Defending a Nazi
“Just like defending the KKK is racist,
Knowingly defending a Nazi is antisemitic”

By Fred Taub

There are two types of people who have stood in defense of Nazi John “Ivan the Terrible” Demjanjuk, people who have fallen for the lies of the Demjanjuk family, and anti-Semites. The latter includes Holocaust deniers, most of whom mask their anti-Semitism under the guise of freedom for the Nazi on humanitarian grounds, the same freedoms Demjanjuk denied the Jews he murdered.

First, let’s remember that in U.S. federal courts, Demjanjuk’s past was proven to be the sadist Nazi death camp guard who took so much pleasure murdering Jews at the Sobibor death camp, that he was promoted to murdering children in Treblinka, the Nazi death camp built specifically to murder children. As of today, all of the evidence, including his Nazi ID card which states he volunteered to serve as a Nazi guard, stands affirmed as authentic is both U.S. and Israeli courts. Also, in direct contradiction to the claims of his family, Demjanjuk was not acquitted in Israel, but rather released from his sentence, not the conviction, due to a technicality in Israeli law. In Israel, Demjanjuk’s sentence was overturned after he threw a last-minute wrench into the proceedings by admitting to being a Nazi, but a different Nazi. Germany wants to put Demjanjuk on trial for exactly what he admitted to in Israel, which should not be difficult at all.

I can understand the Demjanjuk family standing up for their patriarch, but what I cannot understand are those who defend Nazi Demjanjuk despite knowing he lied. Take for instance Pat Buchanan who recently wrote an article claiming Demjanjuk is not guilty, yet that can only be possible if, according to Buchanan, the Holocaust never happened, which we all know is a lie propagated by people what to see another Holocaust. The fact is that knowingly propagating a lie in order to defend a Nazi is antisemitic. While not all anti-Semites are Holocaust deniers, all Holocaust deniers are antisemites – Buchanan is both.

I can understand the Cleveland media wanting to stand up for their home town underdog battling governments, yet the Cleveland media did not stand up for pornographer Ruben Sturman when he was on trial. In Demjanjuk’s case, after the Nazi was exposed by the U.S. Department of Justice for faking an illness to avoid being deported for health reasons, Cleveland’s Fox affiliate continually showed Demjanjuk faking that illness while the local NBC affiliate showed Demjanjuk faking being ill, despite knowing that illness was faked.

Then there are the national media reporters such as Philip Terzian, the Literary Editor of The Weekly Standard, who, in a Facebook blog with columnist Debbie Schlussel said “Wasn’t he a Ukrainian who was impressed into the German army and served as a concentration camp guard? And didn’t the Israelis decide he wasn’t ‘Ivan the Terrible’?”

After being pressed on the fact that he was 100% wrong on about the Demjanjuk case, Terzian then showed his true colors when he responded “I’m not ‘defending’ John Demjanjuk but suggesting that his case seems ambiguous and that, in 2009, it seems like a tremendous waste of resources to pursue a half-dead nonagenarian when there are more pressing human rights problems in the world.”

Terzian went from falling from propaganda from the Demjanjuk family to defending a Nazi, despite claiming the exact opposite. Terzian was not only defending Nazi Demjanjuk, but stated he felt prosecuting the single biggest mass murderer of our day is a “waste of resource.” If we are going to prosecute people like Jeffrey Dahmer or Charles Manson, then we surely need to prosecute Demjanjuk who took pride in murdering thousands of times more people than Mason, but Terzian apparently does not agree. Defending a Nazi is antisemitic, yet Terzian did not even feel the need to retract his hate.

There is no statute of limitations on murder, and the reason we need to prosecute Demjanjuk is not only to pursue justice, but also to send a message to future generations that there is no hiding from the law, as well as to teach the world that we will never allow a Holocaust to happen again.

Just like defending the KKK is racist, Knowingly defending a Nazi is anti-Semitic. When people want to excuse Nazis for their murders by passing on their prosecution, they are not doing it out of love for anyone. Rather, they are extending wishes of a long and comfortable life to Nazi murderers, and here Demjanjuk specifically, a volunteer Nazi who took an oath unto death to Hitler. Terzian is anti-Semitic at the very least, and when cornered, he responded with name calling by insulting Schlussel, a technique used by weak people who still want to defend their own words despite being cornered with their lies.

The prosecution of Nazi Demjanjuk is testimony that the world will never forget, and that we all must stand tall against those would find justification for hate or even worse, act on that hate to murder, be it one, six, or six million. We live in a very scary world and I, for one, will never be silent. Will you?