Appeal order 8, Demjanjuk John


Several other factors revealed by this record require
brief discussion.


Although the Special Master found that pressures from
outside OSI did not influence the respondents’ failure to
disclose required information, the presence of such pressure
cannot be gainsaid. In August of 1978 Congressman Eilberg,
the Chairman of an important committee, wrote then Attorney
General Bell a letter insisting that Demjanjuk be prosecuted
hard because “we cannot afford the risk of losing” the case.

The trial attorney then in charge of the case, Mr. Parker,
wrote in his 1980 memorandum that the denaturalization case
could not be dismissed because of factors “largely political
and obviously
considerable.” Other lawyers in OSI wrote memos discussing
this case as a political “hot potato” that if lost “will
raise political problems for us all including the Attorney
General.” (Mendelsohn, then the Director of the office, to
Crosland, September 26, 1978, Pet. Exh. 113.) Mr. Ryan,
Director of the office, wrote the Assistant Attorney General
of the Criminal Division in 1980 that OSI had “secured the
support in Congress, Jewish [*355] community
organizations, public at large for OSI–press coverage has
been substantially favorable and support from Jewish
organizations is now secure,” but he went on to say that
“this support can’t be taken for granted and must be
reinforced at every opportunity.” (Ryan Tr. at 88.)

Mr. Ryan also testified that “in 1986, which was the year
before the [Israeli] trial [of Demjanjuk], I went to Israel
for about 10 days on a lecture tour that was sponsored by
the Antidefamation League. . . .” (Ryan Tr. at 90.) It is
obvious from the record that the prevailing mindset at OSI
was that the office must try to please and maintain very
close relationships with various interest groups because
their continued existence depended upon it.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -Footnotes- – – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – –

n3 The letter reads, in its entirety, as follows:

August 25, 1978

Honorable Griffin B. Bell Attorney General Department of
Justice Washington,

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

Reports have reached me that deficiencies have become
apparent in the preparation of the case of U.S. v.
Demjanjuk, a denaturalization proceeding against an alleged
Nazi war criminal now living in Cleveland, Ohio.

I wish to express my strong concern over the possible
inadequate prosecution of this case. A repeat of the recent
Fedorenko adverse decision to the government’s case in
Florida would nullify and gravely jeopardize the long and
persistent efforts of this Subcommittee in ridding this
country of these undesirable elements. Lack of preparation
and a deep realization of the importance of these
proceedings may have cost the government its decision in
this case. We certainly would regret seeing this happen

The creation of a Special Litigation Unit within INS
[predecessor of OSI] was established to bring expertise and
organization to this project.

This Unit should be fully entrusted with these cases.

I would strongly urge you to place the direction of the
proceedings of the DEMJANJUK case in the hands of the
Special Litigation Unit. We cannot afford the risk of losing
another decision.

With best wishes.




Pet. Supp. App. (1992), at 182.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -End Footnotes- – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – –


The “win at any cost” attitude displayed by some of these
record documents and statements contrasts sharply with the
attitude and actions of the Israeli prosecutors, who were
under domestic political pressures themselves. But for the
actions of the Israeli prosecutors, the death sentence
against Demjanjuk probably would have been carried out by
now. He would have been executed on a charge for which he
has now been acquitted.

The Israeli prosecutors did not learn of the exculpatory
evidence from Russia until after the accused was found
guilty and sentenced to death in the Israel trial court.
They had prosecuted the case over many months and obtained
the conviction and death sentence. The Israeli prosecutors
then learned that there was Russian information suggesting
that the charges against the accused may be false. Instead
of withholding the information, the prosecutors travelled to
Russia to investigate the matter thoroughly. They marshalled
the exculpatory evidence, brought it back to Israel; and in
the face of extremely strong popular feelings against the
accused, publicly turned it over to the Supreme Court of
Israel. Basically, the Israeli prosecutors confessed error
in the face of intense political pressure to get a
conviction. Relying on this newly discovered exculpatory
evidence developed by the prosecutors, the Supreme Court of
Israel reversed the conviction which those same prosecutors
had obtained five years earlier.

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Demjanjuk Case – U.S. Court of Appeals (8 of 17)
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project
Keywords: Sobibor,Treblinka,Demjanjuk

Last-modified: 1996/03/07