Munich, Germany—Defense lawyer Ulrich Busch has once again asked a court to discharge his client, 90 year-old retired Cleveland auto worker, John Demjanjuk from War Crimes allegations.
Demjanjuk’s trial has reached the one-year mark without any smoking-gun or even newsworthy revelations being made.
The trial of Demjanjuk is largely symbolic since Germany has no death penalty and the worst that could happen is that the accused war criminal would spend his remaining days in a nursing home. Demjanjuk most likely will never leave a nursing home anyway since he is in need of regular blood transfusions and is very frail.
Busch has raised Demjanjuk’s declining health and a seemingly valid claim of Double Jeopardy. Demjanjuk was tried and eventually cleared of war crimes in Israel after documentary evidence supplied by the United States Office of Special Investigations was determined by the court to be forged. Germany has no Constitutional guarantee against Double Jeopardy but it’s a worthy argument just the same.
Germany has at best a paper thin case against Demjanjuk if for no other reason he’s outlived virtually every potential witness against him. Trying Demjanjuk has been a monumental challenge since the court has to work around his constant medical treatment.
Trying Demjanjuk has no more meaning now than trying a breathing corpse. They only people suffering are the defendant’s innocent family.
The War Crimes Trial of John Demjanjuk has turned into a pointless exercise. Perhaps it’s time for Germany and the rest of the world to move on from that dark chapter of history.
I find it interesting that nobody has ever bothered to lift a finger bringing Soviet military war criminals to justice for their non-stop murder and rape orgy after the fall of Berlin. The answer is really very simple, only the winners or wars write history books and the losers are tried and executed as war criminals.
Germany has paid for their sins with the needless loss of its own 9 million productive citizens because of the tyranny of National Socialism.