Jerusalem Post | 18Dec2009 | David Horovitz

'Demjanjuk murdered my father in 1947'

John Demjanjuk, while working after World War II as a truck driver for the US army motor pool in Ulm, Germany, deliberately ran over and killed Moshe Lisogorski on August 20, 1947, Lisogorski's son Saul told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday [17Dec2009].

[L.P. And if we're going to give our imaginations free rein concerning this vehicular homicide, then perhaps it was the case that JD recognized Saul Lisogorski as a notoriously brutal NKVD torturer, ran him down for that reason, and was afterward personally congratulated, first by Patton and afterward by Eisenhower, for having contributed to the containment of Communism.]

Saul Liskin, who was six at the time of the alleged murder, said the family had never been able to track down their father's killer. They realized it was Demjanjuk, Liskin said, when reading a Post article last week.

The article reported that German prosecutors were investigating new allegations that Demjanjuk, who is on trial in Munich for his role in the murders of 27,900 Jews at Sobibor during the war, also deliberately ran over and killed an unnamed man, possibly a Jew, in Ulm in 1947.

"My father is that Jew," said Liskin.

"I always knew the circumstances of my father's death, but I never had a name to go with the murder," said Liskin, speaking to the Post by telephone from Los Angeles. "I was totally shocked to realize it was Demjanjuk. I've followed his story for the past 10 years and more."

Liskin said he was convinced that the Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk was the killer. "I would like to see him ultimately hanged after the trial, if he's found guilty, like Adolf Eichmann," he said.

Demjanjuk, 89, whose trial resumes on Monday, is known to have worked for the US army motor pool in Germany after WWII. He "found himself in the United States zone of occupation," according to biographical information cited by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. After residence in several camps, he "arrived in Regensburg, Germany, where he drove a truck in an American Army motor pool from 1947-1949," according to authors Henry Friedlander and Earlean McCarrick.

Liskin said the circumstances of his father's death were relayed to the family by his mother, Esther, who died 11 years ago, and are also detailed in a family memoir written by his uncle. Liskin read out the relevant sentence from his uncle's memoir: "My brother Maishke [Moshe's nickname] was later run over by a Ukrainian murderer who claimed it was an accident and was released."

Moshe Lisogorski was also working for the motor pool in Ulm, Saul Liskin said. The family -- Moshe, Esther, six-year-old Saul and his infant younger brother -- were living in the city in a displaced persons camp.

On the fateful day of August 20, 1947, Liskin said, citing his late mother's description of events, "My father and a group of other Jews working for the same company were sitting on a bench eating their lunch. An individual working for the same organization started threatening them with his truck. He was playing chicken with them. They all left the bench, except for my father."

Liskin continued: "My father sat there defiant. As a result, the crazed lunatic ran into him and killed him."

Moshe Lisogorski was 34.

Liskin said that "for years I tried to get more information" to no avail. He said his mother had thought that some kind of trial was held at the time, and that the killer went to jail for at least a certain period, but she may have been mistaken.

Along with his father's death certificate, he said, he had documents showing the insurance payments made to the family by the US army motor pool, which described his father's death as an accident. But he stressed that his mother had always emphasized that "others who were at the scene testified that he was purposely murdered."

Moshe Lisogorski was born in a shtetl called Zetl in Lithuania. Esther was born in Poland, where Liskin was born. Moshe served in the Russian army in WWII, while his young family fled into Russia. After the war, they were reunited in Poland, and then made their way to the displaced persons camp in Ulm, where his father got work as a painter and varnisher in the US army motor pool.

[W.Z. If Moshe Lisogorski fought in the Russian army and his family fled into Russia from Lithuania, why did they not settle in Russia or go back home to Lithuania after the war? How did they end up in Poland? How did they get from Poland, through the Russian-occupied zone and into the American-occupied zone of Germany? It is amazing that, at the time when millions of Ukrainian and Russian refugees were being forcibly repatriated into the tender clutches of Stalin, these Jewish deserters were being escorted in the opposite direction. Without collusion at the highest military levels, this would not have been possible.]

Moshe had intended to move the family to Israel, said Liskin, "but when he was killed in Ulm, my mom's relatives brought us to the United States." The family changed their name from Lisogorski to Liskin when they moved to the US.

The Post on Thursday contacted the public prosecutions office in Ulm on behalf of Liskin, who is ready to begin speaking to the prosecutors and giving evidence right away.