UKAR | 1998 | Lubomyr Prytulak []

Volodymyr Katelnytsky   Demjanjuk Defense Committee in Kiev   21-Jul-1993   Appeal on behalf of John Demjanjuk
"Nevertheless, this incomplete defense work can be excused, considering that Mr. Sheftel’s eyes and face were sprayed with acid, while your respected colleague, Dov Eitan, unexpectedly fell out of a very high window onto a Jerusalem sidewalk on the eve of Demjanjuk’s appeal." — Volodymyr Katelnytsky 

The appeal below is authored by Volodymyr Katelnytsky, President of the Demjanjuk Defense Committee in Kyiv.  But who is Volodymyr Katelnytstky?  He is a Ukrainian nationalist who was tortured to death in Kyiv on the night of 7-8 July, 1997.  Please read Volodymyr Katelnytsky's Ukrainian Archive web page for further details.

It is perhaps ironic that some four years after wondering at the plummeting to his death of former Israeli judge Dov Eitan — some think as punishment for the sin of joining the Demjanjuk defense team — Katelnytsky himself met his own untimely death — some think as punishment for the sin of impugning Israeli justice.  And let us not forget Katelnytsky's aged mother too meeting her own untimely death — some think as punishment for the sin of having a son who impugned Israeli justice.

Katelnytsky's appeal appears to be directed at the Israeli Court of Appeals which Katelnytsky has reason to believe is on the verge of upholding the conviction and sentencing to death of John Demjanjuk by a lower court.  What Katelnytsky's statement particularly demonstrates is how little of the relevant evidence the lower court examined before convicting Demjanjuk and sentencing him to death, and how ample the doubt that would have mandated Demjanjuk's acquittal in any court aspiring to Western standards of justice.

212 Z.Hajdaj St, s. 2-34; Kiev, UKRAINE
Tel: 413-4644


Honorable Judges of the Israeli Supreme Court
Meir Danzing, Menahem Elon, Eliezer Goldberg, Aharon Barak and Ya’acov Malz
Jerusalem, Israel
Tel 011-972-275-9666; fax 011-972-275-9648

Honored Sirs:

We never communicated with you previously because until yesterday, we had faith that John Demjanjuk will be acquitted.  However, the July 20, 1993 issue of the New York Times reported that your verdict reached weeks ago will be released on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Treblinka uprising and that it runs to "several hundred pages" in length.

Because it is prudent to believe that an acquitting verdict mandating the immediate release of the condemned prisoner would be short in length, we feel obliged to forestall the imminent guilty verdict with a petition for consideration of the following facts which may not have previously been brought to this Court’s attention.

1. After exhaustive research, the Polish Historical Society in the USA named several candidates for the position of the Treblinka-II gasser, e.g. Captain Sauer, Jan Rogoza, Ivan Brosh, a "Polish-speaking Sudeten German, SS-Rottenfuhrer" and a number of variously described "Ivans" without the sobriquet "The Terrible".  These findings are almost certainly unknown to you, as they were never brought to the attention of Israeli or American courts by Yoram Sheftel, Demjanjuk’s Israeli lawyer.

Please find more details about this in the enclosed article from the November 2, 1992 issue of the Ukrainian Voice from Winnipeg and the January 1993, issue of Zorya from Toronto and consider it in your verdict (Encl. 1).

2. In the about 700-page long verdict of the Jerusalem District Court on Demjanjuk, a "huge" diesel engine was mentioned by judges, prosecution expert witnesses and survivors on the witness stand as the tool of the mass murder at the Treblinka-II camp, at least six times.  This was vital error, because it is impossible to kill anyone, even a laboratory mouse, with diesel exhaust.

The lack of toxicity of diesel exhaust is a fact of which this court may take judicial notice: it is described in the enclosed "A Report of the Surgeon General of the U.S. Congress in Compliance with Public Law 86-493 The Schenck Act" from July 18, 1962 which indicates that diesel exhaust contains a negligible concentration of carbon monoxide (Encl. 2).  The enclosed letter from United Technologies – Connecticut Motor Vehicle Inspection Program states that diesel-powered vehicles emit only trace amounts of carbon monoxide (Encl. 3).  This determination is based on exhaustive research conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC in 1980.  This agency’s work revealed that even long-mileage and malfunctioning diesel engines emit only trace amounts of lethal carbon monoxide.

