Reason Writers Around Town: Michael C. Moynihan Tablet Magazine on the Prosecution of John Demjanjuk


The German government formally indicted John Demjanjuk this week on charges of complicity in the murder of 27,900 people at the Sobibor death camp. Writing at the recently launched Tablet Magazine, Michael C. Moynihan argues that while the Israeli government rightfully acquitted Demjanjuk of charges that he was Treblinka's "Ivan the Terrible," compelling evidence suggests that they had the right man on the wrong change.

Read all about it here. 


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  1. First they came for the Jews and I thought, “Alright!”

  2. Steven Hall, you should expect some knee jerk responses from Zionophiles that you are a racist, anti-semetic jerk.

  3. “Compelling!” they say!

  4. No rest for the wicked, I say.

  5. libertymike

    Next tell me the sky is blue.

    PS should have been “said” not “thought”.

  6. Steven Hall-

    The sky sometimes is blue; nevertheless, there are some who think the the stars are yellow. There are others who want to incarcerate any folks who make such claims.

  7. “Contained within this question is an odd neutrality on the matter of Demjanjuk’s having served at a different death camp.”

    Contained in Moynihan’s story is an odd neutrality on the matter of whether Demjanjuk actually engaged in genocide. Moynihan implicitly concludes that the requirement of “credible witnesses” is out the window. The Israeli’s were correct to demand a semblance of “credibility” that Moynihan rejects.

    Is Moynihan saying that if Demjanjuk was present at the camp, he is guilty of genocide per se? If so, say it. We would all be happy to know that individualism means nothing in the face of great charges.

    As for me, I was present in NYC on Sept. 11, 2001. Will I be guilty of something in 50 years? I sure hope Moynihan isn’t the judge.

  8. I hope that didn’t sound like a defense of Demjanjuk or Buchanan. But really, witnesses can barely get things right that happened 5 or 10 years ago.

  9. I agree (and sympathize) with the Sobibor survivor quoted in the article.

    For the victims like Thomas Blatt, a former inmate at Sobibor, such debates are inconsequential: “I don’t care if he goes to prison or not-the trial is what matters to me. I want the truth. The world should find out how it was at Sobibor.”

    But I am not convinced that trials like this ever really manage to uncover the truth.

    And I’m not really sure what justice is served in “punishing” an 89-year-old man.

    I’m reaching, I know, but somehow I feel that if they could just offer the old geezer a chance to come clean and express some remorse in return for being allowed to live out what’s left of his life. At that age and in his state of health daily life is pretty much a prison wherever he is.

    At any rate that’s what I think would serve the interests of discovering the truth. But, hell, if it’s vengeance we want, let’s go full bore with the show trial.

  10. Personally, I’m fine with trying old people. Maybe this guy can share a geriatric cell with Madoff. Wait, isn’t Madoff Jewish… ?

  11. I wonder if they have to read all 28,000 charges in court.

    Ivan will probably be dead by the time they finish.

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