W. G. Daniliw   New Perspectives   May 1987   Objection to retroactive laws
Is there not a similarity in the strategy of the Russian Bolsheviks who sent Ukrainian soldiers in the Red Army to kill innocent Afghans, saying "Let the bandits murder one another?" W. G. Danyliw

John Demjanjuk accuses Israeli prosecutors

By W. G. Danyliw

(translation by Daria Antonyshyn)

In the August 23, 1986 issue of The Globe and Mail there appeared an Associated Press report, announcing that Israel's Court had extended John Demjanjuk's detention without a formal charge in the Ayalon Prison until October 1, 1986.

Furthermore, in this report it is stated that John Demjanjuk accuses the Israeli prosecutors of wasting their time in seeking false witnesses.

John Demjanjuk has maintained from the very beginning that he had never been at Treblinka, and that the entire story that he was "Ivan Grozny" was a fabrication by the KGB with the aid of a falsified identity card from the training camp at Trawniki.

Before dealing with the motives of supplying false evidence against Ukrainian "Nazis," it is necessary to refer to the important events of this century.  As a result of those events, not only John Demjanjuk but also the whole Ukrainian nation was victimized.  We are living in an age of terrorism, the cruelty of which exceeds the barbarism of the Huns and Mongul hordes and also the horrors of Peter the Great, perpetrated on the Ukrainian nation after his victory at Poltava.

The terrorism, which began on October 17, 1917 (after the Julian calendar), continues to the present day.  The principal actors of this high-handed orgy of sadism were on the one hand the Muscovite Bolsheviks (Lenin, Trotsky, Kamenev, Zinoviev, Stalin, Radek, Kaganovich, Andropov and others) and, on the other hand, the German Nazis (Hitler, Bormann, Himmler, Heydrich, Rosenberg, Eichmann and others), although before them we saw abominable crimes perpetrated by the Bolsheviks.  It is our contention that without the precedent of the Bolshevik crimes against the non-Russian nations of the Soviet Union, the Nazis would not have had the temerity to engage in their crimes for fear of condemnation by world public opinion.

There is no doubt that in this orgy of crime the greatest victims have been the Jewish and Ukrainian nations.  According to US News and World Report Muscovite Bolsheviks have in the last 66 years murdered 21 million Ukrainians (every 4th Ukrainian).  Hitler's Nazis, according to statistical data, have murdered about 2 million Ukrainians.  The Jewish population has lost about 6 million.  Only in this historical aspect one can comprehend the tragedies of both the Ukrainian and Jewish nations, as well as the whole absurd comedy of the judicial proceedings and incarceration of John Demjanjuk, both in the United States and in Israel.

The treatment and persecution of John Demjanjuk is viewed by Ukrainians as follows: "by the instrument of the Israeli judicial system, the KGB is attempting to murder the 21,000,001st Ukrainian, the former Nazi war prisoner, John Demjanjuk."  Is it not an irony that John Demjanjuk was extradited in handcuffs by a democratic United States to a democratic Israel for the benefit of the most "democratic" KGB in Moscow?  Is there not a similarity in the strategy of the Russian Bolsheviks who sent Ukrainian soldiers in the Red Army to kill innocent Afghans, saying "Let the bandits murder one another?"  The perfidity of the Soviet KGB lies in its ability to pit one of its enemies against another.  We cannot fathom the notion that Moscow's KGB has suddenly become such a faithful ally of Israel that it sympathizes with the Jewish victims and that it, in an act of solidarity, "discovered" John Demjanjuk "a war criminal" by means of an identity card which John Demjanjuk, in the course of his travels, somehow lost.  What an incredible find for the Bolsheviks!

The objective of the KGB in the proceedings against John Demjanjuk both in the United States and Israel are as follows: by means of a fabricated identity card from the Trawniki training camp, the KGB incited its friends in the Office of Special Investigations to commence administrative proceedings which led to the extradition of John Demjanjuk to Israel; thus by means of this provocation, to pit Jews against Ukrainians.  Moscow wants, once again, to injure the Ukrainian nation with the help of the judicial system of the Jewish state, namely to show what "bandits" Ukrainians are and in this way to cover up before mankind and world history its abominable crimes against Ukrainians and other non-Russian nations in its evil empire.

