Alan Dershowitz   Letter 09   04-Jul-2001   John Demjanjuk show trial 2001
"Mr. Demjanjuk has never said it didn't happen, and in my contact with this case, whenever the Holocaust deniers came in the door, Mr. Nishnic and I escorted them out immediately and told them we didn't want anything to do with them." Michael Tigar

04 July 2001
Alan M. Dershowitz
Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law
520 Hauser Hall
Harvard Law School
1575 Massachusetts Avenue
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA   02138

Alan Dershowitz:


John Demjanjuk was tortured in Israel

At the most recent trial of John Demjanjuk in Cleveland, spread over seven days between 29-May-2001 and 07-Jun-2001, and for which we still await the court's decision, defense attorney Michael Tigar demonstrated that he was not lacking in courage when prosecutor Jonathan Drimmer tried to introduce a statement made by John Demjanjuk in Israel, Michael Tigar asked that all John Demjanjuk statements made in Israel be excluded on the grounds that they had been extracted under torture:

MR. DRIMMER:  I'd also like to read into the record from the defendant's testimony, trial testimony of August 5th, 1987, this is Plaintiff's Exhibit 98, page 7634, line 22.

MR. TIGAR:  Excuse me, Your Honor.


MR. TIGAR:  This is the defendant's trial testimony from where?

MR. DRIMMER:  This is from Israel, 1987.

MR. TIGAR:  Your Honor, I'm going to object to the reading into the record of any evidence taken in the proceedings in Israel from the defendant, whether they result from police interrogation or trial testimony.  My objection is based upon the fact that Mr. Demjanjuk was transferred to Israel under fraudulent papers, based on a fraud on the court.

He was held in Israel on solitary confinement, the lights were on 24 hours a day.  During his interrogation by Israeli police he was denied access to counsel although he repeatedly requested it.  He was kept awake through systematic sleep deprivation, and therefore his statements were obtained in violation of the peremptory norm of international law respecting torture as interpreted most recently by the South African Constitutional Court on Monday in its decision CCT/17, Mohammad versus The Republic, and the two opinions of the European Court of Human Rights cited in that opinion.

MR. DRIMMER:  Your Honor, I had

MR. TIGAR:  Is it also our position, Your Honor, that because the United States is now a party to the Convention Against Torture that and I'm making my record here, if Your Honor wishes I can explain how it is that the reasoning of the unanimous constitutional court supports our position, but our objection is to the admission of any evidence from that proceeding.

Transcript of proceedings before the honorable Paul R. Matia, Case No. 1:99CV1193, Cleveland, Ohio, 31-May-2001, pp. 460-461.

Although this is not the bone-breaking torture that the Israelis have become famous for, it is still a degree of duress that qualifies as torture under international law, and this instance of Michael Tigar's defending the interests of his client more than qualifies him for a badge of courage.


What Would Have Been John Demjanjuk's Best Defense?

In view of Michael Tigar's display of courage above, one might have expected him to similarly not lack courage when it came to presenting the court with John Demjanjuk's best defense.  What defense might that have been?

That best defense would have been the citing of Yad Vashem head Yitzhak Arad's 1987 Jerusalem testimony that not a shred of physical or forensic or photographic or documentary evidence existed that a single person had ever been killed at Treblinka, Sobibor, or Belzec.  In connection with these three camps, according to lead prosecution witness Yitzhak Arad, there had never been discovered a single body, not a single bone, not a single tooth, not a single tuft of hair, not a single pile of ash, not a single burial pit.

What's more, according to Jewish-holocaust expert Yitzhak Arad, not a shred of physical or forensic or photographic or documentary evidence had been found that these three camps had ever existed.  Not a single photograph of a camp from the ground or from the air, not a single map of a camp, not a single blueprint of any building in a camp, not a single road, or fence, or telephone post, or brick, or foundation rather, when the German army retreated and the Red Army arrived at where these camps were supposed to have been, all that was to be seen in each location was a tranquil farm, indistinguishable from any other farm in the area, arousing no suspicion or investigative activity.

If you are unaware of this astounding testimony of lead prosecution witness Yitzhak Arad, I invite you to learn more about it from my letter to him of 09-Mar-1999.

One would imagine, then, that as the most serious charge against John Demjanjuk in the year 2001 was that he had been at Sobibor, Michael Tigar's defense of John Demjanjuk would have been that as no evidence existed that any crimes had ever been committed at Sobibor, no culpability could be attached to anyone whose military service had brought him there.

Isn't that what you would have urged Michael Tigar to argue in the Demjanjuk trial of 2001?  Isn't the defense of no corpus delicti what you would have recommended arguing in the OJ Simpson case if similar circumstances had prevailed there?

Suppose There Had Been No Corpus Delicti in the OJ Simpson Case

Imagine that in the OJ Simpson case, not a drop of blood had been discovered at the scene of the crime, not a speck of blood at OJ Simpson's residence, no blood smeared on the Ford Bronco, no blood soaking into any glove or sock.  Thus, no expert witnesses testified as to splatter or concerning DNA.  In fact, there was no forensic evidence of any kind not a hair, not a fiber, not a fingerprint, not a footprint.

Imagine, further, that no bodies had ever been found.  Imagine, on top of that, that the names of the victims were never disclosed at the trial, and that nobody knew who exactly it was that was supposed to have been murdered.

The indictment charged, in our imaginary variation of the case, that OJ Simpson had murdered two unidentified individuals at the Brentwood condominium, had buried their bodies there, but then, changing his mind as to the manner of body disposal, had dug them up and burned them in the Brentwood courtyard, sown grass where the graves had been, and thus left no trace of his crime.  However, at the trial, no evidence was presented that graves had been dug or that burning had taken place, and no ashes or unburned bone or teeth were produced.

Imagine, further, that it was not only the bodies that had vanished without a trace, but that the scene of the alleged crime the Brentwood condominium had vanished without a trace as well.  When investigators arrived at the Brentwood address, prosecutors told the court, all they found was a park with children playing in it, and so that proving that any condominium had ever stood at the location of the park was an impossibility.

