Kyiv Post | 02Feb2010 | Associated Press

Investigator: Evidence shows Demjanjuk at Sobibor

MUNICH (AP) — A German investigator testifying at John Demjanjuk's trial says evidence links the former Ohio autoworker to the Sobibor Nazi death camp.

Thomas Walther, who led the investigation that prompted Germany to prosecute Demjanjuk, on Tuesday presented papers that Demjanjuk filled out for refugee and immigration purposes in the late 1940s and early 1950s in which he said he was a farmer in Sobibor, Poland.

Walter says Demjanjuk later told investigators that he lied and chose a Polish residence to ensure that he wasn't deported back to his native Ukraine.

The 89-year-old Demjanjuk maintains he was never at the camp. He is accused of serving as a low-level guard and is charged with accessory to murder in 27,900 deaths.

Ukes in Nazi camps, Guest | Today at 21:44

Two objections can be made with respect to the heavy blame that today's media places on Ukrainian participation in Nazi killing.

First, identifying the nationality of alleged perpetrators falls short of reliable, as is illustrated in the testimony of Sobibor survivor Ya'akov Biskowitz testifying at the Eichmann trial:

Judge Halevi: Who were these Ukrainians you mentioned all the time? Which Ukrainians did you refer to constantly in your evidence?

Witness Biskowitz: These were Russian prisoners of war who went over to the German side. Of course, the Germans gave them the alternative either to be prisoners or to collaborate. They guarded the camp.

State of Israel, Ministry of Justice, The Trial of Adolf Eichmann, Record of Proceedings in the District Court of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 1992. The Trust for the Publication of the Proceedings of the Eichmann Trial in co-operation with the Israel State Archives and Yad Vashem — the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority. Printed in Israel at Keter Enterprises, Jerusalem. Session No. 65, 05 June 1961, p. 1187.

It may be guessed from the above that all Soviet prisoners tended to be called Ukrainian simply because for the most part they were captured and held on Ukrainian territory.

More importantly, it is widely recognized that policing inside Nazi camps was done by Jewish prisoners. This is evident in the earliest of our six authoritative sources above, the 1943 Black Book of Polish Jewry (BBPJ), where it is Jewish Kapos and Auxiliaries who greet arrivals disembarking from trains, who address them in Yiddish, organize them, command them to undress in preparation for a bath, cut the females' hair, and sort the clothing and possessions and valuables left by the victims. According the the BBPJ, it is only when the victims begin to move toward the death house that Jewish Kapos and Auxiliaries cede control to the German SS, who proceed to whip and club the victims along the path. And after the victims have been killed, it is Germans who oversee the Jewish body-disposers and grave-diggers. No Ukrainian is ever described as making any contact with any prisoner.

Were the BBPJ the only account of this kind, it would carry little weight, but in fact similar accounts are common, as for example that given at Nuremberg by Georg Konrad Morgen who twice asserts that policing inside exterimination camp Monowitz, lying near the concentration camp Auschwitz, was in the hands of Jews, with perimeter security assigned to guards of many nationalities, Ukrainians in the present instance trailing the others:

I thoroughly investigated the entire stretch of territory and studied the lay-out and installation. The prisoners arrived on a side track in closed transport cars and were unloaded there by Jewish prisoners. Then they were sorted out according to their capacity for work, and here the methods of Hoess and Wirth differed. [...]

They could have been taken for large bathing establishments and that is what they told the prisoners. These crematoria were surrounded by a barbed wire fence and were guarded from the inside by the Jewish labour details which I have already mentioned. The new arrivals were led into a large dressing-room and told to take their clothing off. [...]

The camp itself was guarded on the outside by special troops of men from the Baltic, Esthonians, Lithuanians, Latvians and also Ukrainians. The entire technical arrangement was almost exclusively in the hands of the prisoners who were assigned for this, and they were only supervised by an Unterführer from time to time. The actual killing was done by another Unterführer who let the gas into this room. Thus the number who knew about these things was extremely limited.

The Trial of German Major War Criminals, Proceedings of the International Military Tribunal Sitting at Nuremberg Germany, Taken from the Official Transcript, Published under the authority of H.M. Attorney-General by his Majesty's Stationery Office. The Hundred and Ninety-Eighth Day, Thursday, 8th August, 1946, Vol. 20, p. 391.

