jta.org | 02Aug2005 | Orest Slepokura
Letter to Editor

Josef Czarny

Toby Axelrod:

Re: Josef Czarny (JTA, 01Aug2005, "For Treblinka death camp surviver...")

Josef Czarny was a witness at the 1987-88 John Demjanjuk trial in Jerusalem. He said Demjanjuk, like the other Treblinka witnesses who testified against the accused, was an infamous Treblinka guard known by the moniker "Ivan the Terrible."

In fact, Demjanjuk -- after being found guilty in a lower court -- was, in the end, acquitted by Israel's Supreme Court, and allowed to return to America, after spending seven years on death row at the Ayalon prison in Ramle.

What's interesting is that during the Demjanjuk trial it was revealed that one of the "eyewitnesses" against the accused, the former Treblinka inmate, Eliyahu Rosenberg, authored two affidavits stating that "Ivan the Terrible" had, in fact, been killed by an uprising of Jewish prisoners on August 02, 1943; documentary evidence, which the three judges ruling on the Demjanjuk case, apparently chose to overlook in reaching their "guilty" verdict. The verdict that later on, as I said, was overturned on appeal.

It's also interesting your JTA report did not mention Czarny's testimony in the Demjanjuk trial.

Orest Slepokura
Strathmore, Alta