What the prosecution did have was a pair of witnesses who claimed to have seen the whole thing the murders, the burial, the disinterment, the open-air burning.  They even claimed that OJ Simpson had forced them to help.  OJ Simpson was about to kill them too, but they overpowered him and escaped.

However, these witnesses showed signs of mendacity.  Sometimes it was not two people that OJ Simpson was supposed to have killed and burned in the Brentwood courtyard, but twenty.  One witness had testified earlier that he had clubbed OJ Simpson over the head and killed him, and yet was testifying now that he could see him right there in the courtroom.

And beyond signs of mendacity, these eyewitnesses to the Brentwood massacre also showed symptoms of psychiatric disorder.  For example, one of them claimed that right after the massacre, he discovered that the women "had hidden all kinds of documents and money in their private parts, and they fell out afterwards, and we saw them".  (That quote happens to be from Treblinka survivor Eliahu Rosenberg's testimony at the Eichmann trial.)  The other eyewitness to the Brentwood massacre said that OJ Simpson had not allowed the bodies to cool off before burying them, so that when they were dug up later, they were so hot that "steam belched forth from them as if from a boiler."  He added that on one occasion OJ Simpson "threw some burning object into the opened grave just to see what would happen.  Clouds of black smoke began to pour out at once and the fire thus started glimmered all day long."  Whenever a car was heard approaching, "all work was stopped, the corpses were covered with foliage as camouflage against observation."  When escaping from OJ Simpson, this witness claimed, Simpson had shot him, but the bullet "had gone through all of my clothing and stopped at my shoulder, leaving only a scratch". (The last four quotes happen to be borrowed from the writing of pre-eminent Treblinka survivor Jankiel Wiernik.)

Now I expect that you will agree that under the above circumstances, the leading argument that would have to be presented by any effective OJ Simpson defense would be that there was no corpus delicti; that as the prosecution had been unable to demonstrate that any crime had taken place, there was no basis for a trial.  The absence of forensic evidence combined with non-credible witnesses left the state without a case.

Michael Tigar Failed to Plead Absence of Corpus Delicti

Despite his occasional show of courage, when it came to presenting the court with John Demjanjuk's best defense no corpus delicti Michael Tigar's courage failed him.  Thus, when the prosecution referred to Sobibor as an "extermination camp," Michael Tigar raised no objection, and when the prosecution spoke of "terrible atrocities" committed there, Michael Tigar asked for no corroboration:

We will show that these seven documents establish that Iwan Demjanjuk, identification number 1393, served at Trawniki training camp and as an armed guard at the Majdanek concentration camp, the Sobibor extermination camp, and the Flossenburg concentration camp.

It is indisputable that terrible atrocities occurred at these camps and that the guards there guarded prisoners.
Prosecutor Edward A. Stutman in Transcript of proceedings before the honorable Paul R. Matia, Case No. 1:99CV1193, Cleveland, Ohio, 29-May-2001, p. 3.

When the prosecution pulled high fatality statistics out of thin air of victims who had vanished into thin air, Michael Tigar remained silent:

Q.  Dr. Sydnor, how many total people were killed at Sobibor between March 27th and mid-September, 1943?

A.  If I remember correctly, approximately 30 to 35,000.
Prosecutor Jonathan Drimmer examining Charles Sydnor in Transcript of proceedings before the honorable Paul R. Matia, Case No. 1:99CV1193, Cleveland, Ohio, 31-May-2001, p. 552.

In case anybody was in any doubt that the defense had abandoned John Demjanjuk's best argument, Michael Tigar went out of his way to emphasize it:

We are talking about what happened in the camp.  As to that, we have conceded and stipulated as strongly as possible, these convoys of people were killed there, and that's what that camp was about.  It was a killing center.  We have conceded that.
Defense counsel Michael Tigar in Transcript of proceedings before the honorable Paul R. Matia, Case No. 1:99CV1193, Cleveland, Ohio, 31-May-2001, p. 551.

Instead of pointing out the clash between Yitzhak Arad's testimony of zero evidence and the Jewish folk tale of horrendous crimes which would have had to have left a mountain of evidence, Michael Tigar appears unaware of any clash.  Rather, he holds up the bludgeon with which John Demjanjuk has been hammered for more than two decades, and proclaims his admiration of it before the court:

Let us look first at what is not at issue.  What is not in issue, Your Honor, is the horror of the Nazi Holocaust during which between 5 and 6 million Jews were butchered.  5.1 million, according to Raul Hilberg.

What is not at issue is that this was one of the most vicious Holocausts in the history of the world, the recorded history of the world.  What is not at issue is that the conditions in the camps was deplorable and barbaric, and to that end, we have filed an amended answer with the Court based largely upon the indisputable historical record, and because that historical record is indisputable, we do not dispute it.
Defense Counsel Michael Tigar in Transcript of proceedings before the honorable Paul R. Matia, Case No. 1:99CV1193, Cleveland, Ohio, 29-May-2001, pp. 8-9.

The false witnesses who testified against John Demjanjuk in earlier trials are not liars to Michael Tigar, not perjurers, not recklessly thirsting for Ukrainian blood, they are guilty merely of confusing who Ivan the Terrible really was.  The possibility that there never had been any Ivan the Terrible at all is never broached by Michael Tigar, never suggested, never hinted at.  It was all just a matter of mistaken identity:

Q.  Now, the last time that Mr. Demjanjuk appeared in this courthouse, there was a mistaken identity problem, wasn't there, in his case?

A.  Yes, sir.
Michael Tigar cross-examining Charles Sydnor in Transcript of proceedings before the honorable Paul R. Matia, Case No. 1:99CV1193, Cleveland, Ohio, 05-Jun-2001, p. 763.

The perjurers who came within a hair's breadth of getting John Demjanjuk hanged do not deserve our righteous indignation; they deserve our sympathy and respect for having "had a hard war":

Do people who had a hard war make mistakes?  They surely do, Your Honor, and six of them did the last time in front of Judge Battisti.

