Lily/Will Zuzak; DEMANUK.019 = The Demjanjuk Affair, Yoram Sheftel; 1995-08-21
Dear UKES and s.c.u netters:
	With the permission of Lesya Jones of Toronto, who was one of the
original defenders of John Demjanjuk in Canada, it is my pleasure to post her
review on Yoram Sheftel's book on the Demjanjuk Affair. The review appeared in
the July 31, 1995 issue of the Ukrainian Voice originating in Winnipeg.
	As Ms. Jones so elequently points out in the last paragraph, the
challenge to right a historical wrong remains with the Ukrainian community, in
general, and the North American legal community, in particular.

------------------------REVIEW by Lesya Jones--------------------------------
The Demjanjuk Affair:  The Rise and Fall of a Show-Trial
by  Yoram Sheftel
London:  Victor Gollancz, 1994, 379 p. lbs. 18.99

	On July 29, 1993, John Demjanjuk was acquitted by the Israeli Supreme
Court of the charge of being the sadistic Treblinka guard  "Ivan the Terrible". 
This book, written by his Israeli attorney, deals with the pivotal Israeli
chapter of his sixteen year ordeal.
	The title says it all, in a nutshell.  It is a scathing and
uncompromising account of the  "trial of the century".  Its author, a fervent
Zionist and Israeli patriot, spares none of the many players in the Demjanjuk
affair, not even the "Ukrainian goyim" who paid for his fees.  It is a highly
personal account in which the defense counsel, and not the accused, is the star
attraction in a courtroom drama that riveted a world-wide audience. 
	An experienced criminal lawyer and expert in identification cases, with
a penchant for adventure (he successfully defended the notorious gangster Meyer
Lansky), Sheftel decided to join the defense team after being shown the highly
suggestive and biased photo spread used to identifiy John Demjanjuk as "Ivan
the Terrible". On a more personal level, he was motivated to take on the case
because he was convinced that "the one and only purpose of this move was to
conduct a special 'Israel-style' show  trial, to teach Israeli children the
story of the Holocaust and heighten Holocaust awareness among the public". 
	The fast-paced and ebullient style contrasts chillingly with the grim
and sinister content.  Sheftel amasses incontrovertible evidence which proves
that the Demjanjuk affair was not simply a case of mistaken identity
but, rather, a deliberate and cold-blooded conspiracy by superpowers United
States and former Soviet Union, as well as Germany, Israel and Poland to
withhold exculpatory evidence in their possession and send to the gallows an
innocent no man's man. These countries did this in pursuit of their respective
	In the United States, the Office of Special Investigation at the
Department of Justice, which was established to investigate alleged Nazi war
criminals residing in the U.S., was particularly zealous in its efforts to
destroy Demjanjuk.  Having just lost a series of decisions, the OSI was, in
fact, fighting for its life.  Congressman Joshua Eilberg, Chairman of the House
of Representatives' Subcommittee on Immigration, wrote in August, 1978, to U.S.
Attorney General Griffin Bell re Demjanjuk case:  "We cannot afford to risk
losing another decision."  This anxiety was shared by Alan Ryan Jr., who headed
the OSI from its establishment until 1981.  In an interview with a local
Alabama newspaper in 1991, Ryan reminisced: "If we had lost that case, we
probably would have had a very short life span."  In other words, "the OSI
conspired to shorten Demjanjuk's life in order to lengthen its own". 
	In fact, the OSI knew as early as August 1978 from Moscow cables sent
to the State Department in Washington as well as to the American Embassy in Tel
Aviv that  John Demjanjuk was not "Ivan the Terrible" and not only did it
withhold that evidence from the defense, but dumped some of it, including
original documents, into its trash bins. Furthermore, the garbage contents
revealed that the OSI did not just conceal exonerating evidence, but
manufactured false affidavits in collusion with the Israeli prosecution.
	In reading this book, one gets the impression that, far from being
intimidated, the author relished being "Satan's lawyer" and "the most hated man
in Israel".  Courage, not modesty, is  Sheftel's cardinal virtue.  But then,
Demjanjuk's attorney has nothing to be modest about.  After all, he took on
single-handedly his country's justice system and formidable mass media and won
unprecedented decisions on both counts, debunking firmly entrenched myths that
Israel possesses a model justice system and independent, unbiased press.
	Neither death threats, unrelenting harassment by the judges, daily
vilification in the media, suspicious suicide of a prominent colleague on the
eve of the appeal, an acid attack by an alleged  Holocaust survivor, which
