December 4, 1999
|YOUNG MAN IN THE AUDIENCE: Uh, have there been naming of names, you know, an outing if you will of the individuals you've identified?|
LITTMAN: Well, it sounds like an easy item, but it isn't. Let me explain why. And "outing them" means we should name these war criminals publicly, in the press, and so on, and shame them at least if nothing else. First of all, the Canadian Government has made it very, very clear to us that the moment we start outing war criminals, they're going to stop investigating. And our purpose is still to get these people prosecuted. Second of all, if we name somebody, the likelihood is that they will get support from their community, the Ukrainian community, the Latvian community, and they will sue us for libel. Now they may be guilty as hell, but they will involve us in one libel suit after another which will drain the funds and the energy of the agency. It's happened! You know we've seen it happen to other agencies who tried this, and it didn't work very well for them. They got sued and they backed off. Libel in Canada is a much stricter thing than it is here in the United States. Here in the United States, if you're any kind of a public figure, you can say any damned thing you want about somebody. It isn't true either in Britain or in Canada. The libel laws are very strict and very severe and very expensive.
'Killer found in Canada'|
VIENNA (Reuter) — The Jewish Documentation Centre, an organization devoted to the pursuit of alleged Nazi war criminals, claims to have tracked down in Canada a Ukrainian auxiliary policeman implicated in the mass execution of 10,000 Jews.
Simon Wiesenthal, head of the centre, said he has sent a letter to the Canadian embassy to be forwarded to the Canadian justice ministry giving the man's whereabouts in Ontario.
The centre said in a press release the man took part in the execution of 10,000 Jews in Stanislav Oct. 12, 1941, and personally directed the execution of 300 Jews in the so-called "Rudolf's mill" there.
Vancouver Sun, 09Mar71.
I'M INNOCENT, VOWS CITY JANITOR
This is our man, say Nazi-hunters
The head of the Jewish Documentation Centre reaffirmed today that Vancouver janitor Ivan Chrabatyn is the man he has been seeking in connection with the execution of 300 Jews during the Second World War.
"We have about 60 witnesses who can positively identify him" Simon Wisenthal said in a telephone interview with The Sun from Vienna.
Wisenthal now seeks a court test of identity.
Wisenthal said that of the 60 witnesses he mentioned, at least one is believed to be in Canada and another 19 in the United States.
The testimonies are now in the files at the special war crimes prosecution centre at Dortmund and the attorney general at Stuttgart, Germany, Wisenthal said.
Vancouver Sun, 11Mar71. The spelling "Wisenthal" is in the original Vancouver Sun article.
WRONG MAN ACCUSED IN MASSACRE?
Witness 'never knew' city janitor
A man named as a prime witness by Jewish Nazi-hunters who have accused Vancouver janitor Ivan Chrabatyn of war crimes said Thursday he never knew Chrabatyn until they met recently in Vancouver.
Another man who collected evidence about a Jewish massacre in the Ukraine in which Chrabatyn is alleged to have taken part said he had never heard of him.
And an official of the Canadian Jewish Congress, conceding that the janitor may be the wrong man, said today the congress will not pursue the case further.
Simon Wiesenthal, head of the Jewish Documentation Centre in Vienna, told The Sun Thursday that Matt Zajac of Vancouver could provide positive identification of Chrabatyn as having participated in Jewish executions in Stanislav in 1941 and 1942.
But Zajac told The Sun: "I never knew a Chrabatyn in Stanislav. How can I identify anybody?"
Zajac, 75, of 737 West Sixty-ninth, said he has met Chrabatyn since the janitor came to Vancouver — about two years ago — but knew nothing about him in Stanislav.
Now retired, Zajac operated a sawmill about 20 miles from Stanislav in the 1940s.
He said he saw Gestapo officer Hans Krueger bundle Jews into trucks near his sawmill. He heard shots and later the Jews were found dead.
Zajac was one of the witnesses interviewed by Dr. William Yashan of Saskatoon in compiling evidence against Krueger, who was convicted in 1968 of killing 10,000 Jews in the Stanislav executions.
And Yashan told The Sun Thursday: "Although I lived there all those years and knew most officials, I never heard of an Ivan Chrabatyn."
When the accusations were first published this week, Wiesenthal was quoted as saying that Chrabatyn was a Ukrainian police chief when he took part in the executions.
But Yashan said there was no police chief named Chrabatyn.
"I don't know how the Jewish Documentation Centre can say there was a police chief with this name. I was in a position to know — there was no Chrabatyn."
Yashan said he was a lawyer and helped run a department which administered hospitals, highways and police department expenses.
"The Nazis supervised, but we handled the administration," he said. "The two chiefs of the Ukrainian police were called Banach, who handled the city, and Stefan Hlushko, who covered the surrounding area.
Saul Hayes, executive director of the Canadian Jewish Congress in Montreal, said today the congress — which has been asked by Wiesenthal to seek Canadian government action — is not going to take the case any further.
Vancouver Sun, 12Mar71. The spelling "Wisenthal" is in the original Vancouver Sun article.
Editor, the Sun, Sir —
In connection with my interview with reporters of the Vancouver Sun on March 11, 1971 regarding Ivan Chrabatyn, I wish to point out some relevant facts which were not reported in the press.
I am fully aware that Jews suffered immeasurable human torture and material losses during the Second World War. But is it only the Jews who were victims of tragedies of world history? Other people did not suffer less, as for example, during Stalin's Collectivization, Ukrainians lost 6 million people in an artificially induced famine, deportation, slave labor camps in Siberia, and mass executions. Millions of Ukrainians lost their lives during the Second World War.
I understand the dedication of the Jewish Documentation Centre to seek out and bring to justice all persons who committed atrocious crimes against the Jewish people. But how long can this process of historical revenge continue — 30 years, 50, 100 or 200 years?
Would it not be more objective and desirable for the Jewish Documentation Centre, when revealing the identity of war criminals to also reveal the names of the thousands of Ukrainians who participated in the defence of Jews, sheltering and protecting them physically, for which they themselves were often prosecuted and shot by the Gestapo along with the Jews.
Having personally lived through the horrors, tragedies and persecutions of the First and Second World Wars, I feel very deeply, that rather than sentimental, nationalistic revenge, be it even justified, that we should all strive to foster the loftier ideals of tolerance, world brotherhood, and the spirit of forgiveness — ideals that should be the basis or our present human society.