Would I attack those people as ill motivated, those people who survived that privation, that savagery?  Of course I wouldn't.  I wouldn't dare to, Your Honor.
Defense counsel Michael Tigar in Transcript of proceedings before the honorable Paul R. Matia, Case No. 1:99CV1193, Cleveland, Ohio, 07-Jun-2001, p. 1073

Michael Tigar does not heap contempt on the false witnesses; his contempt is reserved for those who would offer John Demjanjuk his strongest defense:

We are not shrill anti-Semites and we are not deniers of the Holocaust.  There are some of these defendants that come in here and say it didn't happen.  Mr. Demjanjuk has never said it didn't happen, and in my contact with this case, whenever the Holocaust deniers came in the door, Mr. Nishnic and I escorted them out immediately and told them we didn't want anything to do with them.  And I say that knowing the public interest this case has excited, Your Honor, and it's important for the public to know what our position is.
Defense counsel Michael Tigar in Transcript of proceedings before the honorable Paul R. Matia, Case No. 1:99CV1193, Cleveland, Ohio, 31-May-2001, pp. 385-386.

But those who have John Demjanjuk's best interests at heart, and the best interests of the Ukrainian people, and the best interests of justice, and who are not paralyzed by fear, might well think that to give John Demjanjuk an effective defense, Michael Tigar would not have needed to be a shrill anti-Semite or Jewish-holocaust denier, and he would not have needed to take the extreme position with regard to the entire Jewish holocaust that "it did not happen".  He could more conservatively have quoted Yitzhak Arad that there was no evidence that Sobibor had happened.  No need for Michael Tigar to deny Sobibor, Yitzhak Arad had already done it for him.  As Yitzhak Arad had never been accused of being a shrill anti-Semite and Jewish-holocaust denier, then Michael Tigar reading Yitzhak Arad's testimony into the record should have felt himself safe from the accusation of being a shrill anti-Semite and Jewish-holocaust denier.

John Demjanjuk Couldn't Get a Fair Trial Because Everybody Was Intimidated by the Jewish Threat of Career Destruction

Why did Michael Tigar fail to provide John Demjanjuk with an effective defense?  From what I can see, Michael Tigar is a fine lawyer, and a brave one, but his courage has its limits he has no intention of being so brave as to place his livelihood in jeopardy for a client as old and poor and unimportant as John Demjanjuk.  He is aware that if he offers John Demjanjuk an effective defense, Jews will brand him, Michael Tigar, a shrill anti-Semite and Jewish-holocaust denier, and they will tell Michael Tigar's clients that that is how they feel about him, and Michael Tigar's clients will abandon him in droves, and Michael Tigar's career will be ruined.  If Michael Tigar gave John Demjanjuk an effective defense, he would find that Jewish slander made it impossible for him to get any work other than representing aging, ethnic, retired blue-collar workers accused of Nazi war crimes, and the small number of such clients, together with their modest means, would result in Michael Tigar's income drying up.  Michael Tigar places a high value on truth, but he will not risk his livelihood to uphold just any truth.  The defense of certain truths forebodes too much personal loss, and promises too little personal gain.

Thus, it is not the case that John Demjanjuk happened to get a poor defense because he ended up with a timid lawyer.  What is the case is that any retired blue-collar worker accused of Nazi War crimes will find it impossible to get an effective defense because even brave lawyers can be depended upon to quake in fear before the Jewish tactic of destroying careers.

The same can be said of the government expert witnesses.  They know which side their bread is buttered on.  They know what they are expected to say.  They know that if they arrive at conclusions favorable to the defense, rumors will be spread that they are anti-Semites and neo-Nazis and Jewish-holocaust deniers, and their careers will be ruined and this for nothing, they might well reflect, as their unwelcome conclusions would never see the light of day.

This bias of government witnesses need not have remained a matter of speculation and conjecture Michael Tigar could have documented for the court how government witnesses willfully and perversely blinded themselves to Trawniki Identification Card defects, but he largely failed to do so.


John Demjanjuk is not only a retired blue collar worker, but he is also an immigrant with a less-than-perfect mastery of English, and he is also 81 years old.  What meager resources he ever commanded have been exhausted by more than two decades of Jewish persecution.  To counter the several document examiners and the one historian who testified for the prosecution, John Demjanjuk produced only a single witness, the only one that he could afford his son.

Michael Tigar Failed to Challenge the Trawniki Identification Card

In my letter to you of 14-May-2001, I have shown how many fatal flaws are contained in what continues to be the chief piece of documentary evidence against John Demjanjuk the Trawniki Identification Card and yet it was not within John Demjanjuk's means to retain anyone to explain these many fatal flaws to the court.  From Michael Tigar's limited cross-examination of the prosecution expert witnesses, he appeared to be either unaware of most of these flaws, or insufficiently paid to take the time to discuss them before the court.

  1. Michael Tigar failed to discredit Gideon Epstein

    Trotted out by the prosecution to authenticate the Trawniki Identification Card was Gideon Epstein, whose competence and integrity had not been upgraded since his disgraceful service to Demjanjuk persecutors in 1981 and in 1986-1987.  Read that letter of mine to you concerning the Trawniki Card, and you will see what a rickety edifice Gideon Epstein's testimony builds, and yet which John Demjanjuk did not have the strength to stretch out his hand to topple:

    1. Of the 236 or so examiners certified by the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners at the time of the Jerusalem trial, Epstein was the only Jew, which gives him the appearance of having been selected because he was a coreligionist of the John Demjanjuk persecutors rather than because of his expertise.

    2. Gideon Epstein testified that the two seals stamped on the Demjanjuk photograph were produced by the same rubber stamp, when they are demonstrably different.

    3. Instead of reporting that the "Demjanjuk" signature on the Trawniki Card differed from all known signatures of John Demjanjuk, and thus that it undermined the credibility of the card, Gideon Epstein simply ignored the "Demjanjuk" signature in his testimony at the trials of 1981, 1987-1988, and 2001, which conveniently permitted him to conclude that the card was authentic.

    4. Gideon Epstein claims to know nothing about the Vanya letter, which disqualifies him from testifying on the Trawniki Identification Card on the grounds either of ignorance or of duplicity.

    5. To explain the coffee break between the Streibel signature's "t" and "r", Gideon Epstein imagines an irregularity in the paper which, however, he fails to photograph or demonstrate for the court.