Thus, John Demjanjuk (or Ivan Marchenko) could not have killed anyone, much less 890,000 victims, with a non-toxic gas, which (contrary to lethal gasoline engine exhaust), in fact, contains life-supporting quantities of oxygen.  The correctness of these American reports might be verified by a quick telephone call to any appropriate Israeli scientific expert.

The nonlethal nature of diesel exhaust indicates that Treblinka-II survivors were wrong (or confabulated) about the murder weapon, i.e. the type of engine and the method of gassings at their camp, and renders defective the verdict of the Jerusalem District Court in the Demjanjuk case.  Please kindly incorporate the American scientific data into your verdict.

3. Please find enclosed a copy of an in-depth Treblinka-II report in "On Guard", an important Warsaw Ghetto underground newspaper from September 1942 (Encl. 4).  It describes the investigation of the Treblinka-II camp (then called Tremblinki) conducted by Zalman Friedrich, a former Polish Army Officer, along with Uziel Wallach, on the orders of the underground authorities of BUND, the largest Jewish party in Poland.  This contemporary, authoritative and professional report written by a fallen hero of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising contradicts the testimony upon which Demjanjuk’s death sentence is based; however, it was not introduced at his trial.  Please consider Friedrich’s report and additional Jewish underground documents from 1942 in your verdict.

4. Please find enclosed a copy of the comprehensive official report of the Polish Government-in-Exile in London on German concentration camps prepared for the April 1943, Bermuda Conference of the Allies (Encl. 5).  This report is based upon the investigation of the Treblinka camps requested by the Western Allied governments and ordered by "Grot"-Rowecki, the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Home Army.  It specified that Treblinka-I was a "forced labor camp".  The Treblinka-II camp, the alleged site of Demjanjuk’s crimes, was denoted as a "concentration camp proper", without the designation of "death camp".  The Treblinka-III camp was listed as "the death camp" for the Jews and was reported to be located at Czerwony Bor.  As late as in 1944, its existance was also mentioned in the renowned wartime publication Ghetto Speaks published in New York (Encl. 6).  The remote Czerwony Bor (Red Forest) was (and is) located 40 kilometers north of the Treblinka-I and Treblinka-II camps.  Additional documents regarding Treblinka-III are available from the Polish Historical Society in the USA (tel. 203-325-1079) and archives of the Polish Underground Study Trust in London (tel. 011-4481-992-6057).

If Demjanjuk (or Marchenko) had been a mass murderer of Jews, he was placed at the wrong Treblinka camp and location by the witnesses at his Jerusalem trial.  Thus, there is a conflict between wartime Underground and Allied governmental reports on one hand, and the findings of the Israeli trial court on the other hand.  Therefore, please incorporate the report of the Polish Government-in-Exile in your verdict.

5. You might rightly ask why during Demjanjuk’s trials nobody mentioned the Treblinka-III camp, at which took place annihilation of deported Jews.  The answer is the following: no Jews who entered this place at the sequestered Red Forest survived to tell of it.

Please remember that apparently only one reliable survivor survived the Belzec camp, Mr. Rudolf Reder (see Encl. 7).  If he had perished, we would also have never known about this camp, except for a science-fiction-like story published in the 1946 and 1981 editions of The Black Book.  (This publication claims that transports of 10,000 persons each were led to underground buildings where they were instantly exterminated with electricity in an underground water pool and then within minutes cremated (Encl. 8).

