Shimon Peres   Letter to Armand Hammer   August 1986   Peres solicits Soviet evidence against Demjanjuk
Israel, it would appear, does not aspire to Western standards of justice; it aspires to victory regardless of justice.  Victory, in this case, amounted to the incitement of Ukrainian-Jewish animosity so as to promote the emigration of hundreds of thousands of scientists and engineers, and other people of talent and accomplishment, from Ukraine to Israel.  In this way, the Demjanjuk trial was an unmitigated success for Israeli demographics, however much of an unmitigated failure it was at demonstrating the adherence of Jewish justice to Western norms.
The Shimon Peres letter below appears to be to Armand Hammer, Jewish Chairman of Occidental Petroleum, directing Hammer in his efforts to obtain inculpatory evidence from the USSR for use against John Demjanjuk.  Hammer's eventual reply to Shimon Peres is available on the Ukrainian Archive.

Upon transcribing the Shimon Peres letter below from a photocopy, it became evident that parts of the original may have been whited out prior to photocopying, and with no notation being entered to show where deletions had been made: (1) no Shimon Peres letterhead is visible; (2) no Armand Hammer address can be seen; (3) no day accompanies the date of "August, 1986"; (4) no handwritten Shimon Peres signature appears in the two locations where it might be expected.  In addition, approximately one line of text was lost as a result of faulty placement of the original during photocopying.  Nevertheless, even in its present imperfect state, the Shimon Peres letter below contributes toward our understanding of the Demjanjuk affair, and so is being posted on the Ukrainian Archive as is.  Improvements will be made when a more faithful copy is received.

If there is one characteristic of the Peres letter that is most striking, it is that Peres does not ask that all relevant documentation be forwarded so as to permit the determination of whether or not John Demjanjuk is guilty of the crimes charged against him rather, Peres assumes Demjanjuk's guilt, and asks for inculpatory evidence only.  Peres not only assumes Demjanjuk's guilt, he recites unattributed calumnies against John Demjanjuk as if one of the purposes of his letter was to inflame its reader or readers into the feverish emotional state requisite to the most passionate pursuit of inculpatory evidence.

In any country aspiring to Western standards of justice, one might expect the country's Prime Minister to not place his office at the service of the prosecution, to not interfere with the judicial process, to not make inflammatory and unfounded allegations against the accused.  That President Bill Clinton or Prime Minister Jean Chretien would similarly intervene in prominent judicial proceedings within the United States or Canada is unimaginable, and if such intervention were ever discovered, it would lead to a major scandal.  Such expectations, however, do not seem to apply to Israel.  Israel, it would appear, does not aspire to Western standards of justice; it aspires to victory regardless of justice.  Victory, in this case, amounted to the incitement of Ukrainian-Jewish animosity so as to promote the emigration of hundreds of thousands of scientists and engineers, and other people of talent and accomplishment, from Ukraine to Israel.  In this way, the Demjanjuk trial was an unmitigated success for Israeli demographics, however much of an unmitigated failure it was at demonstrating the adherence of Jewish justice to Western norms.

A comprehensive discussion of the Trawniki Identification Card can be found in the Lubomyr Prytulak letter to Alan Dershowitz of 14-May-2001.

August, 1986   

My dear Armand,

     I understand that you will shortly be travelling to the U.S.S.R., where you will be meeting with the leaders of the Soviet Union.

     As I mentioned in our conversation, prosecutors in Israel's Ministry of Justice are now preparing the case against alleged Nazi mass murderer, Ivan Demjanjuk.  Demjanjuk is a former Ukrainian who betrayed the Soviet cause in World War II by joining the Nazi forces.  Demjanjuk served the S.S. at the notorious death camp at Treblinka, Poland, and actively participated in the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.  After World War II, Demjanjuk escaped to the United States.  He was discovered there in recent years and has now been extradited to Israel.

     The Soviet Government possesses Demjanjuk's identity card from the S.S. training camp at Trawniki (Trawniki Dienstausweis No. 1393).  The Soviet authorities probably also possess other important documents relevant to the case.  We believe these documents were captured by the victorious Red Army when it defeated the Nazi forces in Poland.  These documents would materially strengthen the prosecution's hand in this very important case.

