February 1, 2008, - 11:45 am

The John Demjanjuk Story: How “Deporting” a Nazi Takes Decades; Lesson on Greater Immigration Probs

By Debbie Schlussel
On Wednesday, a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk’s challenge to a final deportation order from Immigration Court. But, sadly, it’s not the end. This Ukrainian Nazi death camp guard has remained here for decades and will likely die here before he goes to meet Satan. Sadly, he’s had a long, good life as a blue collar worker, had a family, and enjoyed life in the U.S.
I remember when the John Demjanjuk story began. It was the mid-’70s, and I was seven. My Holocaust survivor/entrepreneur grandfather, Isaac, was still alive, and we had hoped this former Nazi guard living in Ohio would go. We not only hoped, we expected it. It was a case my family–most of which had been wiped out in the Holocaust on both sides–followed closely. WE attended meetings and lectures on the subject.

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John Demjanjuk:

Just One of Many Nazis Who Gamed the System for a Good Life in America

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Nazi Death Camp Guard John Demjanjuk Then (Third From Left)

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A decade later, when I was in high school, Demjanjuk was still here, and there were more meetings about him with the Justice Department Office of Special Investigations (in charge of Nazi hunting).
But over two decades later, John Demjanjuk is still here. Demjanjuk, who was believed to be sadistic Treblinka Nazi concentration camp guard “Ivan the Terrible” (and he probably is–alleged “proof” he wasn’t actually proof). Demjanjuk argued that he wasn’t Ivan the Terrible because some of the proof came from the former Soviet Union.
A show trial in Israel, in which the leftist-dominated Israeli Supreme Court wouldn’t let most of the important, conclusive evidence in, resulted in a ruling that he was not Ivan the Terrible, but that he was Ivan the not-as Terrible. He’d been a Nazi death camp guard, if not this Nazi death camp guard. In contrast to the real justice of the Adolf Eichmann trial, the Israelis didn’t even allow evidence in of Demjanjuk’s Nazi tattoo under his arm, common to top Nazi guards. They betrayed Demjanjuk’s victims and let the man free.
Here are the facts:
* In 1977, charges were first brought against Demjanjuk for falsifying applications to enter the U.S. in 1952 and to obtain citizenship in 1958.
* In 1981, his citizenship was revoked. In 1986, he was extradited to Israel for the show trial.
* In 1998, his U.S. citizenship was restored.
* It was revoked again in 2002.
And yet, six years later, Demjanjuk is still here.
Despite the panel ruling from the Court of Appeals, Demjanjuk, now 87, has vowed to appeal to the full Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court. Even if he is deported after all that, possibly years from now, he will be in his 90s and have lived a full life. Contrast that with his many victims who never got to live.
And that’s the lesson to all illegal aliens. If even a murderous Nazi death camp guard can remain here while fighting the system for decades, so can they. The fact is–as I’ve written repeatedly on this site–few Nazi death camp guards whom Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has successfully captured and for whom it has obtained deportation orders–ever get deported.
And that’s not ICE’s fault. It’s the problem with our laws and with the immigration and deportation procedures, mired and bogged down with endless appeals. Those who can’t get travel documents to their former countries, or those who become afflicted with dementia, get to remain here. And ICE can’t hold them in a cell for more than a few months–a lawyer and the courts will get them out. To their credit, ICE Detention and Removal Operations officials overseeing Ohio kept Demjanjuk behind bars as long as legally possible. At least, he got to rot a little.
One of the Nazis about whom I’ve written, Johann Leprich, successfully traveled back-and-forth between Detroit and Canada many times, post-9/11, even though he was a known fugitive. What does that tell you about security and the check for aliens and criminals at those entry points?
The same goes for illegal aliens whose former countries won’t take them or won’t grant them travel docs. The whole system stinks.
Nazis and many unwanted illegal alien criminals get to stay here for decades because our system of getting rid of them is laughable and impotent.
America: Desperate But Not Serious.
***
My friend, Boycott Watch’s Fred Taub, has done a lot of work and research on the Demjanjuk case and was involved in writing an amicus brief in support of his deportation.
Fred has it right. In a great, informative piece, he says, “Call Him Ivan the Terrible.”

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3 Responses

Looking back on it, I think it marked the gradual loss of Israel’s resolve to defend herself and Jews. In the distance of two decades, Israel has traveled from not putting a Nazi mass murderer to death to shaking hands with and hugging an Arab terrorist mass murderer and setting up a state for him and hobnobbing with his successor who wrote a thesis denying the Holocaust as fiction to abandoning the Jews of Sderot to their fate and now decreeing a Nazi ban on Jews buying property in Givat Ze’eev ( a northern Jerusalem suburb) for one one reason only: because they are Jews.
[N: GREAT POINT. I WAS GOING TO CONTRAST THE TRIAL OF EICHMANN WITH THAT OF JOHN D. WHEN I WROT THIS. I’LL ADD IT. DS]
Israel couldn’t bring itself to punish a Nazi camp guard for genocide and it now seeks to give away Jerusalem to people who hate Jews and want to see the Jewish State destroyed. Measure for measure, the punishment for subverting justice is fitting and what a tragedy it would be for the Jewish people. All because Israel could not execute justice for those murdered in the Holocaust, she now faces the all too real prospect of a Second Holocaust in the future.
How did it all go so wrong?

NormanF on February 1, 2008 at 12:40 pm

“To shaking hands with and hugging an Arab terrorist mass murderer and setting up a state for him and hobnobbing with his successor who wrote a thesis denying the Holocaust as fiction to abandoning the Jews of Sderot to their fate and now decreeing a Nazi ban on Jews buying property in Givat Ze’eev ( a northern Jerusalem suburb) for one one reason only: because they are Jews.”
We have to ask who is forcing sush a policy on Israel and why?
What happened to the Hawks of Israel, where they stand from such crisis, and the action they will take?
All my respect to you Debbie and NormanF.

Daniel on February 1, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Why doesn’t he go to that church in Chicago with the illegal from Mexico and seek sanctuary?

TheOmegaMan on February 1, 2008 at 2:16 pm

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