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April 11, 1986 - Image 34

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-04-11

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34- • Friday, April 11, 1986









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Why Not Extradite
More Nazi Criminals?

Special to The Jewish News

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I Stuart Germansql




Enter from 12 Mile Rd. OR Easy access • Franklin Rd.
Enter through Cloymor Apt. ntronce
Formerly the Roquetime Bldg. n
newly r modeled

closer you look e bett r we get.

The extraditions of Andrija
Artukovic and Ivan Demjanjuk
within the last month were twin
triumphs of a legal tool rarely
used in the prosecution of al-
leged Nazi war criminals in this
But extradition, a simple and
direct method of removing
wanted individuals from one
country to another, should be
the preferred method rather
than the exception. Extradition
has been sought against three
individuals accused of commit-
ting war crimes under Nazi
auspices: Hermine Braunsteiner
Ryan, Andrij a Artukovic and
Ivan Demjanjuk. In each case
the request has been successful
and the accused sent to the
requesting country: West Ger-
many, Yugoslavia and Israel,
Extradition, unlike denat-
uralization and deportation, is
relatively swift and sure. Most
cases are resolved within 12
months (including Supreme
Court review) rather than the
five to seven year period for
denaturalization and deporta-
The denaturalization pro-
ceeding against Demjanjuk
began in 1977; the deportation
proceeding which began in 1982
was still in progress at the time
of his extradition. The extradi-
tion began with Israel's request
to the• U.S. for Demjanjuk in
December, 1983, and ended
when he arrived in Tel Aviv in
February, 1986, after the Su-
preme Court declined to review
the case and Justice O'Connor
declined to stay the proceeding.
While this took more than two
years, it is demonstrably
quicker than the denaturaliza-
tion/deportation process of more
than eight years.
Similarly, Artukovic's ex-
tradition began with Yugo-
slavia's request for him in
November, 1984, and ended
with his arrival in Zagreb in
February, 1986. Justice Rhen-
quist declined to block Ar-
tukovic's removal from the U.S.
The current deportation pro-
ceedings were re-opened in 1979.
But a little more than a year
after Yugoslavia renewed its ex-
tradition request for Artukovic,
he was in their country.
These two cases should not be
allowed to become isolated ex-
amples of success. But the sad
reality is that there are no other
extradition requests for alleged
Nazi war criminals now pending
before U.S. courts.
The tradition process is one
go' treaty. Each treaty
ly negotiated be-
tween thi r U.S. and the other
country. ome of the treaties are
very • , (for example, the ex-
tra. ion treaty between the
.S. and Yugoslavia dates to
1901 when Yugoslavia was the
Kingdom of Serbia), but they re-
plain valid. today_ .The United
States has existing -treaties of

extradition with virtually every
country involved in the Holo-
caust except the U.S.S.R. and
East Germany, but that should
not deter the adoption of an
aggressive extradition policy by
this country.
For too long we have heard
that the countries of the West,
particularly the United States,
have harbored individuals ac-
cused of concealing their past
activities as willing supporters
and participants in the destruc-
tion and extermination of six
million Jews. In 1977, the
United States began its first,
tentative steps to remove these
individuals from our country. In
1979, the Office of Special In-
vestigations was created within
the Criminal Division of the
Justice Department. That office
has now existed for seven years
and 10 individuals have been
deported; World War II was
over and won in six years.
The time is at hand to say to
the world: we have these people
and we want you to try them for
their crimes. Be it France,
Poland, Czechoslovakia, West
Germany, Hungary or Austria,
treaties of extradition exist and
their provisions should be util-
ized. It is time to stop listening
to the hypocritical and sanctim-
onious bleatings of those who
can only see fault in the U.S. We
made a mistake in letting accus-
ed war criminals into our coun-
try. But we admitted it and em-
barked on a course to cleanse
ourselves. The problem now is
not an American problem; it is
a universal one. If the countries
of the victims are not interested
in trying the persecutors for
their crimes, then why should
we have to bear the burden of
their indifference?
What we need is a strong
diplomatic initiative telling our
erstwhile allies that if they are
as serious as we are about bring-
ing war criminals to justice, it is
time for them to act as well.
Poland, for example, has a war
crimes commission and a treaty
of extradition with the United
States; let them ask for a
suspected war criminal. If a
judge agrees then the case ii
The Soviet Union presents a
more difficult legal problem
because there is no treaty of ex-
tradition between the U.S. and
the U.S.S.R. In 1943, however,
the United States, the United
Kingdom and the Union of
Soviet Socialist. Republics
signed a convention in Moscow.
The problem that we have is
time; extradition (and its var-
iants) presents a possible solu-
tion to that problem. More im-
portantly, an individual whose
extradition is Ought usually is
jailed as soon as the proceeding
begins. In deportation, jail is the
rare exception, not the rule.
Given our dismal record since
World War II, we have nothing,
to lose by trying this approach.



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