Israel: How Could One Forget?

How Could One Forget?

Before the verdict was read last week in the Jerusalem courtroom, the defendant complained about a sore back and was carried to an adjacent cell. Thus, after a 14-month trial, John Demjanjuk heard the news by closed-circuit television: a three-judge tribunal ruled that he was Ivan the Terrible, the sadistic guard who helped operate the gas chambers at Treblinka in which 870,000 Jews perished. Like Adolf Eichmann, the only other Nazi war criminal tried in Israel, he could be hanged.

The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, 68, a beefy Cleveland autoworker extradited from the U.S. in 1986, insisted that he was a victim of...

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