And now let us review the actions of the police and judicial organs of the State of Israel.  They are either consciously or unconsciously (blinded by a motive of revenge) fulfilling the will of Moscow's KGB.  They are bent on revenge for the crimes of Nazi Germany on Ukrainian laborer John Demjanjuk.  To hold him incarcerated without formal charges, under an ever burning overhead light, for over 8 months in the same prison cell where Adolf Eichmann was held, violates all norms of civilized behavior of the state organs.  Furthermore, in accordance with the norms of national and international law, Israel has no jurisdiction over the person of John Demjanjuk, whatsoever.

1.  If any State were to have jurisdiction over a given individual, there must be present a legal bond linking the accused with the state laying the charge or charges.  Such a legal bond does not exist between John Demjanjuk and Israel.  At this point we would like to quote J. L. Brierly, author of "The Law of Nations," 6th edition, page 283:

Another condition of presenting an international claim is that there should be a bond of nationality between the claimant state and the person injured.  So much is the bond of nationality a condition of an international claim that it must not only exist at the date of the original injury but must also continue until the date of the judgment or award.

2.  According to the precepts of international law, jurisdiction to try a criminal has the state in which a crime was committed (personal principle).  None of those elements of jurisdiction do Israeli courts have in the case of John Demjanjuk.  The alleged crime did not occur on the territory of Israel (Israel did not exist in 1943), and John Demjanjuk never was a citizen nor a resident of either Palestine or Israel at any time.

3.  The alleged crime was not committed against the citizenship in 1943.

4.  If John Demjanjuk were to be charged in Israel then such charge or charges would be based on Israeli statute, entitled The Punishment of Nazis and their Collaborators, which was passed by the Israeli Parliament in 1950.  Thus, this statute came into effect seven years after the alleged crime took place.  We maintain that this statute is not legal.  It cannot apply to John Demjanjuk because it was promulgated retroactively.  Thus, introducing "laws" after the fact has in itself an element of illegality as such laws are often passed not in the name of justice but rather for political purposes.  In many countries retroactive laws are prohibited, e.g. by the constitution of the United States, articles one and 10, the states are forbidden to pass retroactive laws.

On the other hand, we do fully support the United Nations Convention of 1948, On the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, provided the judges would be citizens from third and impartial nations and the trials were to take place on neutral territory.  When we speak of "court" we think of a state organ which adjudicates on the basis of previously established legal norms and on the basis of precepts of justice.

Never and under no circumstances can the incarcerated John Demjanjuk receive justice in Israel.  No self-respecting Israeli judge can in good conscience declare his objectivity.  For eight years he has incessantly read in the press, heard on radio and seen on television news of Ivan Grozny, who personally murdered at Treblinka once 800,000, the other time 1,200,000 Jews.

The only qualified and fair tribunal to judge such a case would be an international criminal tribunal on which neither KGB nor Israelis would be sitting.

The entire judicial farce involving John Demjanjuk as in the United States, on the basis of OSI charges, as well as in Israel can be nothing else but a flagrant violation of basic human rights of a simple defenseless Ukrainian person perpetrated by three governmental organs: that of the United States, Soviet Union and Israel.  Furthermore, to compare John Demjanjuk, a German prisoner of war, with Adolf Eichmann is to compare a fly with an elephant.  Eichmann had total control over an individual's life and death, as in this day have the agents of Moscow's KGB; he exercised that control not only over Jews but over all other nationalities under Nazi control.  To equate Demjanjuk with Eichmann is absurd.  Furthermore, there exists a very old principle in criminal law which holds that a servant is not responsible for the crimes of his master or his superior.

Did the Jewish guards, members of Judenrat, voluntarily (which is the main element of any crime, and in any civilized jurisdiction) guard their Jewish co-prisoners?  Did, under the Nazi or Bolshevik prison regimes, any guard, particularly if he were not a Russian in the Soviet Union, or a non-German during the Nazi regime, perform his duties voluntarily and of his own free will?

Is it conceivable that the Attorney General and judges of Israel are not aware of this fact?  Do the government leaders of  Israel not realize the legal proceedings involving a stateless Ukrainian worker on the basis of falsified documentation can be a serious violation of legal process?

By his declaration that Israeli prosecutors are holding him for eight months in detention without formal charge in order to have more time to locate "witnesses," John Demjanjuk is accusing Israel's Ministry of Justice in violation of fundamental norms of judicial behavior before world public opinion.