nearly left him blind; not even the wrath of his beloved mother could stay this
intrepid attorney from the case.  And in the darkest hour, when all seemed lost
- there being no time to prepare the appeal - fortune and history intervened. A
timely heart attack of one of the judges granted a crucial respite and the
collapse of the Soviet Union made it possible to access KGB archives which
established conclusively Demjanjuk's innocence and forced the Israeli Supreme
Court's hand. 
	Sheftel delights in getting back at his opponents and detractors,
especially his nemesis, the presiding Supreme Court Justice Dov Levin. The
chapter entitled "Dovele" is written as "sweet revenge" for the many
humiliations, trials and tribulations Sheftel endured and may be of particular
interest to the legal community in North America. It will shock those who
choose to read it, for the instances of judicial misconduct are legion. 
	For example, immediately after affixing his signature to the verdict,
Judge Levin set off on a lecture tour of the United States, undeterred by the
fact that the Demjanjuk case was still sub judice. Ohio's Plain Dealer cited
one of his many legal gems, namely: "We cannot be impressed by someone claiming
'I am innocent'. Innocence must be proven."  Sheftel is angered and embittered
by "the cowardice and hypocrisy of the thousands of the Israeli legal
community".  The only one who dared to speak out publicly was the highly
respected, retired Judge Haim Cohen.  In an interview with the newspaper Al
Hasharon, Judge Cohen stated "It was a spectacular for the people.  Any
resemblance to justice was purely coincidental." 
	The reader will be revolted, along with Lord Denning, revisiting the
reading of the sentence after which a jubilant mob danced and shouted: "Death,
death," "Death to Ivan," "Death to the defence attorney," "Death to all
Ukrainians..."  It may be recalled that  Lord Denning condemned the grotesque
spectacle in Jerusalem as "contrary to international law" and showing "signs of
racial and political vengeance". (The Daily Telegraph 28 April 1988). 
	The book has flaws.  There is no index and there are misspellings of
names, as well as some factual errors.  For instance, the author confuses The
Ukrainian Weekly with a Ukrainian communist newspaper. 
	Sheftel's explosive book has suffered an even worse fate than that by
expert witness for the defense, Willem A. Wagenaar, 'Identifying Ivan: A Case
Study in Legal Psychology', Cambridge, Mass.; Harvard University Press, 1988. 
With the exception of Chrystia Freeland's review in The Financial Times
(London) 10-11 December, 1994, it continues to be ignored, except in Israel
where it became an immediate bestseller.  Demjanjuk's miraculous acquittal
appears to have put a damper on the projected multi-million "Ivan the Terrible"
- Demjanjuk entertainment industry.  The only ones benefitting are those who
conspired to send an innocent man to a horrific death by hanging. 
	In spite of the fact that the 6th Circuit Court in Cincinnati, Ohio,
found "fraud upon the court", the OSI is still in business and the chief
architects of the Demjanjuk affair not only remain unpunished, but have found
lucrative employment elsewhere.  While in Israel, Judges Zvi Tal and Dalia
Dorner were elevated to the Supreme Court. 
	The book is highly recommended, especially to our legal Ukrainian
community.  There was quality input by Ukrainian attorneys into Demjanjuk's
defense.  Paul Chumak of Toronto did a first-rate job as one of a team of
Demjanjuk's lawyers and the late Jaroslaw Dobrowolskyj of Detroit played a
crucial role in uncovering evidence which cleared John Demjanjuk.  Others
laboured behind the scenes. 
	This reviewer is, therefore, saddened by the fact that our legal
community continues to pretend that the Demjanjuk affair involved one
individual Ukraininan and refuses even to acknowledge the existence of a
collective indictment against Ukrainians.  Let me cite from pages 4 and 7
(English translation) of the Indictment by the State of Israel versus Ivan
(John) Demjanjuk Criminal Case 373/86: "the auxiliaries played an essential
role in the annihilation of the Jews; without them, the commanders of Operation
Reinhardt could not have carried out their plan...These auxiliaries, in the 
main Ukrainians, worked with SS personnel in carrying out all the acts of
annihilation, murder and oppression committed against the Jewish victims in the
camps." May this indictment, which still stands, serve as a challenge to our
legal community to right a historical wrong. 

Lesya Jones
Former Secretary of
The Canadian Charitable Committee
in Defence of John Demjanjuk
The Ukrainian Voice; July 31, 1995
Lily/Will Zuzak; DEMANUK.019 = The Demjanjuk Affair, Yoram Sheftel; 1995-08-21