The soap opera that is the story of convicted Nazi guard John Demjanjuk – and efforts to deport him – continues, with a U.S. immigration appeals board last week denying a request to reopen the deportation proceedings.
Year after year, staving off efforts to extradite him to Germany to stand trial there, Demjanjuk has managed to win reprieves, realizing his goal of remaining in the United States. Finally, several weeks ago, he was removed from his Cleveland-area home to be deported.
Scheduled to be flown to Munich, finally, to face charges related to the deaths of 29,000 Jews, he was – again – sent home after his son appealed to a federal court in Cincinnati to block the deportation.
According to a JTA report, Demjanjuk will now have to prove to the court that his deportation would amount to torture because of his many illnesses, including a tumor on his kidney. The court has demanded that the government provide a doctor’s report on his health – delaying his deportation for at least a week.
The former concentration camp guard – convicted by an Israeli court in 1988 of being “Ivan the Terrible” at Treblinka death camp – was imprisoned for seven years but freed when Israel’s Supreme Court dismissed the charges. They ruled that while there was sufficient evidence that Demjanjuk had been a guard at Sobibor in 1943, he could not be positively identified as the Treblinka guard.
The U.S. courts later stripped him of U.S. citizenship because he had lied about being a death camp guard.
How, then, has he managed to remain here? Where is the outcry from those who would send illegals packing – even those who have committed no crime other than wanting to secure a better future for themselves and their families? Why is this only a Jewish issue?
Moral issues aside (although they should not be), the man is here illegally. He lost his U.S. citizenship because he lied about his wartime participation in the Nazi machine. Why has he been able to stay?
Moral issues front and center, even if he was not “Ivan,” he helped herd people to their deaths, people who could not appeal to a court for redress. Does his son realize the irony of describing his father’s deportation as “torture”? Does he know what the word means?
His father does.