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Demjanjuk threatens hunger strike at trial

The Local · 22 Feb 2011, 11:38

Published: 22 Feb 2011 11:38 GMT+01:00

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In a surprise development, his lawyer Ulrich Busch read out a rare statement from the accused, in which he dismissed the Munich court case as a "political show trial."

"There is only one path open to me: to show the world what a mockery of justice this trial is," said the statement.

"Unless the court does not accept the historical facts and does not...search for justice instead of carrying out a political show trial, I will begin a hunger strike within the next two weeks," Demjanjuk added.

He called on the court to admit evidence that the defence says will cast doubt on allegations he was a guard at the Nazi death camp Sobibor between March and September 1943.

Prosecutors were due Tuesday to begin their closing arguments, but Busch entered a series of motions that delayed the trial.

The accused entered the court in a wheelchair, wearing his now trademark sunglasses and carrying a small sign showing the figure "1627", the document number of the Soviet KGB files the defence says would clear him.

The court in the southern city of Munich could come to a verdict as early as March 22, although many observers expect a further delay. Demjanjuk, who denies the charges, faces 15 years behind bars if convicted.

The trial, which opened in November 2009 in a blaze of publicity, has since meandered slowly to a conclusion, with several delays due to Demjanjuk's health and defence motions. There have been around 80 sessions since the trial opened.

Story continues below…

Demjanjuk has been fighting to clear his name for decades.

He was previously found guilty in Israel of being "Ivan the Terrible," a particularly sadistic death camp guard at another Nazi camp, Treblinka, but released after the Israeli Supreme Court decided they had the wrong man.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:25 February 22, 2011 by auniquecorn
I like that picture,

Please take a number and have a seat.

number 3, calling number 3
12:55 February 22, 2011 by marimay
Can you imagine being a prison guard today in Iraq or Afghanistan not knowing that 60 years from now you'll be put on trial like this guy just because your government was a huge F-up?
13:39 February 22, 2011 by idiot
>Can you imagine being a prison guard today in Iraq or Afghanistan not knowing that 60 years from now you'll be put on trial like this guy just because your government was a huge F-up?

Missleading and incompetent comment.

No one was pressured to enter the service on the KZs (deathcamps).

The "Neue Heeresverordnung 41 in §117. a" guaranteed no disadvantages be refusing the job in this matters.
13:52 February 22, 2011 by marimay
When you're brainwashed, you're brainwashed... Nazi government
13:58 February 22, 2011 by Kayak
Well... if what's alleged is true, then he ***is*** certainly expert in the technique of withholding nutrients while maintaining useful vigour...

He's chosen now to recall the technique.
14:03 February 22, 2011 by idiot
> When you're brainwashed, you're brainwashed... Nazi government

There only 2 ways in the law:

1. He helped the regime by being aware of the fact that this gonna be a disregard of the human rights.

- Guilty

2. If he dont was aware abt that. In german law, times ago as today:

Ignorance is no excuse.

- Guilty


Further, he is seems to be aware of this fact, else his efforts wont be on the lie of his participation in those crimes.
14:17 February 22, 2011 by wpfaeffle
Innocence is no excuse, either.
14:26 February 22, 2011 by idiot
His innocence is not proved, but documents of his participation in crimes existing.

So what?
14:50 February 22, 2011 by marimay
The rest of my last post disappeared. Oh well.
18:45 February 22, 2011 by Gretl
Knock yourself out. Don't think anyone will give a hoot.
02:53 February 23, 2011 by thefacts
There were mistakes in the article quoting his statement. Here is the complete Demjanjuk statement read in court today....

Third Statement of John Demjanjuk in Germany

As a child, Stalin condemned me to die through Holodomor, the forced famine. As a Soviet Ukrainian POW of the Germans, they tried to kill me through starvation and slave labor. The USA and Israel fraudulently accused me of being Ivan the Terrible. As a result, I spent 8.5 years in prison and 5 years in the death cell. Though innocent, on each of those 1,800 days in a death cell, I feared I was going to die due to the reckless fraud and political motives of corrupt prosecutors and judges who were not seeking justice.

Now, nearing the end of my life, Germany, the nation which murdered with merciless cruelty millions of innocent people, attempts to extinguish my dignity, my soul, my spirit, and indeed my life with a political show trial seeking to blame me, a Ukrainian peasant, for the crimes committed by Germans in WWII. They chose me for prosecution - a foreign POW in the brutal hands of Germany ­ rather than any of the truly guilty Germans and Ethnic Germans. Germany¦#39;s weapons of torture in this trial include, suppression of exculpatory evidence, falsification of history, introduction of so-called legal principles which never existed in Germany previously, conspiring with fraudulent prosecutors of the USA and Israel, and a reckless refusal of each argument, motion and exculpatory piece of evidence my defense has submitted which should have already resulted in my acquittal and freedom.

Fearing the truth, the German Court and Prosecutors continue to turn a blind eye to justice by refusing the following:

1. To request from Russia and Ukraine, File 1627, the 1400 page Soviet MGB/KGB investigative file on my case.

2. To request from Russia and Ukraine, File 15457, the investigative file of Ignat Danilchenko, specifically to include the report of interview conducted with him about me at the request of the US authorities in 1983/1984.

3. To request a qualified expert to examine the high quality photos available of the signature on the 1393 Trawniki document which has been falsely attributed to me.

4. To accept as historical fact that the Nazis tortured Ukrainian POWs like me with starvation so that 3.5 million were murdered.

5. To accept as historical fact, based upon overwhelming evidence from multiple countries and dozens of witnesses that POW Trawnikis were coerced under a real threat of death and were executed for attempting desertion.

6. To accept as historical fact, based upon the entire record of the US and Israel proceedings, that I have previously been indicted and tried for the crimes now alleged here which resulted in my acquittal and release from Israel.

To be continued in next post.....
07:32 February 23, 2011 by marimay
Here you are...
15:40 February 23, 2011 by thefacts
Completion of Demjanjuk Munich statement:

I have survived the brutality of Stalin and Nazi Germany and the wrongful conviction and death sentence of the Israelis and Americans. I have lived through unimaginable horrors from Stalin and death by starvation, to Nazi Germany and death by starvation and cannibalism as a POW, to Israel and death by hanging. This trial is now nothing more than the execution of these three unjust and horrific death sentences. There remains no other way for me to show the world what a mockery of justice this trial represents. Unless the Court accepts the historical facts, uses it¦#39;s authority to obtain the critical defense evidence not yet before the court and shows the world that it fully accepts its duty to seek justice rather than just conduct a political show trial, I will within 2 weeks begin a hunger strike.


John Demjanjuk
18:00 February 24, 2011 by avserb
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
18:33 February 25, 2011 by Curmudgeon
The trouble with all of these trials is that statements made at the Nuremberg show trials are fact. The reality is that there was very little direct evidence provided. You can read the trial transcripts at the Avalon Project: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/imt.asp

If this man was accused of being a serial killer, the prosecution would have to provide the names of the people that he allegedly killed. Instead there is a precise number - 27,900 - of unnamed victims. In a normal case, the prosecution would have to prove that each of the people allegedly murdered actually existed and had actually been murdered. From that perspective alone, Demjanjuk is correct. This is "a political show trial". The irony, of course, is that the prosecution can rely on the historical facts of Nuremberg, but the accused cannot rely on other historical facts.

Germans should be ashamed of themselves for allowing these types of trials to be political show trials.
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