DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
TO: Arthur Sinai, Deputy Director, OSI
FROM: George W. Garand, Historian
SUBJ: HORN, Otto – Report of Interview
REF: OSI #42 – DEMJANJUK, Iwan
On the morning of 14 November 1979 Norman Moscowitz,
Staff Attorney, OSI, Bernard J. Dougherty, Jr., Criminal
Investigator, and George W. Garand, Historian, OSI
interviewed the German national Otto HORN at his residence
located at 66 Yorkstrasse, West Berlin. The interview began
shortly after 0900 and ended shortly before 1000. Mr.
Dougherty and the undersigned translated during the
interview which was conducted in German since HORN is
conversant only in that language.
HORN is 76 years old and lives in a small one-bedroom
[**100] apartment by himself. His place of residence was
meticulously clean and despite his advanced years he conveys
the impression of being stable with an excellent recall of
events during the time he was stationed at Treblinka. Shown
a sketch of the death camp at the beginning of the interview
he identified various buildings within the camp without
hesitation. He was assigned to the camp for approximately
one year, from September 1942 to September 1943, and
specifically to the upper part of the camp which housed the
. . . .
[A] German named SCHMIDT or SCHMITT would supervise the
actual gassing. Two Ukrainians worked directly under
Schmidt. One of these operated the machinery that funneled
the lethal gas into the chamber while the other supervised
the inmate work detail that removed the bodies from the
chamber and dumped them into two very large pits that had
been dug nearby. While the Ukrainians at the train unloading
platform rotated between there and the guard towers the two
Ukrainians assigned to the gas chamber itself were
invariably present at each gassing.
He no longer recalled the name of the Ukrainian responsible
for overseeing the removal of the bodies, but had [**101]
a good recall of the one responsible for operating the death
machinery. That man’s first name was Iwan, a tall heavy set
individual approximately in his mid-twenties at the time
with shortly cropped hair and full facial features. He never
knew Iwan’s family name since such names were in any case
very difficult to pronounce and the Ukrainians were
invariably addressed only by their first names.
. . . .
Initially shown a series of eight photographs of Caucasian
males, HORN carefully viewed each photograph that depicted
an individual wearing dark clothing. Each one of the
photographs showed a frontal view of the individual down to
a few inches below the neck. Hair styles of these
individuals varies, as did length of hair, physical stature
and age that varied from the low twenties into the forties.
One of the photographs depicted IWAN DEMJANJUK as he
appeared in the early 1940s. After studying each of the
photographs at length HORN initially could not make positive
identification of any of the individuals though on one or
two occasions he felt that one or two of the individuals
shown looked vaguely familiar to him, though he could not
recall where and under what circumstances he had [**102]
At this point the first group of photographs was gathered up
and placed on one end of the table with the one depicting
DEMJANJUK left facing upward on top of the pile. Mr.
Dougherty thereupon presented a second series of eight
photographs to the interviewee, each showing a second group
of male Caucasians clothed in what would normally be
considered closer to civilian attire than the clothing worn
by most members of the first group.
One of the photographs in the second group was that of IWAN
DEMJANJUK, taken in the
early 1950s and depicted DEMJANJUK with a fuller and more
rounded face and a more receding hairline. HORN studied this
photograph intensively and then, looking at the earlier
photograph of DEMJANJUK, identified that individual on both.
Nevertheless, he noted some minor differences, such as Iwan
having had somewhat more hair at the time he knew him.
. . . .
15 November 1979
/s/ George W. Garand
Subject: Demjanjuk Case – U.S. Court of Appeals (16 of 17)
Organization: The Nizkor Project https://nizkor.org