Israel Trial by Bitter Recollection

The horrors of Treblinka come back to life in Jerusalem

The bald, bull-necked man in the dock sat impassively at the edge of his chair listening intently. Ukrainian-born John Demjanjuk, 66, a retired Ohio auto mechanic, was on trial in Jerusalem for operating gas chambers and murdering and torturing victims at Treblinka, the infamous Nazi extermination camp in eastern Poland where at least 850,000 Jews were killed in 1942 and '43. It was Israel's first war-crimes trial since Adolf Eichmann was convicted and executed a quarter-century ago. At issue, however, was not the horrors committed at Treblinka by the Ukrainian guard known as "Ivan the Terrible" but whether he and Demjanjuk...

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