    6. Gideon Epstein interpreted the looping of the "e" in the Streibel signature as authenticating, even though the looping produced an "e" that was unlike known Streibel "e"s.

    7. Gideon Epstein failed to notice that Streibel signatures were so heterogeneous as to make them unusable to authenticate any questioned Streibel signature.

    8. Mark O'Connor implicated Gideon Epstein in perpetrating a fraud on the court in connection with the Demjanjuk Card, but was prohibited by Israeli judge Dov Levin from presenting his argument in court.

    9. Gideon Epstein participates in double-culling of known signatures without acknowledging that even single-culling fatally damages the validity of signature authentication, which has led Epstein to such untenable conclusions as that the Streibel and Teufel signatures were genuine even though prosecutors had provided him with a meager two comparison signatures in each case.

    10. The Dienstsiegel on the card was printed rotated clockwise, whereas Epstein testified that the horizontality of all printing buttressed the authenticity of the card.

    11. In violation of professional ethics, Epstein delivered a public address on the Demjanjuk Trawniki Card, including his thoughts concerning its political implications, at a time when the Demjanjuk case was under appeal in the United States, and when fresh litigation could be seen on the horizon in Israel.

    The above list, it must be kept in mind, is not a list of the chief defects of the Trawniki Card, it is only a list of the chief defects of Gideon Epstein's testimony.  The defects of the card, which you will find outlined in my earlier letter to you, would make a much longer list.  Actually, this much longer list can be viewed as further evidence of the lack of competence and integrity of Gideon Epstein, as it points to card defects that Gideon Epstein either failed to see (which reflects on his competence), or which he pretended not to see (which reflects on his integrity).

  2. Michael Tigar failed to explain the Vanya letter

    Michael Tigar touches on the Vanya letter, but never goes back to explain what it is or why it is important.  You yourself will recall that in my letter to you of 14-May-2001, I refer to the "Vanya letter" as the "Dear Mother letter," and do explain what it is and why it is important it explains where the strange "Demjanjuk" signature on the Trawniki Card came from, or at the very least describes a plausible trap that the KGB may have fallen into in attempting to forge the "Demjanjuk" signature.  That Michael Tigar knew of the Vanya letter but failed to explain it to the court said no more about it than the below adds to the accumulation of evidence that John Demjanjuk did not get an effective defense:

    Q.  Now, do you remember hearing back in 1981 of a Vanya letter, V A N Y A, letter?

    A.  Not to my recollection.

    Q.  Do you remember hearing of the availability of a letter signed by Mr. Demjanjuk and dated February 3rd, 1941?
    Michael Tigar cross-examining Gideon Epstein in Transcript of proceedings before the honorable Paul R. Matia, Case No. 1:99CV1193, Cleveland, Ohio, 29-May-2001, p. 128.

    Just imagine something similar happening in our imaginary variation of the OJ Simpson case that OJ Simpson is connected to the Brentwood condominium by a driver's license that has serious flaws, one of which is that the "Simpson" signature on it does not resemble any known signature of OJ Simpson.  And just as the Demjanjuk defense does not mention this discrepant "Demjanjuk" signature in the 2001 trial, an imaginary Johnny Cochran does not mention the discrepant "Simpson" signature in the OJ Simpson trial.  And on top of that, just as the Demjanjuk defense does not produce its evidence that the "Demjanjuk" signature was copied from the Vanya letter, so Johnny Cochran does not produce evidence in his possession of where that "Simpson" signature really came from.

    Is this conceivable?

    Of course everything about the Demjanjuk trial is inconceivable.  Every attempt to imagine some characteristic of Demjanjuk proceedings transposed to an OJ Simpson trial produces absurdity.  For example, as the Trawniki Identification Card forbade John Demjanjuk from appearing at Treblinka under pain of arrest, and yet was used in Jerusalem to convict him of being Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka, then what would correspond to this absurdity in our imaginary OJ Simpson case?  We would have to imagine something like a San Quentin prisoner identification card, signed with a "Simpson" unlike any known signature of OJ Simpson, and stating that if the bearer was found outside the walls of the San Quentin State Prison, he should be immediately arrested.  We would have to imagine that this San Quentin prisoner identification card was used to convict OJ Simpson of having committed crimes at the Brentwood condominium in Los Angeles.  We would have to imagine a court so perverse, a press so controlled, an intelligentsia so apathetic, and a world so topsy-turvy, that exculpatory evidence could be used to convict.

    Or, let us transpose to the OJ Simpson case the Demjanjuk treatment that I alluded to at the top of the present letter.  Suppose that OJ Simpson had been denied access to counsel during police interrogation even though he frequently requested it, and that the light in his cell was kept burning 24 hours a day, and that he was subjected to sleep deprivation.  And suppose also that OJ Simpson was so devoid of resources that the only witness he could bring forward to testify on his behalf was Eunice Simpson, his mother.

    A question that could be asked is how many Harvard Law School professors would be likely to claim that with that San Quentin identification card, and with the denial of counsel under police interrogation, and with the sleep deprivation, and with the absence of a corpus delicti, and with only his mother testifying on his behalf, that OJ Simpson was unquestionably guilty of the alleged Brentwood condominium murders, and that his trial had been impeccably fair?  Perhaps the answer is only one professor you!

  3. Michael Tigar let the prosecution slip in the phony Demjanjuk confession

    I document in my letter to you of 14-May-2001 that one of the most pathetic and shameful stunts perpetrated by the Levin-Tal-Dorner plus prosecution coalition was to insist that John Demjanjuk had admitted that the "Demjanjuk" signature on the Trawniki Identification Card was his own.  As my documentation of this stunt is so detailed and so recent, it can be consulted and need not be repeated here.

    One would have imagined that this sorriest of details in the sorriest of episodes in Jewish history would have been regretted by those who followed, and certainly not echoed.  But that detail was echoed in 2001, leading to the inference that American prosecutors are either crippled by the same bad judgement as were their Israeli predecessors, or else that they were aware of the exhaustion of Demjanjuk resources, and knew that he would not have the money to pay anybody to defend him against their below-the-belt tactics.  That the 2001 trial did hear the echoing of those words "It is like I wrote my name" could have been used by Michael Tigar in effective cross-examination to discredit the prosecution, but was not:

    "Question:  Can you say without a doubt that that's not the way you wrote your name in 1942?"