     It is in the interest of the Soviet Union and all humanity that this accused Nazi mass murderer be finally brought to justice.  The State of Israel would therefore be grateful if you would raise the matter at your meetings with Soviet leaders and ask that all relevant documents be made available to the prosecution authorities in Israel.


llow one or two of our prosecuting staff to come to the Soviet Union and work with their Soviet counterparts.  The presence in Moscow of members of our Israeli prosecuting staff would enable them together with their Soviet counterparts to make immediate decisions as to which documents could advance the prosecutions case and contribute to Demjanjuk's conviction.

Shimon Peres
Prime Minister

I am enclosing:

(a) A brief note on Ivan Demjanjuk.

(b) Copies of the requests to the Soviet Union
    submitted by the State of Israel through the
    Embassy of the Netherlands in Moscow.

With appreciation for your help,


Shimon Peres
Prime Minister

A Note Concerning Ivan Demjanjuk

Born: April 3, 1920 in Dub Mahrenzi, Ukraine, U.S.S.R.
Served with the Red Army from the winter of 1940.
Captured by the Germans in the spring of 1942 at the Battle of Kerch.
Betrayed his homeland by volunteering to serve with the German S.S. forces.
Trained from early summer 1942 at the S.S. Training Camp at Trawniki.
Served from September, 1942, at the Treblinka death camp, where over 850,000 civilians were murdered.

     Demjanjuk is accused of operating the gas chambers at the Treblinka camp.  He was posted at the entrance to the killing area, where he forced masses of helpless and naked victims into the chambers in which they were killed.  Demjanjuk beat and wounded the victims in order to urge greater numbers into the chambers.  He threw babies on top of standing adult victims in order to increase still further the destructive capacity of the chambers.  Once the chamber doors were locked, Demjanjuk operated the engine which poured poisonous exhaust fumes into the chambers.  In this way, the victims were choked to death.

     Demjanjuk was also notorious for the acts of cruelty he perpetrated against the slave labor groups forced to work in the Treblinka camp.  He would shoot, whip, maim and disfigure anyone who met with his disfavor.  He smashed skulls with an iron bar and forced victims to death by trapping their heads between strands of barbed wire and then beating their bodies.  On one occasion, Demjanjuk used a drill to bore into the live body of his victim.  Demjanjuk's exceptional acts of cruelty earned him the nickname "Ivan the Terrible" and caused him to be remembered by the few survivors of the Treblinka death camp.

     Demjanjuk consistently lied about his Nazi past and in 1952 was admitted as a refugee to the United States.  He was discovered some years ago in Cleveland, Ohio.  After protracted litigation in the United States, he was deprived of his American nationality.  The State of Israel sought to bring Demjanjuk to trial under the Nazi and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law, 1950 and on February 28, 1986, he was extradited to Israel.

9th May, 1986

     The Ministry of Justice of the State of Israel, in continuation of its previous letter regarding evidence relevant to the prosecution of Ivan Demjanjuk, would like to inform the competent authorities of the U.S.S.R. that Mr. Ivan Demjanjuk has been extradited to Israel and will stand trial shortly.

     The documents requested by the Ministry of Justice in its previous letter to the U.S.S.R. are needed urgently in order to serve at trial as corroboration of the testimony of survivors of the Treblinka death camp.  These survivors are Israeli citizens, while the documents are in Soviet archives.  International cooperation can help to assure adequate proof of the identity of one whose crimes, committed in the service of his Nazi masters, make him an enemy to all humanity.

     The Ministry of Justice, Without derogating from its previous appeal, cordially requests additional assistance from the Soviet Union in the following three matters:

1.  Personalbogen Nr. 1393 of Ivan Demjanjuk

     Personalbogen, issued to guards (wachmann) at the S.S. training camp of Trawniki, are among the German documents that were seized by the Soviet Army in the Great Patriotic War.  These documents differ from the personal identification card, or Dienstausweis, of Ivan Demjanjuk, in that they bear the guard's fingerprint.

     The Personalbogen of Franz Swiderski, Ludwig Kairys, and others, have in the past been provided by the U.S.S.R. to American and West German courts.  Photocopies of the Personalbogen of Swiderski and Kairys are attached.

     If the Personalbogen of Ivan Demjanjuk could be discovered, it would contribute significantly to the proof of his guilt.

