Kyiv Post | 03Feb2010 | Reuters
Russian Sobibor survivor
PRAGUE, Feb 3, 2010 (Reuters) - A Russian survivor of the Sobibor Nazi death
camp says he can identify accused guard John Demjanjuk, Czech Radio
reported on Feb. 3, 2010, offering potentially crucial evidence for the
former soldier's trial.
Demjanjuk, who fought in the Red Army before being captured and
recruited as a Nazi camp guard, is on trial in Munich, accused of
participating in the killing of 27,900 Jews at the extermination camp
in occupied Poland.
John Demjanjuk denies ever having been "recruited as a Nazi camp
He denies a role in the Holocaust.
Former Sobibor prisoner Aleksei Weizen told Czech public radio in an
interview that he remembered Demjanjuk. "I remember him as a guard, I
saw him before he took a group of detainees to work in the woods," the
87-year-old Russian told the station.
This would be the first time someone could identify the accused
directly, the radio station said. The report did not mention Weizen had
any evidence other than his own memory.
Demjanjuk's lawyer Guenther Maull told Reuters he had heard of Weizen
in conjunction with Sobibor before, but that he was not aware of the
claims made in the Czech radio report.
Weizen is listed online as a survivor of the Sobibor camp by the
Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem. His name has also been transliterated
from Russian as Alexei Vaytsen.
Demjanjuk was extradited to Israel in 1986 and sentenced to death in
1988 after Holocaust survivors said he was the sadistic guard known as
"Ivan the Terrible" at the Treblinka camp where 870,000 people died.
The Israeli Supreme Court overturned that conviction in 1993 and freed
Demjanjuk after fresh evidence showed another man was probably the
The central office of the state justice administration for the
investigation of National Socialist crimes, Germany's main agency for
probing Nazi atrocities, said it had not been aware of Weizen and that
he was a potential witness.
A spokesman for the office said it would pass on details of Weizen to
prosecutors in Munich, but that it was for the court to decide whether
they wanted to hear his testimony.
"He could be brought in at any time," Kurt Schrimm, Germany's chief
Nazi war crimes investigator, told Reuters.
The radio said Weizen was in Sobibor from 1942 until an uprising there
in 1943. A reporter interviewed Weizen last week in the city of Ryazan,
southeast of Moscow, the station said.
Defence lawyers dispute that Demjanjuk was at Sobibor and say that even
if he had been there as a "Trawniki" -- a prisoner of war trained to
perform duties at camps -- he would have done so under duress and to
save his own life.
He denies being at Sobibor, which prosecutors say was run by 20-30 Nazi
SS members and up to 150 former Soviet war prisoners. But he has in the
past acknowledged being at other camps.
is pure disinformation! John Demjanjuk was a POW of the Germans. He
denies ever being in Trawniki, Sobibor or being a guard at any other
German concentration camp.]
His trial is expected to be the last major Nazi-era war crimes case and
is being followed closely abroad.
Demjanjuk emigrated to the United States in 1951 and worked in the auto
industry. He was extradited from the United States last May. If found
guilty, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars. His family
argues he is too frail to stand trial.
Prytulak, Guest | Today at
If you're going to mention "Ivan the Terrible" in connection
with John Demjanjuk, then journalistic ethics requires that you
acknowledge in the same breath that "Ivan the Terrible" is a myth, a
fiction, and a lie. To keep this information from Kyiv Post readers is
to perpetuate a blood libel against John Demjanjuk and against the
Ukrainian nation. To remove from Kyiv Post COMMENTS the url where this
accusation is proven is to perpetuate this blood libel:
case totally exposed, Guest
| Today at 19:02
Wow! I just read the most totally AMAZING expose of the John
Demjanjuk "Ivan" story at:
[W.Z. The above two comments were removed from the Kyiv Post archived article.]
Guest | Today at 18:44
Perhaps, after 66 years, this new "eyewitness" ought to say
that he now remembers that he remembers that he remembers (ad
infinitum) Demjanjuk being at . . . at . . . (Where was that place
Farce =Mockery, Guest |
Today at 18:32
where was this star witness during Demjanjuk's previous 100
it will be easy to reveal this phony's "memory" during cross
examination...this is a no brainer
its a wonder that the Germans and their American/Israeli bosses aren't
embarrassed at how this is turning out?
Guest | Today at 18:04
what a crock. noone remembers someone that long ago. i feel
sorry for the man in this kangaroo court.
Guest | Today at 18:42
such a monster like demjanjuk nobody will ever forget in his
Guest | Today at 19:28
So "German Guest", where was your grandfather in 1943?