    "Answer:  It is like I wrote my name."
    Prosecutor Jonathan Drimmer reading from an early interrogation of John Demjanjuk in Transcript of proceedings before the honorable Paul R. Matia, Case No. 1:99CV1193, Cleveland, Ohio, 31-May-2001, pp. 455-456.

  4. Michael Tigar did not question why the Trawniki Card had been laundered through Israel

    In the year 2001, John Demjanjuk is being prosecuted by the United States Government in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Demjanjuk Trawniki Card, and the Trawniki Cards of others, come on loan from Russia.  Therefore, it is surprising to discover that the Kremlin is handing its collection of Trawniki Identification cards (cards so rare as to have been discovered growing nowhere but on KGB soil) not directly to the United States Government, and not directly to the Cleveland court, but rather is handing them only to a third party either the State of Israel, or some individual in Israel:

    Q.  And then the next thing says "Trawniki cards from Israel," and you were told those were from Israel, correct?

    A.  That's correct.

    Q.  Now, do you know how those Trawniki cards from Israel got to the United States?

    A.  No, sir.

    Q.  Did anyone tell you that Mr. Rosenbaum had personally brought them?
    Michael Tigar cross-examines prosecution witness Thomas J. Smith in Transcript of proceedings before the honorable Paul R. Matia, Case No. 1:99CV1193, Cleveland, Ohio, 30-May-2001, p. 261

    Now, I didn't see the Trawniki card in an archive, of course, because that came from Israel, [...].
    Charles Sydnor under cross-examination by Michael Tigar in Transcript of proceedings before the honorable Paul R. Matia, Case No. 1:99CV1193, Cleveland, Ohio, 05-Jun-2001, p. 681.

    An effective Demjanjuk defense might have argued that the Trawniki Cards being supplied to the Cleveland Court through Israel undermined the prosecution case in two ways:

    • Israeli mediation underlines that the Kremlin refuses to vouch for the Trawniki Cards

      The Kremlin has never stepped forward to vouch for the authenticity of any of the Trawniki Identification Cards, or to answer questions about them.  In 1981, a Soviet representative did hand the Demjanjuk Trawniki Card over to a Cleveland Court, which he did without uttering a word, but since that time the Kremlin has adopted the policy of distancing itself further from the card, and thus of never handing it directly to any court.  Thus, for John Demjanjuk's 1987-1988 trial in Jerusalem, the Kremlin handed the card not to the Israeli court, but only to private American citizen Armand Hammer who passed it along to the Israeli court; and now for John Demjanjuk's 2001 trial in Cleveland, the Kremlin hands the card not to the American Court, but rather to someone in Israel, who passes it along to the American court.

      The continuing refusal of the Kremlin to vouch for the authenticity of the Trawniki Card, or to describe its history, or even to supply it directly to a court, is highly suspicious, undermines the card's credibility, and should have been explored in John Demjanjuk's 2001 trial.

    • Israeli handling taints any documents supplied

      As it is widely recognized today that Israel perpetrated a massive fraud in staging its show trial of John Demjanjuk in 1987-1988, Israeli participation in 2001 taints the current trial.  Michael Tigar should have explored the degree of Israeli participation, and should have enquired why it was necessary, and should have proposed the possibility that Israel continues to involve itself because of its two unique characteristics of having an overpowering motive to see John Demjanjuk convicted, and of being readier than other participants to use illicit means to achieve this end.

Michael Tigar Only Partially Discredited the Prosecution Historian

To the prosecution's sole historian, Charles W. Sydnor, Jr., John Demjanjuk did not produce a historian of his own.  But with any resources at all, John Demjanjuk should have had as little trouble demolishing Sydnor as he would have had demolishing Epstein, as Sydnor was in reality more of a Jewish-holocaust publicist, and an anti-Demjanjuk polemicist, than a historian.

  1. Michael Tigar did begin to expose Charles Sydnor's bias

    Michael Tigar did begin to expose Sydnor's lack of objectivity, and Sydnor in reply attempted to limit the damage with evasions and fabrications and amnesias.  This segment of the trial transcript is worth reading at length, as only in that way can Sydnor's partisanship be appreciated:


    Q.  Now, in addition to that, have you spoken out and given a personal opinion about Mr. Demjanjuk in this case, the defendant in this case?

    A.  I did in 1989, but not in this case now, no, sir.

    Q.  But in 1989?

    A.  1989, yes, sir.

    Q.  In 1989, you called him a monster, didn't you?

    A.  Yes, sir.

    Q.  You said "A great drama and an even greater good move toward final resolution."  Did you say that?

    A.  Yes, sir.

    Q.  And you wrote that?

    A.  Yes, sir.

    Q.  What was the "even greater good" that you wanted to happen to Mr. Demjanjuk?

    A.  Well, not necessarily anything with Mr. Demjanjuk, but a conclusion to the trial and the release and


    publication of the historical and legal material that had been accumulated by the District Court in Jerusalem at the time, and at that time I believe Mr. Demjanjuk was under sentence of death, and I believe that the sentence should be carried out.

    Q.  You said that he would be hanged and that the cause of justice will never have been better served.  You said that, correct?

    A.  Every word of it, yes, sir.

    Q.  You also said that his attorneys, American attorneys, were shrill anti-Semites, correct?

    A.  Yes, sir, and by that I meant the early attorneys.

    Q.  Which attorneys did you have in mind when you characterized lawyers as shrill anti-Semites?

    A.  I honestly at this point don't remember whether it was Mr. Martin or Mr. O'Connor.  One of them had said at one at the first trial or the second trial that Naziism was a term that has been much maligned of late.

    Q.  And did that person say that shrilly?

    A.  Well, I considered that a pretty shrill statement, yes, sir.

    Q.  You also said that "Mr. Demjanjuk's defense or cause was funded by the same circles that have combined wealth and hatred to support radical right wing causes in our land for more than a generation."  What basis did you have in


    your research to make that statement about people that contributed to the defense of a person who was a litigant in Federal Court?