Describing not just a single camp, but the many camps covered in the Eichmann trial, Hannah Arendt reinforces and broadens the above impression, concluding that Jewish leadership provided indispensible cogs in the Nazi killing machine, not the least of which cogs were the terminal ones at the scene of death, and where if a non-Jew had occasion to set foot, that non-Jew would be German:

The well-known fact that the actual work of killing in the extermination centers was usually in the hands of Jewish commandos had been fairly and squarely established by witnesses for the prosecution--how they had worked in the gas chambers and the crematories, how they had pulled the gold teeth and cut the hair of the corpses, how they had dug the graves and, later, dug them up again to extinguish the traces of mass murder; how Jewish technicians had built gas chambers in Theresienstadt, where the Jewish "autonomy" had been carried so far that even the hangman was a Jew. (p. 109)


The matter of cooperation was twice mentioned by the judges; Judge Yitzak Raveh elicited from one of the resistance witnesses an admission that the "ghetto police" were an "instrument in the hands of murderers" and an acknowledgment of "the Judenrat's policy of cooperating with the Nazis"; and Judge Halevi found out from Eichmann in cross-examination that the Nazis had regarded this cooperation as "the very cornerstone" of their Jewish policy. But the question the prosecutor regularly addressed to each witness except the resistance fighters which sounded so very natural to those who knew nothing of the factual background of the trial, the question "Why did you not rebel?," actually served as a smoke screen for the question that was not asked. And thus it came to pass that all answers to the unanswerable question Mr. Hausner put to his witnesses were considerably less than "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." True it was that the Jewish people as a whole had not been organized, that they had possessed no territory, no government, and no army, that, in the hour of their greatest need, they had no government-in-exile to represent them among the Allies (the Jewish agency for Palestine under Dr. Weizmann's presidency, was at best a miserable substitute), no caches of weapons, no youth with military training. But the whole truth was that there existed Jewish community organizations and Jewish party and welfare organizations on both the local and the international level. Wherever Jews lived, there were recognized Jewish leaders, and this leadership, almost without exception, cooperated in one way or another, for one reason or another, with the Nazis. The whole truth was that if the Jewish people had really been unorganized and leaderless, there would have been chaos and plenty of misery but the total number of victims would hardly have been between four and a half and six million people. (p. 111)
Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A report on the banality of evil, The Viking Press, New York, 1963.

The collaboration of Jews in Holocaust killing is a tragic and shameful part of Jewish history which the Jewish people need to face up to, instead of expecting Ukrainians to submit to the role of scapegoats.

EyeSore, Guest | Today at 20:25

As had been recommended down below, I did indeed click on

and learned much that was both new and startling from's scholarly refutation of much of the "conventional wisdom (!?!)" in the never ending John Demjanjuk case - classic example of Persecution by Prosecution . . .

Truth re: John Demjanjuk, Guest | Today at 19:59

copy the above and email to yourself and learn the truth

[W.Z. The above 3 comments were removed from Kyiv Post archive.]

wildbill, Guest | Today at 22:54

Fantastic news. The fabricated myth of Ukrainian culpability in the so-called Holocaust has now been shattered and put to rest.
Outstanding research lays blame where it has always been....with the jews themselves. It is now time for that tribe to begin persecuting their own and stop fabricating malicious tales of woe. If anything, Ukrainians have tried to save the jews from themselves. It's unfortunate that they don't realize that 'truth' will sooner or later win out and they will be pilloried for their deceitful behaviour. And that time is obviously now.

Guest, Guest | Today at 18:09

low-level guard ... certainly has a lot of authority over life and death.. Hitler is dead.. and the SS.. let this old man go to die in peace..

Guest, Guest | Today at 19:10

hang this old nazi killer and give his victims peace

old soviet hack, Guest | Today at 19:40

get over it...the uSSr doesn't exist anymore ...this will come as a shock to you but in civilized countries the courts rely on real proof NOT Stalinist dictates and the judiciary is NOT under political pressure to ensure an outcome but to ascertain truth and make sure proper safeguards are followed for a fair trial. Obviously to a typical soviet primitive subject as yourself THIS must be shocking and confusing as you know only how to dabble in simple mindless slogans and emotions. Hopefully with time you will mature and possibly pass resembling and acting like a real respectable person...unfortunately in your case it seems it will take a LOT of time...good luck

Guest, Guest | Today at 16:33

good to hear