Archive/File: people/b/brentar.jerome brentar.004 Last-Modified: 1995/02/14 Source: [London] Sunday Times Magazine, 20 March 1988 ("Is this Ivan of Treblinka," by Gitta Sereny) One of Demjanjuk's earlies supporters was Jerome Brentar, a travel agent of Croation extraction who after the war had worked in Germany as an IRO screening officer. He is still proud today, he told us with engaging frankness, of the help he gave to "suitable" immigrants. "We managed to get thousands of Waffen SS over here and helped them get established. And we got advice on just what people had to say to get their visas." His agency specializes in "visits home" for the area's huge immigrant population. He also heads the Cleveland chapter of the St. Raphael Society (Motto: "To aid the traveller in need"). In Rome after the war the society, true to its motto, was instrumental in getting Adolf Eichmann, among others, out of Europe. Brentar, at his own expense, travelled widely on Demjanjuk's behalf, getting statements from three Polish villagers near Treblinka that Demjanjuk's photograph in no way resembled the "Ivan" they had known: a "giant" approaching his forties, with graying hair. He then visited Kurt Franz, Treblinka's deputy commandant, in his German prison where this most awful of the SS men still alive is serving a life sentence, and got an affidavit with an identical description. The Polish War Crimes Commission announced that the Polish witnesses had been "unduly influenced". (Later, two of Demjanjuk's present defense lawyers travelled to Poland to interview them - "unaccompanied and not interfered with in any way", they told us - and, although Israeli visas and Polish travel permits had been provided, decided not to call them. And the same lawyers would decide, too, to despense with Frantz's testimony.) Brentar and other lobbyists for Demjanjuk see no reason for embarrassment at their methods; to them the end justifies the means. Their aim is to use men such as Demjanjuk in their holy war against communism, to make them into symbols for their battle against the hated Soviets. In this battle the fanatical right was soon joined by respectable conservatives and liberals, who also warned against putting any trust in Soviet-supplied evidence.
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