    A.  Well, that was based on conversations that I had had in the early '80s with former senior trial attorney with OSI, who is now a Judge, Bruce Einhorn, who had said that even though no one knew for certain that the supposition was that money that was funding the defense was coming both from circles in the United States and in Canada.

    Q.  Did you say supposition?

    A.  I'm sorry, sir?

    Q.  Did you use the word supposition?

    A.  Yes, sir.

    Q.  And so you took a supposition and wrote it down and repeated it in a public meeting, is that correct?

    A.  Yes, sir.

    Q.  Were you introduced at that public meeting as a historian?

    A.  I don't recall how I was introduced at that meeting.

    Q.  Now, in addition to that, you said "These, we must remember, are the same people who considered Patrick Buchanan an expert in the matter of Iwan Demjanjuk and George Will as an authority on Adolph Hitler and who took and treated seriously the twice definitively," which is underscored, "disproven theory of mistaken identity that


    succeeded only in getting Demjanjuk denaturalized, deported, extradited to Israel, and tried and convicted and sentenced to death."  You wrote that?

    A.  Yes, sir.

    Q.  And you also wrote that there was no mistake, is that correct, about Demjanjuk?

    A.  Yes, sir.

    Q.  But there was a mistake, wasn't there, sir?  Was there a mistake?

    A.  There was subsequently a mistake, but at the time I wrote that, I believe the Court had concluded proceedings and sentence had been passed, and the sentence was under review.

    Q.  Yes.  But the sentence was that he was Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka, correct?

    A.  Yes, but that was a mistake.

    Q.  And you said he was Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka, right?

    A.  Yes, sir, and I was wrong.

    Q.  Tell us what was wrong with either your methodology or the way in which you used your methodology that led you to make that mistake and to publicly repeat it in the words that I have read to the Court.

    A.  Well, that speech was based on upon what I knew at the time, based on what I knew at the time of the verdicts


    that had been reached in courts in the United States and the denaturalization and deportation proceeding, and then what I had followed in the period between 1987 and 1989 about the legal proceedings in Israel.

    Q.  Had you at that time spent a day with Mr. Finder, the Israeli prosecutor, as of 1989 when you made that speech, when had happened?

    A.  Yes, sir.  In January of 1987 I did, yes, sir.

    Q.  And you spent some time with a Mr. Einhorn, as well?

    A.  In 1983 and '84, yes, sir.

    Q.  And that was in connection with your affidavit that you told us about, correct?

    A.  Yes, sir.

    Q.  And in that affidavit, you described or discussed the 1393 service pass, correct?

    A.  Yes, sir.

    Q.  Who else, if anyone, in the United States Department of Justice did you talk with to gather the information that you eventually used to help you reach the conclusions that you expressed in 1989?

    A.  I don't recall that I talked to anybody else in the Justice Department.

    Q.  Just Mr. Einhorn?

    A.  Mr. Einhorn, I think over the intervening period between '83, '84 and '89, I certainly talked to the staff


    historians at OSI about the evolution of the Demjanjuk case through the extradition process, and then the trial in Israel.

    Q.  As a historian in that period who had written about World War II, did you in form or substance ask of these Department of Justice historians, "Are you sure you got the right guy?"

    A.  I asked the Israelis that in 1987.

    Q.  Well, we'll get to that.  My question is, in any of your conversations with the Department of Justice personnel

    A.  Yes.

    Q.  before 1989, did you as a historian say, "Are you sure you got the right guy?"

    A.  Yes, sir.

    Q.  Who did you ask that question of?

    A.  I had lengthy conversations on that subject with Peter Black, who at that time was the chief staff historian at OSI, who is now the senior research historian at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, specifically because I wondered on the issue of the Trawniki card specifying Sobibor and the witnesses attesting to Treblinka, and I was curious and concerned if there was a possible conflict between those two things, how can the Trawniki card say Sobibor and the witnesses say Trawniki.


    Is it possible that if the card says I'm sorry.  Treblinka is what I mean to say.  If the card says Sobibor, could he have served at Treblinka?  Is there a chance that there is not necessarily any conflict between the two things.

    Q.  When is it that you first got the idea that there might be a conflict between the evidence that you were seeing and the proposition that Mr. Demjanjuk had been Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka?

    A.  I don't remember.  I raised the question in discussions with at least Mr. Black at OSI, and I raised the question in the discussions I had in Jerusalem with the Israelis.

    Q.  Did you ever say in words or substance to any prosecutorial authority, "I, as a historian, Dr. Charles Sydnor, see a contradiction here.  This guy might be executed.  Don't you think we should look into it?"

    A.  No, sir.

    Q.  Why not?

    A.  Well, I raised the question in the discussions in the '80s.  The answers I received were that the witness testimony seemed compelling, they seemed independently generated, they seemed broad based enough that I don't remember all the different explanations, but they were basically that there is probably not necessarily a conflict


    between the annotation of Sobibor on the Trawniki card and the possibility of later service at Treblinka.

    Q.  And that was a mistake?

    A.  I believe it was a mistake, yes, sir.

    Q.  As you sit there today, sir, you don't believe that Mr. Demjanjuk was Ivan the Terrible at Treblinka, do you?

    A.  I do not believe he was Ivan the Terrible at Treblinka.
    Michael Tigar cross-examines prosecution witness Charles W. Sydnor in Transcript of proceedings before the honorable Paul R. Matia, Case No. 1:99CV1193, Cleveland, Ohio, 30-May-2001, pp. 320-327.

