Montreal Gazette| 23Jul2009 | Roman Korol

A Dickens tale

"Lock him up," writes Alan Heillig as regards to John Demjanjuk (Letters, July 19, 2009).

Informed by a newspaper article, Heillig is eager to be judge, jury, and executioner regardless of proof. He brings to mind the sinister Madame Defarge in Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities. This character wallowed daily in vengeance by eagerly watching heads - any heads, guilty or innocent - lopped off by the guillotine, while she knitted.

The mob, personified. I wonder if he has fangs. [Censored from original submission.]

Roman Korol

Montreal Gazette | 19Jul2009 | Alan Heillig

Lock him up

Having read the July 14, 2009 article about John Demjanjuk, I don't feel a shred of pity. If he's guilty, it's not bad enough he's been living a lie all these years. What he allegedly did to 27,900 Jews is inexcusable. As far as I'm concerned, his trial can't come soon enough, and the fact that he's 89 makes me feel that much better.

His doctors say he has 16 months to live. I say he can spend them behind bars.

Alan Heillig

Montreal Gazette | 14Jul2009 | Simon Sturdee

Demjanjuk tied to 27,900 murders
To be tried in Germany; Former Ohio mechanic was guard at death camp, prosecutors claim

A German court said yesterday that former death camp guard John Demjanjuk will be tried for "complicity to murder" 27,900 people, in what could be one of the last cases of its kind.

Prosecutors contend the Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, 89, helped herd Jews and others into gas chambers while he was a guard at the Sobibor death camp in German-occupied Poland in 1943. Demjanjuk was deported from the United States in May after losing a lengthy legal battle.

No date was set for the trial to begin. The defendant's poor health means he will be subjected to two court sessions of 90 minutes each day, at most.

The accused, who moved to the U.S. and worked as an auto mechanic in Ohio after the Second World War, suffers from kidney disease, arthritis and cancer, according to his family.

His son John Demjanjuk Jr. has said German doctors had given his father 16 months to live because of bone marrow disease.

Courts in Israel and the U.S. have stated Demjanjuk was a guard at Sobibor. His lawyer says the accused was never there.

Prosecutors also have an identity card from the Schutzstaffel - known as the SS, which was in charge of the camps - bearing a photograph of a man said to be Demjanjuk, and written transcripts of witness testimony placing him at the camp.

Demjanjuk spent five years on death row in Israel before he was acquitted in 1993 when the country's highest court overturned the verdict. In that case, he was suspected of being a brutal guard known as "Ivan the Terrible," Israel established it had the wrong man.

Demjanjuk was stripped of his U.S. citizenship for lying about his past. Munich prosecutors say it falls on the German city to try him because he had been registered as living there after the war.