2.  Dienstausweis, or personal identification card, of any person known to have served in Trawniki.

     Dienstausweis Nr. 1393 of Ivan Demjanjuk is the only identification document of its kind yet revealed in American or West German courts.  No similar document has been discovered in Western archives.  While reiterating the previous request for the original Demjanjuk Dienstausweis and for Dienstausweis cards whose serial numbers immediately precede and follow Nr. 1393, the Ministry of Justice wishes to emphasize that the production of any additional examples of Dienstausweis cards, regardless of their serial numbers, would be most useful in order to refute the recurrent allegations that Demjanjuk's Dienstausweis card is a forgery.

     The following is a list of Soviet citizens known to have served in Trawniki, whose Dienstausweis cards, if they have been preserved, are hereby requested.  (Most of these individuals testified through rogatory procedures in the trials of Franz Swiderski and Karl Streibel in the Federal Republic of Germany, or were listed as potential witnesses by the United States in pre-trial proceedings against Demjanjuk.)

   a)  Browzew, Pjotr Petrowitsch

       Date of Birth:   1921
       Place of Birth:  Rayon Noworschewsk, Michalkino, Kalinin
       Last Address:    Omskaja Street 27, Apt. 31, Leningrad

   b)  Kolgushkin, Alexsai Nikolyevich

       Date of Birth:   1919
       Place of Birth:  Rayon Maslovo, Maslovo, Yaroslav Oblast
       Last Address:    Dorothaina Street 2, Apt. 2, Village Nekouz,
                        Nekouz Region, Yaroslav Oblast

   c)  Orlowski, Wasilij Wladimirowitsch

       Date of Birth:   1921
       Place of Birth:  Berditschew, Zhitomir
       Last Address:    Village Sanskoje, Rayon Shilowo, Rjazan Oblast

   d)  Engelhardt, Jakob Henrichowitsch

       Date of Birth:   1917
       Place of Birth:  Village Stepnoe, Sary-Agatsch Rayon Tschimkent
       Last Address:    (same as above)

   e)  Wilschun, Fedor

       Date of Birth:   1918
       Place of Birth:  Village Tschaplinka, Tschaplinskij Rayon, Cherson
       Last Address:    Komsomolsker St. 4, Apt. 20, Nowomoskowsk, Tula

   f)  Moskolenko, Alexander

       Date of Birth:   1923
       Place of Birth:  Village Weselaja, Nowoskolsk Rayon, Belgorod

   g)  Prochorenko, Wirill Rimenowitsch

       Date of Birth:   1912
       Place of Birth:  Village Trostjanka, Schumjatschi Rayon, Smolensk

   h)  Bussinij, Prokofij

       Date of Birth:   1912
       Place of Birth:  Kirolani, Taraschischanskij Rayon, Kiev
       Last Address:    (same as above)

   i)  Dorofeev, Nikolaj Yakovlevich

       Date of Birth:   1911
       Place of Birth:  Village Pavlovka, Genicheskii Rayon, Khersonsky Oblast
       Last Address:    Dzhankoi, Crimean Oblast

   j)  Savenko, Yakov Klimentevich

       Date of Birth:   1915
       Place of Birth:  Village Novo Grigorevka, Pologsky Rayon, Zaporozh Oblast
       Last Address:    Village Svetloe, Jankoi Rayon, Crimean Oblast

   k)  Kharkovksy, Semen Efremovich

       Date of Birth:   1913
       Place of Birth:  Village Fedorowka, Shevchenkovsky Rayon, Kharkov Oblast
       Last Address:    Revkomovsky Street 59, Apt. 1, Kharkov

   l)  Milutin, Alex

       Date of Birth:   5.5.1916
       Place of Birth:  Krasna - Polana

   m)  Rogossa, Boris

       Date of Birth:   30.10.1921
       Place of Birth:  Odessa

   n)  Swiderski, Franz

       Date of Birth:   10.4.1921
       Place of Birth:  Odessa
       Convicted in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1978

   o)  Federenko, Fedor

       Denaturalized by the U.S.A. and deported to the U.S.S.R.

3.  Concerning the first four individuals named above Messrs. Browzew, Kolgushkin, Orlowski and Engelhardt the Ministry of Justice of the State of Israel wishes to invite them to testify concerning their transfers from prisoner-of-war camps to the Trawniki training camp, their service at Trawniki, and their subsequent transfers to extermination camps.  Please verify if they are alive and inform us if they are available to testify in Israel.

     Anticipating a shared commitment to the continuing struggle against Nazis and their collaborators, the Ministry of Justice of the State of Israel wishes to thank the competent authorities of the U.S.S.R. for their cooperation in the matters mentioned above.