REMARKS Please make 2 copies and forward 1 to Norman Moscowitz.
FROM: [signature, possibly of Arthur Sinai]
DATE OF DOCUMENT 15Nov79|
DATE RECEIVED 27Nov79
REFERRED TO OSI File 42
CONTROL NUMBER 313
On November 14, 1979, Otto Horn, German national and citizen of West Berlin, was interviewed at his residence, Yorck-Strasse [sic] 66, Berlin, Germany, by Norman Moscowitz, Staff Attorney-OSI, and by the reporting officer. Due to the fact that HORN neither spoke nor understood English, the entire interview was conducted in his native German language, with George Garand-OSI and the reporting officer translating. Theinterview [sic] began at 9:04 a.m.
After initial greetings and introductory comments, HORN was shown a site plan of the death camp at Treblinka, Poland. Various buildings within the death camp area were pointed out to HORN and he was able to properly identify each of them. Of specific importance was the exact location of the new gas chamber, which HORN described. During the course of the questioning concerning the operation of the gas chamber, HORN voluntarily mentioned one "Iwan" (last name unknown), who was one of two Ukranians [sic] who were responsible for the actual operation of the engines which provided the gas for the chambers. HORN was unable to recall the name of the other Ukranian, [sic] describing him as tall and thin, with blond hair, and being approximately 22-23 years of age. HORN further recalled that the two Ukranians [sic] were immediately subordinate to a German, known only as "Schmidt."
HORN described "Iwan" as being of stocky build, black haircut [sic] short, full rounded face, tall, with no distinguishing marks on his face. HORN remarked that "Iwan" had some technical ability since he repaired and maintained the gas engine and was known by HORN as being able to drive an automobile (apparently somewhat of a rare [sic] among the Ukrainians at that time). HORN indicated that he arrived at Treblinka during September, 1942 and stated that "Iwan" was already working there. HORN added that "Iwan", Schmidt, and the other unidentified Ukrainian were the only three individuals who actually worked at the gas chamber, that is, in the operation of the engine. HORN stated that for the period September 1942-September 1943, when he was at Treblinka, "Iwan" worked at the gas chamber every day. HORN pointed out that "Iwan" looked upon the other Ukrainians in the camp, which he roughly estimated at 30-40 with disdain, because he was working with Schmidt. During the evenings, "Iwan" and some of the others would travel into nearby Polish towns and become drunk and boisterous.
HORN stated that he never witnessed "Iwan" beating, shooting, or otherwise abusing any of the prisoners. His sole task was to work at the gas chamber.
At this point, the reporting officer advised HORN that there were a series of 8 photographs of caucasian males, which he was requested to review carefully and individually. Each of the photographs depicted an individual in dark clothing. Prior to the interview, care was taken to minimize the amount of uniforms [sic] which would be readily discernable in each photograph. Nevertheless on a few photos, a portion of a uniform could be seen. Each picture showed the bust of the subject. The individuals possessed hair of different length, varying physical builds, and a variety of ages, ranging from the early twenties to the forties. One of the photographs was that of Iwan DEMJANJUK, taken during the early 1940s. Horn studied each of the photographs at length but was unable to positively identify any of the pictures, although he believed that he recognized one of them (not DEMJANJUK) but was not able to indicate where he had met this person or provide his name.
The first series of photographs was then gathered and placed in a stack, off to the side of the table- with that of DEMJANJUK lying face up on the top of the pile, facing HORN. The reporting officer then presented another series of 8 photographs, each depicting the bust of a male caucasian. These photographs showed the individuals in clothing more similar to that normally worn by civilians. Among the 8 pictures was one of Iwan DEMJANJUK, which had been taken during the early 1950's. This photograph was much better in quality than that presented to HORN in the first series, and depicted DEMJANJUK as having a much fuller and more rounded face. HORN studied this photograph at length, and upon glancing at the earlier picture of DEMJANJUK, identified them as being the same person. As he continued to study the picture from the second set, HORN indicated that it certainly resembled the man that he had known as "Iwan", although he stated that "Iwan" had had somewhat more hair. He further mentioned that the second picture, depicting the fuller face, was much more like that of "Iwan" than the person shown in the first series. After a few more moments of careful study, HORN positively identified the photographs( [sic] of Iwan DEMJANJUK as being the "Iwan" that he knew at the gas chamber in Treblinka.
After the identification was completed, HORN was asked if he would be willing to be re-interviewed on a formal basis in the near future, and he agreed, with the stipulation that it be "confidential", that is, there was to be no press or other publicity. Mr. Moscowitz agreed to this condition, and was [sic] interview was terminated at 0955 a.m.
It was the impression of Moscowitz, Garand, and the reporting officer that HORN was honest, sincere and forthright in all of his responses, and was fully cooperative throughout the interview. Due to his age (76) and his request for absolutely no publicity, it is not believed that he would agree to travel to the United States to testify nor would he be favorable to video-taping and interview(as [sic] he would probable [sic] believe that it was actually a TV news camera). Prior to the formal re-interview, with defense counsel present(who [sic] would undoubtedly cross-examine and quite possible [sic] upset HORN) it is highly advisable that he be informally briefed on what to expect, immediately prior to this interview. Furthermore, in view of his advanced age, it is requested that any follow-up business which may involve HORN be conducted on a priority basis. Finally, in the event that HORN must be telephonically contacted, his number is (030)7852465.