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Sol Littman   Letter 05   26-Sep-1999   Did Neal Sher lie to you?
"I hope that this letter provides you with the information on the Demjanjuk case which you requested.  Thank you for your interest in the work of the OSI." Neal Sher
  September 26, 1999

Sol Littman
Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center
8 King Street East, Suite 710
Toronto, ON
CANADA,  M5C 1B5

Tel: (416) 864-9735
Fax: (416) 864-1083


Sol Littman:

I call to your attention two depictions of the testimony of Heinrich Schaefer concerning the John Demjanjuk Trawniki ID card.

(1) Neal Sher Tells You About Heinrich Schaefer's Testimony

I take the first depiction from an undated draft of a letter that Neal Sher wrote you, and from which I reproduce only the very beginning and very end and the relevant passage in the middle:

Mr. Sol Littman
Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal
  Center For Holocaust Studies
8 King Street East, Suite 204
Toronto, Ontario M5C 1B5
Canada

     Re:  John (Iwan, Ivan) Demjanjuk

Dear Mr. Littman:

     Thank you for your letter of March 24, 1986.

     [...]

     The testimony of Dr. Scheffler regarding Demjanjuk's Trawniki card was corroborated by the trial deposition of Heinrich Schaefer, a post-war citizen and resident of West Germany.  Schaefer, a Soviet soldier captured by German forces and taken to Trawniki on August of 1941, served there as a paymaster for Ukrainian guards.  Schaefer was shown a copy of Demjanjuk's Trawniki card and testified that it was an official I.D. card issued to all the persons training at Trawniki, and that he himself had been issued such an I.D. card.  Schaefer also identified the signature of Streibel, the camp commandant, since Streibel had often signed his leave passes.  Finally, Schaefer testified that the reverse side of Demjanjuk's identity card bore both the official seal of the SS unit assigned to Trawniki and the signature of Ernst Teufel, the SS private first class who directed the dispensing of clothing here.

     [...]

     I hope that this letter provides you with the information on the Demjanjuk case which you requested.  Thank you for your interest in the work of the OSI.

                          Sincerely,


                          Neal M. Sher
                          Director
                          Office of Special Investigations
                          Criminal Division
                          1377 K Street, N.W., Suite 195
                          Washington, D.C. 20005


(2) Heinrich Schaefer Tells Us About His Own Testimony

The second depiction of Heinrich Schaefer's testimony, enclosed, was given by Heinrich Schaefer himself, from which I particularly call to your attention the following excerpts:

There never was issued an identification paper to a guard, which at the same time contained a list of objects which were received by him.

The list of equipment for guards always contained the carbine which was issued to the guard and its number.

It is completely unimaginable that there was no carbine given to a guard, as that was, to a certain extent, his right arm, without which he could not perform his duty.

This document cannot have been issued in Trawniki.

Official transfers were never recorded on identification documents.

The date of issuance had to be on every identification card, otherwise such a paper was automatically invalid.

A card such as the one which was shown to me and which shows the name Iwan Demjanjuk twice, was never issued by me.  I know of no such cards.

During my previous questioning before the U.S. Consul I was never asked my opinion about the authenticity of the "Demjanjuk card".  I did declare, that I never saw a card like that one during my service in Trawniki and assumed that the affidavit was sufficient.


Do You Notice an Incongruity?

It would appear that Neal Sher depicts Heinrich Schaefer as judging the Trawniki ID card to be decidedly authentic, whereas Heinrich Schaefer himself appears to judge the Trawniki ID card to be decidedly inauthentic.  Thus, either Heinrich Schaefer's position on the Trawniki ID card is characterized by astonishing self-contradiction, or else Neal Sher's depiction of Schaefer's testimony is characterized by astonishing misrepresentation.

The above line of reasoning requires us to entertain the hypothesis that Neal Sher was feeding you disinformation in an effort to strengthen your committment to the anti-Demjanjuk conspiracy, and that Neal Sher was handing you another nail that you could drive into John Demjanjuk's coffin.

Conscience Demands Expiation

If you were at this time able to issue a public request to Neal Sher to account for the above discrepancy, this would demonstrate your concern about the possibility of having joined a lynch mob partly on the basis of Neal Sher's disinformation.



Lubomyr Prytulak

cc: Neal Sher


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