  2. And Michael Tigar did begin to demonstrate that Sydnor was only a front man for a hidden team

    Charles Sydnor's representing himself as a scholar who authored the Sydnor report was a sham.  His report was in fact written by a team which could not come forward because they were too clearly partisan perhaps by and large hapless history Ph.D.s who discovered to their dismay how little their degrees qualified them for respectable employment, and so forced to labor as anonymous cogs deep within the cash-green Holocaust machine.  Under questioning by Michael Tigar, Sydnor disclosed the following co-authors (or, as the Sydnor contribution might have approached the infinitesimal, then perhaps these might more accurately be referred to as "the authors"):

    1. Peter Black, Holocaust Museum employee
    2. Elizabeth B. White, OSI employee
    3. David Rich, OSI employee
    4. Jeffrey Richter, OSI employee
    5. Steven Coe, OSI employee
    6. Todd Huebner, OSI employee
    7. Michael MacQueen, OSI employee

    The Charles Sydnor report giving no indication that anyone but Sydnor had worked on it and written it occasioned Michael Tigar to voice the following protest:

    What we have here, Your Honor, is an expert report filed by a man who says that he is a historian and that he takes responsibility for the report of Charles Sydnor, Jr.

    Now, in the United States Supreme Court case in Hazel Atlas versus Empire Glass, which was relied on by the Sixth Circuit in Demjanjuk versus Petrovsky, the precise fraud on the Court was that an allegedly independent expert had signed a report that was in fact prepared by the lawyers.

    Now, it is our position and I understand the Court may reject it that the same thing has happened here, that the testimony of this expert is not admissible because the other side did not disclose to us, either candidly or in a manner that permits me intelligently to put trial subpoenas out, the basis for the report.  We now find that there are a half a dozen government employees that were involved in this preparation and document collection, Your Honor.  And it's just too late for us.

    Therefore, it's our respectful submission that on that basis alone, he's not qualified as an expert.
    Defense counsel Michael Tigar in Transcript of proceedings before the honorable Paul R. Matia, Case No. 1:99CV1193, Cleveland, Ohio, 30-May-2001, pp. 357-358.

  3. However, Michael Tigar did let Sydnor get away with calling Demjanjuk lawyers "shrill anti-Semites"

    All in all, though, Michael Tigar lets Charles Sydnor off lightly.  When Sydnor above justified having said that Demjanjuk's American attorneys were shrill anti-Semites by explaining that one of them had said that "Naziism was a term that has been much maligned of late" (p. 321), he was possibly lying.  In the first place, Sydnor's accusation was levelled at Demjanjuk attorneys generally, but his justification retrenched to only a single Demjanjuk attorney.  More important than that, Sydnor couldn't remember which attorney may have made that damaging statement, maybe Martin or maybe O'Connor.  And neither could Sydnor remember whether it had been said at the first trial or the second.  Thus, there is some chance that no Demjanjuk attorney had ever said any such thing, and that Sydnor just made it up, or had been irresponsibly parroting what he had heard.  The bottom line is that Michael Tigar allowed Sydnor to slander the early Demjanjuk attorneys without holding Sydnor accountable.

  4. And Michael Tigar also let Sydnor prevaricate about what "greater good" he had foreseen coming from the Demjanjuk Jerusalem trial

    One finds Tigar letting Sydnor off easy again when Sydnor explains above that the "even greater good" that he anticipated from the Jerusalem trial of Demjanjuk was "the release and publication of the historical and legal material that had been accumulated by the District Court in Jerusalem" (pp. 320-321).  However, Sydnor's explanation is unconvincing because there never has been any release or publication of the historical and legal material, and I doubt that Sydnor ever had reason to expect that there would be any.  More plausibly, the "even greater good" that Sydnor had anticipated was only the advancement of Jewish interests that would come from hanging John Demjanjuk.  Michael Tigar could have challenged the plausibility of Sydnor's "release of materials" story, but he did not.

  5. And Michael Tigar also failed to test Sydnor's etiology of "Operation Reinhardt"

    Had John Demjanjuk been blessed with an effective defense, that defense might have demonstrated the shallowness of Sydnor's expertise by attending closely to what Sydnor said, and then questioning him on it.  One thing that Sydnor said that was worth attending to closely was:

    [T]hese men were to carry out the functions of what became known as Operation Reinhardt, which was the SS code name for the physical extermination of the Jews of Poland.

    The code name for the operation was bestowed on the memory of Reinhardt Heydrich, who was assassinated by Czech commandoes and died on June the 4th, 1942.  That's where the name Operation Reinhardt comes from.
    Charles W. Sydnor in Transcript of proceedings before the honorable Paul R. Matia, Case No. 1:99CV1193, Cleveland, Ohio, 31-May-2001, p. 470.

    What an effective Demjanjuk defense might have asked Sydnor concerning his statement above was

    • whether Operation Reinhardt really referred to the extermination of Jews at death camps, or whether it referred to the looting of Jewish assets;

    • whether Heydrich's given name really was Reinhardt, or whether it was Reinhard (as it is in, for example, the Merriam-Webster Biographical Dictionary);

    • whether the looting-of-Jewish-assets operation was named after Reinhard Heydrich, or whether it was named after Finance Ministry Staatssekretär Fritz Reinhardt;

    • whether he thought it a common practice for the first names of prominent individuals like Richard Nixon or Adolf Hitler or Henry Morgenthau to be adopted for other uses, as for example in the "Nixon Library" being called the "Richard Library," or in the Nazis saluting "Heil Adolf!" instead of "Heil Hitler!", or in the "Morgenthau Plan" being referred to as the "Henry Plan".

  6. And Michael Tigar also watched Sydnor swearing fealty to Yitzhak Arad without pointing out Arad's lack of competence and of integrity

    That Yitzhak Arad is entirely devoid of competence and of integrity is documented in my letters to him, which you can readily find on the Ukrainian Archive.  It follows that anyone who relies on Yitzhak Arad, as does Charles Sydnor, is himself discredited.  Failing to convince the court of this was a great failing of the Demjanjuk defense.

    At bottom, neither Charles Sydnor, nor Yitzhak Arad, whom Sydnor uncritically parrots, are historians they are opportunists who find employment and profit in representing as history the transparently-false stories told by a handful of psychiatric cases:


    Q.  Among the historians upon whom you rely in your reports is a man named Arad, A R A D, correct?

    A.  Yes, sir.

    Q.  And he is the author of a book entitled Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, correct?

    A.  That is correct.


    Q.  [...]  I do want to


    ask you, as a historian, what, if any, role did Dr. Arad's work play in your developing your methodology that you've talked about on direct examination?

