, submitted a
formal request to Meir Gabai,
Director General of the Justice
Ministry and Dennis Fouldman,
head of the Ministry's Interna-
tional Department.
Justice Minister Moshe
Nissim will consult with the Na-
tional Council of the Chamber of
Advocates. The question is
whether a foreign attorney not
a member of the Israel Bar may
argue a case in an Israeli court.
If O'Connor's request is
denied, an Israeli defense at-
torney will be appointed for
Demjanjuk. But it appeared
likely that the Justice Ministry
will allow O'Connor to plead. A
West German attorney was per-
mitted to defend Nazi war
criminal Adolf Eichmann at his
trial in Jerusalem in 1961.
O'Connor told reporters that
his defense of Demjanjuk will be
based on evidence that the
Ukrainian-born former U.S.
citizen who was extradited to
Israel is not the Treblinka death
camp guard the inmates called
"Ivan the Terrible" because of
his relentless brutality.
According to the American at-
torney, he has '.'solid evidence"
to support Demjanjuk's claim
that he is the victim of mistaken
identity. He said that once he is
granted the right to appear for
his client, he will travel to
Europe to secure further evi-
dence.
As the case is shaping up,
Demjanjuk's trial will pit the re-
cent testimony of Treblinka sur-
vivors who have positively iden-
tified Demjanjuk from photo-
graphs, against testimony taken
from other survivors many
years ago that the guard known
as "Ivan the Terrible" was in
fact killed during an inmate
uprising at Treblinka in 1943.
Evidence to that effect has
surfaced in Israel since Demjan-
juk was brought here. The latest
information that may cast
doubt On Demjanjuk's identity
is the testimony given under
oath by a Treblinka survivor,
Elias Rosenberg, to the Jewish
Historical Documentation
Center in Vienna in 1947.
Rosenberg appeared before
Tuvia Friedman who ran the
center on behalf of Hagana and
later achieved prominence as a
Nazi hunter from the documents
amassed at his Haifa-based ar-
chives. His testimony was
witnessed by Dr. Otto Schushny
and Dr. Kurt Weigel.
According to Rosenberg, the
sadistic guard who operated the
Treblinka gas chambers was
killed by Jews in August, 1943.
Friedman has a signed copy of
Rosenberg's five-page testi-
mony, given in German.

Earlier, a 20-year-old report
was found in the Bar Ilan
University archives. It contains
the testimony of another sur-
vivor, Abraham Goldfarb, given
to a student researcher em-
ployed by the Bar Ilan Holo-
caust Research Center which in
the 1960s compiled an oral
history of Holocaust events
from survivors who witnessed
them.
According to Goldfarb, who
died last year, "Ivan the Terri-
ble" and another guard were
killed by Jews who stormed the
gas chambers in 1943 and their
bodies thrown into the crema-
torium furnace. The Justice
Ministry has refused comment.
But the Yad Vashem Holocaust
Memorial archives dismissed
the report as unreliable.

Peres Supports
U.S. Action
Against Libya

Jerusalem (JTA) — The U.S.
Navy's exercise of the right of
free passage in the Gulf of Sidra
was hailed by Israel last Tues-
day as the correct way to deal
with Libyan leader Muammar
Qaddafi. American and Libyan
forces clashed in the disputed
waters.
Prime Minister Shimon Peres
declared in an official statement
that it was the right to the U.S.
to defend maritime routes.
Libya claims the entire gulf is
its territorial waters. The U.S.
and virtually every other coun-
try recognize only the 12-mile
limit.
Peres denounced Libya as the
spearhead of international ter-
rorism, a source of violence and
a threat to is neighbors. Only
action such as that initiated by
the U.S. can cope with such
behavior, he said.
The Foreign Ministry de-
scribed the American challenge
to Libya as an act of self
defense. Political sources in
Jerusalem said they were en-
couraged by the American ap-
proach. According to Zeev
Schiff, a respected Israeli
military analyst, the key ques-
tion in the Gulf of Sidra action
is the degree of Soviet involv-
ment there.
Schiff noted that Soviet ex-
perts probably were present at
the SA-5 missile sites in Libya
when they were fired at U.S.
Navy aircraft over the gulf. "It
is hard to assume that the firing
of the missiles at American
targets (last Monday) took place
without the knowledge of the
Soviets. The only question is
whether the Soviets gave their
approval to the attack," he
wrote.
According to "Schiff, the.
Soviet presence poses a problem
for the U.S. since it is likely to
limit its readiness to attack
targets with Soviet presence.

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