HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Have we seen "The Devil N...

Fri Dec 6, 2019, 10:38 AM

Have we seen "The Devil Next Door"? What do we think of John Demjanjuk?

I happen to think that, yes, he was "Ivan the Terrible"... but I would not have voted to convict him in that first Israeli "show trial".

I certainly don't agree with the Israeli prosecutors that the Treblinka survivors should have been automatically believed. Undoubtedly they were traumatized by Treblinka, but science tells us that human memory is a complicated and not necessarily reliable thing. And one of the witnesses was SO eager that justice would be done to Ivan that he had already boasted about having killed the monster himself.

I also would have thought then, as I do now, that KGB documentary evidence against Ukrainian defectors should not be taken at face value. Yes, I probably would have agreed with the Israeli national hysteria at the time that Demjanjuk was, in fact, Ivan the Terrible; however, unlike the rabble thirsty for revenge I believe in the judicial primacy of "reasonable doubt", especially when the Court was bold enough to be very specific in its charges about the man's identity. Instead, the Israelis should have just tried him as a vile, inhuman Sobibor gas chamber monster and hanged him on THAT basis. He would have gotten the punishment he deserved even when it cost Israel the satisfaction of nabbing the notorious Ivan.

It was only later, upon the discovery of documentary evidence from fellow Ukrainian gas chamber workers naming Ivan the Terrible as "Ivan Marchenko" that all doubt would have been removed. I agree with the Israeli prosecutor that the fact that Demjanjuk had used the alias "Ivan Marchenko" could not have been a mere coincidence.

But I guess I posted all this because I most wanted to comment on the mindset of Demjanjuk's grandson, who excuses away Demjanjuk's crimes at Sorbibor and Trawniki as the acts of somebody just looking to survive. This, I'm afraid, is how monsters come to and stay in power: they need foot soldiers who are willing to cast aside all morality for the sake of survival, and then affiliate and familial bystanders to make excuses for it all. The cowardice amounts to complicity. And that message seems particularly relevant these days.

1 replies, 562 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 1 replies Author Time Post
Reply Have we seen "The Devil Next Door"? What do we think of John Demjanjuk? (Original post)
Goodheart Dec 2019 OP
TexasBushwhacker Dec 2019 #1

Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 08:05 PM

1. Demjanjuk's committed his crimes decades before his grandson was born

How can he be "complicit"?

It's difficult to find out someone you love has a dark history, especially if they never hurt you in any way. My mother told me that my grandmother sexually abused her as a child. My grandmother, called "Mom" died years earlier, but I really had a hard time wrapping my mind about the abuse, especially since my parents let us stay with her often. I believed my mother, but I only know "Mom" as I experienced her.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread