Kyiv Post | 10Feb2011 | Associated Press

Demjanjuk's daughter appears at trial

MUNICH (AP) -- John Demjanjuk's daughter appeared Wednesday [09Feb2011] at his trial in Munich on charges he was a guard at a Nazi death camp, the first family member to attend since it started more than a year ago.

Irene Nishnic came into court with her son, holding a white rose that she later gave to her father. Demjanjuk, 90, appeared to smile as she took her place in the viewing gallery.

At a break in testimony, Demjanjuk, a retired Ohio autoworker, motioned for the two to come over and they embraced him as he lay in a hospital bed.

Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, is standing trial on 28,060 counts of accessory to murder for allegedly having been a guard at the Sobibor camp. He denies the charges.

Nishnic had lunch with her father behind closed doors, and refused to answer any questions both during the break and after the day's proceedings.

During the day, the court heard statements submitted by the defense from a former Ukrainian guard at Sobibor, who is now dead.

The guard, Ignat Danilchenko, allegedly told Soviet officials in 1949 and 1979 that he remembered Demjanjuk from the death camp. In one summary that was previously read into the record at the trial, Danilchenko said he served with Demjanjuk at Sobibor and that Demjanjuk "like all guards in the camp, participated in the mass killing of Jews."

But in the statement read aloud Wednesday, based on a 1985 interview with Soviet authorities, Danilchenko said none of the Ukrainian guards were able to go in to the areas where Jews were stripped of their clothes and remaining possessions, and then gassed.

"The watchmen had no access to the second or third zones," Danilchenko said, according to the transcript. "Exclusively, Germans carried out the guard duty" in those areas.

After the statement was read, however, Presiding Judge Ralph Alt noted that Danilchenko had also said that he had learned about the killing of the Jews from his fellow watchmen.

"Such descriptions would not have been possible if watchmen had no access to these areas of the camp," Alt said. "It could be that the witness Danilchenko wanted to downplay his own role and the role of the other watchmen at the Sobibor death camp."

Demjanjuk's defense attorney, Ulrich Busch, has asked that another alleged statement given by Danilchenko to Soviet authorities in 1983-4 be tracked down by the court. The court has not yet ruled on that request.

The trial does not resume until Feb. 22, 2011, but Busch said Nishnic is planning to stay in Munich for several days and visit Demjanjuk in the prison hospital where he is being held.


OOOOPS!, Guest | Feb 10, 2011 at 08:16

Just a bit of deception from the Associated Press -- so what else is new? Here is the deceptive statement:

"The watchmen had no access to the second or third zones," Danilchenko said, according to the transcript. "Exclusively, Germans carried out the guard duty" in those areas.

But what Daliltschenko says in that newly-discovered protocol is that Jews were in charge of Zone 3 which is where the gassing took place, and where the bodies were burned.

Here is that entire protocol:

Notarized Translation
Protocol of Witness Interview

January 25, 1985 City of Lisakowsk

The deputy prosecutor of the district Kustanajsk, Judicial Council W.A. Goldorf, interviewed the witness in the case of Karl Frenzel, on request of the prosecution of the USSR and following the request for assistance of the district court Hagen, in consideration of article 44-49, 147-151 STOP of the Republic of Kasachstan, in the building of the prosecutor of the city of Lisakowsk:
Ignat Terentjewitsch Daniltschenko, born in the year 1923 in the village of Gretschino, county of Zaritschanskij, district Dnepropetrowsk, Ukrainian, citizen of the USSR, Middle School educated, retiree, resident of the city of Lisakowsk, 1 Mikrorayon 21, apartment 15.

In accordance with the STOP of the SSR Kasachstan, I.T. Daniltschenko has been advised that he can be requested to respond to questions relating to various circumstances in this matter, and that he is obligated to respond in truth, report all knowledge pertaining to the matter, and respond to the question at hand. He was further reminded of his responsibilities in case of a refusal to respond, and relative to false witness accounts, in accordance of article 187 of the STGB of the SSR.

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Question: Daniltschenko, you will be questioned in Russian. Will you require a translator for this hearing?
Response: I speak Russian fluently and will therefore not need a translator. I will respond in Russian.

Signed (-)I.T. Daniltschenko

Start of the Hearing: 9:45 AM
I.T. Daniltschenko response to the questions:
In the year 1942 I participated in battles against the German conquerors at the peninsula of Kartschin, as a member of the soviet army. I was wounded there in 1942 (Kontusion) and became a POW. I was brought to the POW camp in the city of Rowno, where I was treated at the hospital. I spent two or three months at the hospital. After my recovery, I was sent to the camp, where I had to line up for duty at one point. Among the POW’s, about 150 or more people were selected and taken by 4 or 5 large vehicles to a camp at the outskirts of the city of Trawniki in Poland. We had to report to duty at the camp and were told, that we would be trained for internal guard service. Were further told that whoever did not want to participate in the training, should step out of the line, but nobody did.

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We were trained for three months in Trawniki. Among the prisoners who participated in the training were many nationalities from the Soviet Union: Russian, Ukrainian, white Russian, Kazhaks, etc. They had formed three or four groups of troops, each one at 100 or less men. We were taught conversational German as well. We performed guard duty in this camp as well. After the training was complete, 4 men, Iwtschenko, Gontrscharow, Djatschenko, and myself, were sent to the polish city of Libarto to guard the saw mill. Our supervisor was German, I do not know his first and last name. The company employed free people, polish citizens. We stayed at the saw mill all of the winter of 1942/43.

In the spring or summer of 1943, I can’t remember exactly now, the four of us, that is Gontscharow, Djatschenko, Iwtschenko, and myself, were brought to camp Sobibor, which was located in the territory of Poland, in order to perform guard duty. This was a death camp, in which Jews were killed, who had been brought there from Poland, the Netherlands, Germany, Czechoslovakia, western Ukraine, USSR, basically from all over Europe. The camp was located in a large pine forest near the train station, from which a track led into the camp. The camp area, as far as I remember now, took up about 3 square km, so the length was about 800m,

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and the width about 400 metres. The camp was fenced in with several rows of barbed wire, and the outer row had a height of about 3 m. Along the fence on the outside there were guard towers, at which us guards had to work guard duty. The camp comprised of three zones. The first zone, which had all the guards, or the “service zone” this is where the guards lived in two barracks. The Germans lived in a separate barrack, they were separated by groups – those who worked guard duty with us on the towers, and those who serviced the 2nd and 3rd zone. We were about 100 – 120 men, and there were about 50 German men. The 2nd zone was where the workers of the 2nd zone lived, and which housed the so called “transit barracks” for the temporary stay of people who were to be killed. The 3rd zone housed workers, only Jewish men, who serviced the 3rd zone. This is where the gas chamber was, the so called “bath” in which people were killed by means of engine exhausts. This 3rd zone also was used to burn the corpses.

Question: Can you draw the plans of the entire camp with view to the zones?
Response: Since I served guard duty at the towers and could see the camp zones from above, I can draw the plan from memory (plan is enclosed).

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Question: During which time did you work as a guard in camp Sobibor?
Response: As I said earlier, they had sent the four of us to Sobibor in approximate spring or summer 1943, I can’t exactly remember the month.
And it was about late 1943 or beginning of 1944, I remember well, it was winter and there was snow on the ground, when I was sent from this camp with a group of guards, 50 men, to the city of Flossenburg, in the German territory, in order to guard a concentration camp and airplane factory. I have spent less than a year at camp Sobibor.

Question: What was the purpose of camp Sobibor?
Response: Camp Sobibor was a death camp. It was used, to kill people of Jewisch nationality. During my stay at this camp, nothing else happened, outside of people being killed. I do not know if people of different nationalities besides Jews, having been killed. I personally know that only Jews have been killed there.

Quesiton: What was the process of delivery and the destruction of the prisoners like? How often did the transports of victims arrive? At what time was the number of such transports the highest, and when the smallest, how many prisoners were killed daily?

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Response: The prisoners were brought to camp Sobibor by train, in enclosed cargo rail cars and also with automobiles. After I arrived at camp Sobibor, trains arrived regularly with prisoners, about one or two within a 24 hour timeframe. There were cases where up to three transports arrived. But there were also cases, in which there were no prisoner transports during one or two day periods at all.
The transports consisted of various numbers of rail cars, 20- 25, but also 5-6. Each waggon held approximately 40-50 people. So I believe that within 24 hours about 1000 people arrived, and perhaps sometimes it was more or less than that.
In addition, prisoners were brought in by automobile. There were also 5-6 vehicles with prisoners within 24 hours, and there were cases in which there were only 2-3. Each vehicle brought in 20-25 prisoners, and all these victims were killed. Toward the end of my stay in Sobibor the trains as well as automobile transports with prisoners became fewer. Apparently the proximity of the approaching soviet front had something to do with this.
There were two gates in zone one. One was used to bring in the wagons with the prisoners, the other one for vehicles with the prisoners. The rail cars were emptied via a ramp – a raised platform next to the train track. During unloading of the people, there were only German guards attending. Our guard troop was standing behind a wire in the first zone, and watched, to ensure

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there was no panic and disorderly conduct among the victims. The guards only had guns, and only received pistols when they were scheduled for duty at the transit point. After the ramp, the prisoners were lead through a small gate in the 2nd zone, where there was an overhead cover. This is where the victims were “processed”, meaning belongings were taken away, they were shaved, completely undressed, and then taken to the 3rd zone. If there were too many people with a single transport, a portion of the victims were sent to a barrack “for further transit” into the second zone, where they remained until their destruction. In the 3rd zone they forced the naked people into the so called “bath”, which in reality was the gas chamber, consisting of 6 chambers. Each chamber fit about 250 people. Then the doors of the “bath” were closed hermetically, and people were killed by means of diesel engine exhaust fumes.
From what I learned through reports of other guards, there were apparently two diesel engines from soviet KW tanks used. Following the destruction of the people, workers from the 3rd zone opened the gas chamber doors, packed the corpses onto little carts, and transported them in the same zone onto a ramp made of train tracks. That is where the corpses were burnt. The time in which the corpses burned was visible if you had duty on the tower. During the burning of the corpses one could see flames, and smell the burning flesh. If the wind direction changed towards the tower during the burning

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of the corpses it was difficult to breathe. Vehicles, which brought in prisoners, also arrived at the camp. The difference was that they were led through the gate in the first zone to the ramp.
The second zone, where prisoners were “processed”, meaning their belongings were taken and they were undressed prior to moving on to the gas chamber, also saw executions by shooting those, who could not continue on by themselves. I must say that our guards were not allowed entry into the 2nd and 3rd zone, because there were exclusively Germans working there as guards.

How many German SS soldiers were there in the camp? Do you remember any of them?
Response: As I said earlier, there were about 50 German men in camp Sobibor. Not only can I not remember their names, but I also did not know them at all, we addressed them by rank only. It is true, I remember that our guard troop was controlled by a German named Kurt. I remember this and know it only because he was our immediate supervisor. I know, camp leader was a Germany in the rank of a “Hauptsturmfuehrer” (Captain) I do not know his name either. I am not aware who of the German had specific functions. We considered each German “Gerr”, meaning Mister.

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I did know the camp leader, the Hauptsturmfuehrer (Captain), or better I have seen him. He was tall, good looking, and about 40 years of age. I have never spoken to him during duty. Now I would not recognize him.

Question: Have you known the German SS man Karl Frenzel? If you have known him, what function did he have at the camp?

Response: I do not recognize either the last name Frenzel, nor the first name Karl. I never knew such a German. In zone one, us guardsmen lived in separate barracks from the Germans, and they did not have any contact to us. We lived apart and ate apart. I know that they usually used rubber bats during the unloading of the trains. There was absolutely no disorder during the unloading. I don’t know what happened once the prisoners were moved to zone 2, since the guard troops, which I belonged to, had no access to this zone. I learned about the process during the delivery of prisoners and their destruction – as I reported earlier in my interview – because I saw it while serving guard duty on the towers , and was able to see the camp zones from above or while I was on duty behind the ramp zones during unloading of the people. I did not witness firing squad execution of prisoners who could no longer move by themselves,

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because the “hospital” where the shootings took place, was not visible from the towers. Other guards did talk about the shootings. One could assume when these executions happened, because while I was on guard duty on the towers I saw how workers from the 3rd zone transported corpses on small carriers from the second zone and stacked them onto the piles for burning. I don’t know exactly what the Germans from the guard troop and also from the administration of the 2nd and 3rd zone did in detail.

Question: Who else in the German group, besides the camp leader, the Hauptsturmfuehrer (Captain), and your immediate supervisor Kurt, had any functions at the camp?

Response: the German themselves were split amongst them. Some participated in the unloading of the prisoners, others serviced the 2nd and 3rd zones. I don’t know which of them had what functions.

Question: Who of the Germans particularly mistreated the prisoners, killed them?

Response: Since I had no access to the 2nd and 3rd zone, I can not say who exactly mistreated the prisoners and killed them.
Question: What did they do at the camp with those who could no longer work and were sick?

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Response: As camp Sobibor, this factory of mass destruction of people, was used to kill healthy people, the more they also killed sick and those who could no longer work. If a person would arrive as a prisoner in this camp, he would not leave there alive.

Question: Tell us Daniltschenko, what do you know about the riot of the prisoners at camp Sobibor?

Response: I said before already, they moved 50 of us late 1943 or beginning of 1944 from camp Sobibor to Flossenburg, which was before the riot. Therefore I do not know anything about it.

Question: Tell us, what do you know about the firing squad execution of the “Waldkommando” (forest command team) and the dutch?
Response: I do not know anything about this activity.

Question: Could you and would you like to travel into the city of Hagen, in western Germany, in order to make a statement before the district court?

Response: My health has lately deteriorated. In February 1984 I had a stroke, after which I often need medical assistance. Based on my health I am now considered disabled stage II. Therefore it will be difficult for me to do such a trip.

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If this would be considered absolutely necessary, I would decide for such a trip.

End of the interview: 4:35 PM
The interview was performed with rest periods.

I have read the protocol in person. To the best of my knowledge the statement has been recorded correctly using my words. I have nothing to correct or to add.
Signature of witness: (-) I.T. Daniltschenko

Signatures: Deputy Prosecutor for the district Kustanajsk, W.A. Waldorf, Judicial Council
Original is notarized: Deputy Lead of the Administration P.I. Rjachowskica