6. We want to bring to your attention that many Treblinka-II survivors were deposed under oath on numerous occasions:

— in 1944 at Treblinka by a Soviet commission chaired by Nikita Khrushchev;

— in 1945, 1947, 1950-53, 1961-63 and 1969 by various Soviet courts and later during Fedir Fedorenko’s trial in Simferopol;

— in 1945 in Lodz by a Polish magistrate, Judge Zdzislaw Lukaszkiewicz (in preparation for the Nuremberg trials);

— in 1946 in Germany during the Nuremberg trial;

— in 1954 in Warsaw during the trial of four former Treblinka-II guards: Melnyk, Dmyterenko, Osiczanski and Rudenko, all Ukrainians, who after helping Jews at that camp were forced to desert it in 1942 and 1943;

— during at least three Treblinka-II trials in West Germany:
   — in 1951 against H. Hitereiter et al,
   — in 1964 against Treblinka-II’s second commandant, Kurt Franz et al,
   — in 1970 against Treblinka-II Commandant, Franz Stangl.

We are certain that many of relevant testimonies from the above mentioned proceedings were not submitted or considered by you or by the District Court. T. Borowski from the Polish Historical Society eloquently explained, why in the USSR accusations were heaped on Ivan Marchenko, who in the Warsaw trial was described as Treblinka-II playboy (Encl. 9).  While during the Warsaw trial, the prosecution’s witnesses described Ivan Marchenko as a rough womanizer, Ivan Demjanjuk was never mentioned during this and all other above-mentioned judicial proceedings.  This omission is so remarkable as to be of significant probative value in weighing the later testimony of the eyewitnesses against Demjanjuk.

7. Perhaps the most important and unknown to you is the documentation gathered in 1945 by Judge Lukaszkiewicz, the Magistrate of the District Court at Siedlce, Poland.  On November 5, 1945 in Lodz, Poland, Judge Lukaszkiewicz gathered over a dozen Jewish Treblinka-II survivors as a group in one room (some of which eventually testified in Jerusalem), with an explicit order to recall all possible perpetrators from the Treblinka-II camp.  During that meeting, they were able to recall five leading "Ukrainians" (Encl. 10), but without assigning to any one of them any crimes or atrocities.  Even more significantly, the well known leader of this group, Samuel Reizman, concluded under oath in the joint report of his group that: "We were unable to recall last names of any additional Ukrainians".  Neither the deeds or the sobriquet "Ivan the Terrible" are mentioned in this comprehensive document.  Two months later, and identical determination was filed by Judge Lukaszkiewicz (Encl. 10).   Lo and behold, jointly these Jewish survivors failed to recall the man whom four decades later some of them, as eyewitnesses in the Jerusalem courtroom, claimed to remember, recognized and dubbed as the greatest mass killer of mankind.  Instead, in 1945 these Jewish Treblinka-II survivors remembered the commander of the guards, Jan Rogoza.  In later years, the latter’s name was transposed via Rogozin then Rogozny to Grozny meaning "Terrible".  Thus, "Jan Rogoza" (Polish Jan translates into Ukrainian Ivan) developed into the nickname "Ivan the Terrible", which was recently appended onto different men, initially John Demjanjuk and lately Ivan Marchenko.

It is inconceivable that these Jewish survivors, with their ordeals fresh in their minds after the passage of only two years, could jointly have all forgotten "Ivan the Terrible" if he had truly been operating at the Treblinka-II camp.  Nor would they have forgotten Ivan Demjanjuk or Marchenko if one of them had really been a mass murderer at Treblinka-II, especially since witnesses and affiants on average managed to survive for eleven months, nearly the full term of the existence of that camp, while they claimed that the usual survival time for working Jews was only two weeks.

The enclosed copies of the lists of the Treblinka-II perpetrators prepared by the magistrate and the camp’s survivors and the transcript from that meeting indicate that these Jews incarcerated at Treblinka-II knew their supervising personnel quite well.  They must have been even friendly with their oppressors, as they were able to relate details of the pre-war personal life of the SS-personnel.  Thus, the surviving Jews could not have been so forgetful about any "Ivan the Terrible", the (alleged) greatest killer of mankind.  Please consider the enclosed, exonerating documents of Polish Magistrate Lukaszkiewicz in your verdict.