    A.  After probably 1993, a good bit.  I mean in the course of what I learned about the three Operation Reinhardt camps, that of course is the first and still one of the most valuable works to consult.  So after 1993, a good deal.

    Q.  And you think that is it Dr. Arad or Mr. Arad?

    A.  I'm not sure.  I think he's Dr. Arad.

    Q.  And he is the head of the archive in Israel, correct?

    A.  He is the retired director of Yad Vashem, yes, sir.

    Q.  And Yad Vashem is an archive?

    A.  Yes, sir, memorial archive.

    Q.  Now, he made the same mistake you did, didn't he, about Mr. Demjanjuk?

    A.  I'm not sure how you mean.

    Q.  Well, he says that the Ukrainian Iwan Demjanjuk was Ivan the Terrible at Treblinka, he says at page 197 of his book and repeats it at page 235 of his book.  I've marked those, and if you'll just confirm that for the Court.

    A.  Yes, sir.

    Q.  Now, you cite his book extensively in your report to this Court, correct?

    A.  Yes, sir.


    Q.  Did you happen to notice these two references in this book when you were writing your report to this book?

    A.  Yes, sir.

    Q.  Could you please explain to His Honor what methodological difficulties Dr. Arad had in reaching the conclusions that he expressed and is a part of the studies he made?

    A.  Well, I believe that he relied on the testimony and the identifications provided by the witnesses in the processes both in the United States and in Israel to come to the same conclusion that the courts did and that I did.
    Michael Tigar cross-examines prosecution witness Charles W. Sydnor in Transcript of proceedings before the honorable Paul R. Matia, Case No. 1:99CV1193, Cleveland, Ohio, 30-May-2001, pp. 327-329.

  7. And most importantly, Michael Tigar also failed to question Sydnor's recitation of the Sobibor death camp legend

    Of course Charles Sydnor's most vulnerable point is his acceptance of the Sobibor death camp legend, even though his own mentor, Yitzhak Arad, swears up and down that not a shred of physical or forensic or photographic or documentary evidence exists that anybody was ever killed there, or even that the camp existed.  There do exist, according to Yitzhak Arad, only the survivor stories, and the Demjanjuk trial has informed us just what those survivor stories are worth, just as the Frank Walus trial had done earlier.

    This is the topic whose discussion would have discredited prosecution historian Charles W. Sydnor, and this is the topic that Michael Tigar failed to discuss.


Whence comes the energy for the endless Jewish show trials in general, and the decades-long persecution of John Demjanjuk in particular?  The answer is evident to anyone willing to give the matter a moment's thought.

Holocaust Propaganda

The Jewish show trials support the founding myth of the state of Israel and the cash cow of the Jewish-holocaust industry the story of the Jewish super-holocaust.

Undoubtedly a mass killing of Jews did take place during the Second World War, of which current Jewish-super-holocaust stories are a hyperbolization.  Particularly, it is possible that the reason that Yitzhak Arad and others deny that any hard evidence of Treblinka, Sobibor, and Belzec exists is that such evidence really does exist, but reveals that the Jewish-super-holocaust legend has inflated Jewish casualties a hundredfold or a thousandfold.  Thus, maybe it can really be proven that a Treblinka camp existed, and that 870 Jews were killed there, or even 8,700, but Yitzhak Arad is put forward to conceal such evidence because the Jewish-super-holocaust legend has inflated the figure to an impossible 870,000.

The real killings have to be hidden to make room for the imaginary killings.  The real suffering of the Jewish people has to be suppressed because the Jewish-holocaust industry and the state of Israel feed on hyperbolized suffering.  The real Jewish holocaust should rightfully take its place alongside other similar holocausts, but the Jewish-holocaust industry and the State of Israel won't allow this because they depend on an unparalleled super-holocaust that exists only in imagination.

Group Cohesion

It may be a characteristic of Judaism that more than other religions it promotes group loyalty and cohesion by inciting fear and hatred, both by insiders against outsiders, and by outsiders against insiders.  Jewish leaders whip Jews into a frightened little circle, the world looks on with disrespect, the leaders label the disrespect anti-Semitism, and the end result is called survival, which is boasted of as having lasted three thousand years.  What such continuous survival demonstrates is that at all times over the millenia, there exists some small minority of people sufficiently predisposed to fear and hatred that opportunistic leaders find them easy to manipulate and exploit.  The show trials are tools of that manipulation and exploitation.

Blaming the Victim

Ukrainians having been among the leading victims of Jews, Jewish leaders today find themselves needing to paint the opposite picture of Jews as victims of Ukrainians, just as they find themselves needing to paint the false picture of Jews as victims of Palestinians.  Among the instances of Ukrainian victimization by Jews are the following:

Brain Theft

The Jewish show trials incite fear and hatred of Ukrainians by Jews, and of Jews by Ukrainians, and so promote the brain drain of Jews from Ukraine to Israel.

Distraction From the Rape of Palestine

The image of Jews as victims which is projected by the Jewish show trials attempts to displace the image of Jews as war criminals which emerges from a reading of history, and which more immediately emerges daily from occupied Palestine.

Motives Should Have Been Probed at the Demjanjuk Trial

A John Demjanjuk defense which does not probe the motives of his persecutors is an ineffective defense.  A trial in which the defense is intimidated from probing persecutor motives is a show trial.  A court which accepts an ineffective defense in a setting gripped by fear is a kangaroo court.  When a reply to Jewish persecution makes no reference to Bohdan Khmelnytsky and to the Jewish conquest of the Slavs and to the Holodomor and to the NKVD and to brain theft and to Deir Yassin, then that reply is closer to capitulation and appeasement than it is to defense.  The public is duped into believing that Demjanjuk supporters are neo-Nazis; the reality that is hidden from the public is that Demjanjuk persecutors are neo-Bolsheviks.


Recollecting your frequent and excited attacks on John Demjanjuk during his earlier trials, you seem surprisingly silent during this one.  I half expected you to begin demonstrating some remorse for your earlier sins, and a returned sense of professional responsibility, by bringing to the attention of the public some of the things I have been saying above.

Most particularly, I was hoping that you would step forward to articulate such conclusions as the following:

Lubomyr Prytulak