Cleveland Plain Dealer | 05Apr2007 | John Caniglia
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Demjanjuk will likely remain in U.S.

Other nations aren't willing to take in those tied to WWII crimes

No country appears willing to take in accused Nazi[?] John Demjanjuk, so the United States could very well be stuck with him.

The government has fought for 30 years to deport the 87-year-old retired autoworker, who lives in Seven Hills. Federal judges [Paul Matia] have determined he persecuted Jews as a Nazi guard, and Demjanjuk has nearly exhausted all appeals.

[W.Z. On the contrary, no evidence has been presented that Mr. Demjanjuk persecuted anybody.]

The United States can't deport him, however, unless another country takes him in, and no country will accept him, say his family and attorney.

His case highlights a growing frustration for federal prosecutors who handle Nazi cases: European countries are not interested in taking the infirm and infamous. Nothing obligates them to do so.

Judges have ordered six other men across the country, all of whom have exhausted their appeals, to be deported because of their wartime pasts. But no country will take them, and they are living their last days in their homes, years after they were ordered out of the country.

[W.Z. Why would these so-called judges expect any self-respecting country to become complicit in the fraudulent process of denaturalization and deportation utilized by the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) to circumvent justice?]

"We want him to stay here because we believe that's where he belongs," said Edward Nishnic, a family spokesman. "That would be the best for Mr. Demjanjuk and his family. It would be the end of a very long, sad show."

Since 1979, 70 Nazi collaborators have been deported to other countries.

An immigration judge [Paul Matia] ordered Demjanjuk deported in 2005, and his case is pending in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

When his appeals end -- possibly as early as next year at the U.S. Supreme Court -- Demjanjuk could be ordered out of the country.

The U.S. Justice Department and the State Department already have begun working to find a country that will take him.

No other nation will have him

The struggles to find a new home for Demjanjuk could be more difficult than the others. He was accused of being Ivan the Terrible, a menacing guard who ran the Treblinka gas chambers.

[W.Z. John Caniglia knows perfectly well that John Demjanjuk was never in Treblinka!]

He was convicted in Israel, spent years on death row but was acquitted and released from prison in 1993.

[W.Z. John Caniglia fails to mention that the Sixth Circuit Court ruled that the OSI perpetrated fraud on the court to obtain the 1981 denaturalization and the 1986 extradition of Mr. Demjanjuk to Israel.]

Prosecutors filed new allegations in 1999, based on new evidence from the collapse of the Soviet Union, that he served at three camps. A federal judge [Paul Matia] in 2002 stripped him of his citizenship, saying Demjanjuk actively assisted in the process in which thousands of Jews were killed.

He denies the allegations.

“There’s a greater chance of a country refusing Demjanjuk than the others because he is so wellknown,” said Jonathan Drimmer, a former federal prosecutor who worked for years on Demjanjuk’s case. “It’s a very real possibility that he can stay here.

“If John Demjanjuk is allowed to die in the United States without suffering the ultimate legal remedy under the law, it would be a tragedy.”

Neal Sher, who prosecuted Nazi cases in the 1980s and 1990s at the Justice Department, agreed: “It is so absolutely discouraging to do all the work and then not see the results.”

Eli Rosenbaum, the leader of the Justice Department’s unit that searches out Nazi collaborators, declined to comment on Demjanjuk’s case, saying it was pending. But he said it becomes difficult when countries such as Germany and Romania refuse to accept men like Demjanjuk.

[W.Z. The real tragedy is that Jonathan Drimmer, Neal Sher and Eli Rosenbaum have never been charged and convicted for persecuting an innocent man for all these years.]

A federal judge listed Germany, Poland and Ukraine, Demjanjuk’s birthplace, as countries where Demjanjuk could be sent.

His attorney, John Broadley, said he doubts any of them will take Demjanjuk.

“The last thing that Germany needs or wants is to raise this issue again,” Broadley said. “The same with Poland. And just because a person was born in Soviet Ukraine doesn’t mean the country will want to take him now.”

If Demjanjuk lost all appeals and remained in the United States, he would be considered a stateless alien and would lose his Social Security benefits.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: jcaniglia@plaind.com, 440.324.3775

[W.Z. It is perhaps not a coincidence that the slide of the United States into becoming a nation of torturers and war criminals, glaringly highlighted by their actions in Iraq, appears to coincide with the OSI persecution of John Demjanjuk since 1978.]