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April 22, 1988 - Image 58

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-04-22

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

BEHIND THE HEADLINES

HELP US

CELEBRATE

OUR

Mr. & Mrs.
Norman Adelsberg
recipients of the
Tomchei Torah Award

24th ANNIVERSARY

BANQUET

AKIVA HEBREW

DAY SCHOOL

John Demjanjuk during his trial last year. How could he start a new life
as if Treblinka never existed?

Demjanjuk Is Found
Guilty Of War Crimes

HELEN DAVIS

Israel Correspondent

Guest Speaker:
Yehuda Blum
Former Israeli Ambassador
to the United Nations

W

Sunday, April 24, 1988

Shaarey Zedek Synagogue
27375 Bell Road
Southfield, MI

Salek Lessman
General Chairman

Patron Committee Chairperson Jack Zwick

Banquet Chairpersons

Marjorie Burstyn, Rosa Chessler and Fran Rogers

Cocktails 6:00 p.m.

Dinner 7:00 p.m.

Couvert $180 per couple

for reservations call

552-9690

Paul Borman
I Ionorary Chairman

58 . FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 1988

.

YESHIVAT AKIVA

e find that the ac-
cused, John Dem-
janjuk, is Ivan the
Terrible of Treblinka."
With these words, Justice
Dov Levin brought to an end
the controversial, emotion-
charged trial which has
riveted, bewildered and
frustrated the Israeli public
for the past 14 months.
Levin, flanked by Judge Zvi
Tal and Judge Dalia Dorner,
read the mammoth 500-page
verdict in a tension-filled
Jerusalem courtroom last
Monday. The press gallery
was crammed with jour-
nalists and television
cameras, while the first four
rows of the public gallery
were reserved for Treblinka
survivors and Demjanjuk's
family — wife Vera, son John,
daughter Lydia and son-in-
law Ed Nishnik.
Before court opened, there
was a sense of history-in-the-
making as spectators began
lining up in the very early
hours of the morning to be
sure of a place. Those who did
not manage to secure one of
the 250 seats followed the
day's events in an adjoining
hall, where the proceedings
were projected onto a giant
screen.
The only person missing
was the central character in
the drama: Demjanjuk had
complained of severe back-
ache that morning and was
allowed to listen to the judg-
ment lying down in his cell
adjoining the court.

Justice Levin, on leave from
Israel's Supreme Court, has
been accused by the defense of
being "interventionist" and
biased. He declared that he
and his two colleagues were
"aware of our judicial and
historic responsibility." This
has not, he said emphatical-
ly, "been a show trial or
another Dreyfus case, as the
defense has claimed."
Demjanjuk was found guil-
ty on all counts. Guilty of
crimes against the Jewish
people, crimes against
humanity, war crimes and
crimes against persecuted
people at the Treblinka death
camp, where some 850,000
Polish Jews had been
slaughtered during World
War II.
There was, after all, no
mistaken identity, as the
former 69-year old auto
worker from Cleveland
claimed throughout the legal
hearings, which had started
in the United States where he
was stripped of his citizenship
and extradited to Israel for
trial.
The judges agreed unani-
mously that John Demjanjuk
was, beyond any reasonable
doubt, Ivan the Terrible, the
Treblinka guard who brutal-
ly beat, raped and killed
Jewish prisoners.
It was also Demjanjuk, the
trained diesel mechanic who,
finally, flicked the switch to
start the engines that
pumped the lethal gas into
the chambers.
The trial, which involved
the testimony of 152
witnesses, more than 13,000

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