Hilaire Belloc on Jewish courage
Last revised 13-Dec-2003

"Because he held one of his own people to be injured, he took this tremendous risk and went through this self-imposed task with a sort of pleasure in that risk." Hilaire Belloc
If the popular version of the Dreyfus case is correct, then it parallels the Demjanjuk case in that both were very prominent cases in which the accused was convicted, but was subsequently demonstrated to be innocent.  For this reason, the Demjanjuk case is sometimes referred to as the Ukrainian Dreyfus case, or the 20th Century's Dreyfus case, where the original Dreyfus case took place around the end of the 19th century (sent to Devil's Island in 1894, pardoned in 1899).

It is more than a little ironic that the people who felt themselves the victims in the Dreyfus case turned around less than a century later to become the victimizers in the Demjanjuk case.  Sometimes, it appears, "Never again!" is taken to mean "Never again to us but to others, by all means!"

My purpose in citing Hilaire Belloc below is to present an image of courage which, had it been present among any substantial number of Demjanjuk defenders at the beginning of the Demjanjuk proceedings, would have brought those proceedings to a close two decades ago.  Such courage in defending the palpably-framed John Demjanjuk was in fact demonstrated by a handful of Ukrainians, and by a few Jews as well, with it being the Jews perhaps who stuck their necks out farthest and who suffered the most dire consequences US attorney William Wolf made enemies and was ostracized, Israeli defense attorney Yoram Sheftel had acid splashed into his face, and the former Israeli judge who assumed leadership of the Demjanjuk appeal, Dov Eitan, mysteriously fell to his death from a Tel Aviv office tower.  In contrast, no Ukrainian was ostracized or had acid splashed into his face or was thrown to his death from an office tower as a result of having defended John Demjanjuk.

Perhaps the award for cowardice during the Demjanjuk proceedings deserves to go to Elizabeth Loftus, Jewish-American memory expert typically available to testify on the frailty of human memory for the defense without regard to the crimes that the defendant is accused of, or the weight of the evidence against him, with the sole exception of a Ukrainian defendant palpably being framed by Jews, for whom her testimony becomes unavailable.  So perverted has become Jewish thinking on the nature of justice that a highly educated individual like Elizabeth Loftus, with a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Stanford, can be persuaded to the view that it is wrong to place all available evidence before Israeli judges and let them decide on the guilt or innocence of John Demjanjuk, but rather that it is right for each Jewish witness to beforehand ascertain whether the Jewish community wants the accused convicted, and if so to then withhold exculpatory testimony.

But to return to instances of courage, one might say that if the courage and committment described by Hilaire Belloc below, or demonstrated by the handful of the righteous cited above, were present in one Ukrainian out of a thousand, then the Demjanjuk persecution would not be dragging on to this day.

Rather more than twenty years ago, when feeling on the Dreyfus case was at its height and when the feeling of the French Army in particular was at white heat, I happened to be in the town of Nîmes, through which at the time, a body of troops was passing.  The café in which I sat was filled with young sergeants.  There were hardly any civilians present beside myself.  There came into the place an elderly Jew, very short in stature, highly marked with the physical characteristics of his race, an unmistakable Jew.  He was somewhat bent under the weight of his years, with fiery eyes and a singularly vibrating intonation of voice.  He was selling broadsheets of the most violent kind, all of them insults against the Army.  He came into this café with the sheets in his hand so that all could see the large capital letters of the headlines, and slowly went round the assembly ironically offering them to the lads in uniform with their swords at their side, for they were of the cavalry.

Every one knows the French temper on such occasions a complete silence which may at any moment be transformed into something very different.  One sergeant after another politely waved him aside and passed him on.  He went round the whole lot of them, gazing into their faces with his piercing eyes, wearing the whole time an ironical smile of insult, describing at intervals the nature of his goods, and when he had done that he went out unharmed.

It was an astonishing sight.  I have seen many others as astonishing and as vivid, but for courage I have never seen it surpassed.  Here was a man, old and feeble, the member of a very small minority which he knew to be hated, and particularly hated by the people whom he challenged.  Because he held one of his own people to be injured, he took this tremendous risk and went through this self-imposed task with a sort of pleasure in that risk.  You may call it insolence, offensiveness, what you will: but you cannot deny it the title of courage.  It was courage of the very highest quality.
Hilaire Belloc, The Jews, Butler and Tanner, London, 1937, pp. 74-75.