8. Certain physical photographic evidence strongly contradicts the testimony of the witnesses against Demjanjuk.  Please familiarize yourself with the enclosed wartime air photos of the Treblinka-II camp (Encl. 11).

About 1,100,000 Luftwaffe air photos were captured by the Americans in Germany.  They are presently stored at the National Archives in Washington, DC.  These air photos show that the mass grave at the Treblinka-II camp measured about 60 by 6 meters.  Moreover, in November 1945, Judge Lukaszkiewicz’s forensic-archeological exhumation of this mass burial site revealed that it measured less than 6.00 meters in depth (Encl. 12).  Thus the volume of the Treblinka-II mass grave (6 x 6 x 60 meters) could not hold more than a small fraction of the victims that Demjanjuk is claimed by the prosecution’s witnesses to have murdered.

Instead of being 200 (two hundred) times larger, Treblinka-II mass burial was about 10% smaller than the combined volume of the graves at Katyn Forest, which contained bodies of about 4,500 Polish officers.  Please incorporate the enclosed air photos of Treblinka-II, showing that it was a deadly transit camp, (but not a "death camp") into your verdict.

9. The small size of the mass grave at the Treblinka-II camp is further confirmed by the eye level photos taken in mid-August 1944 by the Soviet investigating commission (Encl. 11).  These photos were discovered in 1990 at the archives of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, and the originals and the negatives of them are available there to this day.

The air photos and the eye level photos confirm each other’s accuracy and authenticity.  They provide incontrovertible physical evidence that Treblinka-II was a deadly transit camp and not a death camp.  This wartime photographic evidence and the results of the 1945 exhumations refute the most crucial parts of the testimony of prosecution witnesses.  The information contained in the air photos or even eye-level photos might not be apparent to an average person, but a brief consultation with air photoreconnaissance interpreters of the world famous Israeli Air Force will quickly confirm our and a CIA expert’s interpretation.  Please incorporate the enclosed photos, an exonerating physical evidence, into your verdict.

10. An attempt might be made to try to counter the above-mentioned physical and historical evidence by pointing to perpetrators who confessed to the mass annihilations during the World War II and at the Treblinka-II camp.  However, it should be remembered that testimony of imprisoned perpetrators is not always reliable, as in the following examples:

— In April of 1945, SS-physician Dr. W. G. Schuebbe, captured by the Americans, confessed to killing 21,000 victims with injections (Encl. 13).  He also admitted that he was the Director of the German Annihilation Institute at Kiev, where 140,000 Jews, Gypsies and others "unworthy to live" were killed with morphine tartarate injections.  This alleged mass murderer was released in 1948, when a confidential SS-personnel dossier was discovered which revealed that Dr. Schuebbe he had never been stationed in Ukraine or Kiev, after some obviously ill-informed 12th US Army Group interrogator, in 1945, nearly successfully implicated Schuebbe in an imaginary Babi Yar-like massacre.

— In the summer of 1945, a SS-officer presently revered for his pro-Jewish stance, Kurt Gerstein, confessed repeatedly while in a French prison, that 25,000,000 (sic) Jews, Poles and Czechs had already been annihilated by the Nazis in 1942.  Several days later, while still incarcerated, he committed suicide.  To avoid embarrassment, Gerstein’s highly unrealistic number of Nazi victims is never discussed in public writings by the pundits of the Holocaust (Encl. 14).

— While in an NKVD prison and then at a public trial, nine German officers confessed to killing "10,000 Polish officers at Katyn".  Four days later, on January 30, 1946, all were hanged in Leningrad, in front of 20,000 onlookers.  However, recently President Yeltsin confirmed that the killing at the Katyn Forest had been done by the NKVD on Stalin’s orders.

— Before he was hanged in 1948, Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Hoess was forced to confess that 3,500,000 had perished at his camp.  Recently, the Auschwitz victim count has been greatly reduced by the Polish Government and Israeli scholars while still subject to further revision (see: Why Did the Heavens not Darken?, by Professor A. Meyer).

— In the mid-1960s, two Treblinka-II suspects/perpetrators, Otto Horn and F. Suchomel, were provided immunity from prosecution for confessing and implicating their colleagues.  However, their confessions contradict above-mentioned physical evidence and are thus also unreliable.

In your verdict please consider the unreliability of the testimony of Otto Horn and his identification of John Demjanjuk.

11. Your court’s guilty verdict must have been facilitated by the omissions of Demjanjuk’s Israeli lawyer, who failed in his prime duty of looking for his client’s alibi and providing you with all available physical exonerating evidence.  Instead, he merely struggled to transpose the alleged guilt of Demjanjuk onto another innocent Ukrainian.  Nevertheless, this incomplete defense work can be excused, considering that Mr. Sheftel’s eyes and face were sprayed with acid, while your respected colleague, Dov Eitan, unexpectedly fell out of a very high window onto a Jerusalem sidewalk on the eve of Demjanjuk’s appeal (Encl. 15).

In short, please consider that the simple and uneducated Demjanjuk was incapable of presenting to the courts a strong defense or mentioning the facts from this letter.  However, that is no reason for Israel to imprison, convict and hang an innocent man for political purposes.

Yours sincerely,
Volodymyr Katelnytsky
President, Demjanjuk Defense Committee

— S. Weizman, President of Israel
— S. Weiss, Chairman of the Knesset
— Minister of Justice, Israel
— H. Cohn, former Israeli Supreme Court Judge
— E. Meyer, President of Israel Bar of Advocates, 1 Chopin St., Jerusalem
— L. Kravchuk, President of Ukraine
— I. Pliuschch, Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament
— L. Walesa, President of Poland
— H. Kohl, Chancellor of Germany

— Clerk, U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Cincinnati, OH
— J. Biden, Justice Department Oversight Committee
— T. Foley, Speaker of the House, U.S. Congress
— J. Traficant, Jr. U.S. Congressman, Youngstown, OH
— R. Clark, Esq., New York City, NY, former U.S. Attorney General
— P. Buchanan, former U.S. presidential candidate

— United Nations Human Rights Commission, New York, NY
— Secretariat, Amnesty International, London
— American Civil Liberties Union, New York, NY
— International Association of Jewish Attorneys and lawyers, Washington, DC — E. Bronfman, President, World Jewish Congress, New York, NY
— I. Levitas, Chairman of the congress of Jewish Organisations in Ukraine, Kyyiv

— Dr. Y. Arad, Director, Yad Vashem, Holocaust Remembrance Authority, Jerusalem, Israel
— Prof. B. Berenbaum, Director, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC
— A. Shlayen, Director, The "Babiy Yar" Historical Centre, Kyyiv, Ukraine
— R. Juszkiewich, Director, Main Commission of Investigation of Hitlerite Crimes, IPN, Warsaw, Poland

— Jewish Telegraphic Agency, New York, NY
— Ukrinform, Kyyiv, Ukraine and New York, NY
— Associated Press, New York, NY
— Reuters, Kyyiv, Ukraine and New York, NY
— Polish Press Agency, Washington, DC and Warsaw, Poland

Editors in:
— Israel: Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Maariv, Ydeiot Akhronot, Viedomosti Niedeli

— USA: The New York Times, New York Post, Washington Post, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Time Magazine, Atlantic Magazine, Commentary, The Midstream, Reformed Judaism, The Jewish Press, The New Russian Word, The Jewish Life, Polish Daily News, The American Lawyer

— Ukraine: Pravda Ukrainy, Sil’ski Visti, Demokratychna Ukraina, Nash Chas, Literaturnaya Ukraina, Kyievski Viedomosti – in Kyyiv, Poklyk Sumlinya, Klych Natsiyi – in Lviv

— Canada: Toronto Star, Ukrainian Voice, Ukrainian News, Jewish Life, Ukraina i Svit, Zorya

— Poland: Gazeta Wyborcza, Dziennik Wybrzeza, Panorama, Nashe Slovo, Folkshtyme

— England: Daily Telegraph, Jewish Chronicle

— Germany: Der Spiegel, Bunte Illustrierte