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U.S. Jews warn Demjanjuk grave in Seven Hills,Ohio could become neo-Nazi shrine



Relatives of convicted Nazi war criminal want his body returned for U.S. burial; head of Wiesenthal Center: Demjanjuk is last person on earth who deserves any sympathy.

‘Hey Wiesenthal Center, even Israel found Mr.

Demjanjuk NOT GUILTY’  Give the Demjanjuk family

some peace and leave them alone.’ shera


If relatives of convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk get what they want, their patriarch will be buried in suburban Cleveland – a prospect not sitting well with Jewish advocates who argue the retired autoworker could, in death, become a magnet for neo-Nazis.
Demjanjuk died Saturday in Germany at age 91, and his family in Seven Hills, Ohio, wants to return his body for burial. Even though his U.S.¬ citizenship had been revoked and he was deported, there is no prohibition against returning the body to this country, the U.S. attorney’s office in Cleveland said.
A Demjanjuk funeral in his adopted hometown would turn into a spectacle, said Efraim Zuroff, who leads the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem.
“I have no doubt that a funeral in Seven Hills would turn into a demonstration of solidarity and support for Demjanjuk, who’s the last person on earth who deserves any sympathy, frankly,” Zuroff said in a telephone interview.
Demjanjuk had guarded his privacy carefully, posting a “no trespassing” sign outside his house and turning aside interview requests over the decades.
He came to the U.S.¬ on Feb. 9, 1952, claiming to have spent much of World War II in a German prisoner of war camp. He eventually settled in the middle-class Cleveland suburb of Seven Hills and worked as a mechanic at Ford Motor Co.’s engine plant in nearby Brook Park.
That idyll ended in 1977, when the Justice Department alleged that he had hid his past as the feared Treblinka death camp guard “Ivan the Terrible” and revoked his citizenship. The Israeli Supreme Court returned him to the U.S.¬ after it received evidence that another Ukrainian, not Demjanjuk, was Ivan the Terrible.
A U.S. ¬burial site for Demjanjuk could become a shrine for neo-Nazis in the U.S.¬ because they will never forget he was once misidentified as Ivan the Terrible, said Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, noting that there are about 170 active neo-Nazi groups in the U.S.
“For neo-Nazis, I think it’s entirely possible that a Demjanjuk grave becomes a monument to the alleged evils of the Jews,” Potok said.
In Germany, the bones of Rudolf Hess, a deputy to Adolf Hitler, were exhumed under cover of darkness, burned and secretly scattered at sea after his grave became a shrine for thousands of neo-Nazis.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, said Demjanjuk didn’t have the stature that would attract adoring neo-Nazis to his grave.  more at source
map from Cleveland,  Ohio to Seven Hills, Ohio
The Cleveland media reported on Demjanjuk’s identification in 1977, his denaturalization and extradition, the Israeli trial and conviction, and his successful appeal, as the saga of a Ukrainian immigrant mistaken for a Nazi criminal known as ‘Ivan the Terrible.’ Mike Conway, then a reporter for WJW- TV in Cleveland, began covering the story more than eleven years ago. On Demjanjuk’s return to Cleveland, the family gave Conway the exclusive right to broadcast images of Demjanjuk back in the bosom of his loving family. The video, shot in Demjanjuk’s living room, showed a smiling John Demjanjuk playing with a grandchild born during the trial in Israel. Conway began the report by playing Tony Orlando’s recording of “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree.”
Ohio Congressman James Trafficant has been a vigorous Demjanjuk supporter since the start of the trial in Israel. After Demjanjuk was convicted of crimes against humanity, Trafficant the defense in obtaining previously un- released documents from the Justice Department. The documents proved crucial to Demjanjuk’s appeal.
United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division.
In the Matter of the EXTRADITION OF John DEMJANJUK aka John Ivan Demjanjuk, aka John Ivan Demyanyuk.
Misc. No. 83-349.
April 15, 1985.
As Amended April 30, 1985.
[*546]  COUNSEL:  Gary D. Arbeznik, Asst. U.S. Atty., Cleveland, Ohio, Murray R. Stein, Alvin D. Lodish, Office of Intern’l Affairs, Michael Wolfe, Bruce Einhorn, Office of Special Investigations, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., for petitioner.
Mark O’Connor, Buffalo, N.Y., John J. Gill, Cleveland, Ohio, for respondent.
Steven M. Schneebaum, Patton, Boggs & Blow, Washington, D.C., for amicus curiae.
When Demjanjuk was acquitted in 1992, Trafficant proposed a bill calling for the federal government to provide financial compensation for Demjanjuk’s pain and suffering.” The motion was never seconded.
Trafficant continues to insist Demjanjuk was never a camp guard and should have his American citizenship restored Trafficant conceded he has never examined the evidence or read the trial transcripts.
Demjanjuk’s image as a victim of injustice was further enhanced by a 1993 ruling from the U. S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court declared that during Demjanjuk’s extradition the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations improperly concealed the documentsobtained by Trafficant. Some of the OSI documents suggested another Ukrainian was known as ‘Ivan the Terrible’ at the Treblinka death camp in Poland.
Today most Clevelanders believe Demjanjuk is innocent. Others, who concede he probably worked for the SS in the death camps, insist the matter should be dropped because Demjanjuk is an old man and his crime took place more than half a century ago.
Members of Cleveland’s Jewish community see it differently. They are per- plexed by people who believe in Demjanjuk’s innocence, and angered by those indifferent to his past.
A small number of Holocaust survivors and their supporters demonstrate in front of Demjanjuk’s home whenever the Demjanjuk case makes news. They carry signs reading “We Know the Truth” and “6,000,000 Witnesses Call for Justice!” They chant “Nazis out of America,” or “Nazis back to the Ukraine.” The chants are not loud. They mostly march in silence.
On one occasion Demjanjuk’s next-door neighbor had a brief exchange with a middle-aged demonstrator. The neighbor watched the marchers while sweeping his garage. As they went past his house, he waved his fist and told them Jews deserve whatever they get because of what they did to Jesus. The demonstrator erupted. “Because you think some Jews killed your God, its okay to murder thousands of Jewish children twenty centuries later? So that’s why Jews should die?” A Holocaust survivor quieted his fellow demonstrator, and told him not to have any exchanges with the neighbor, “no matter what that mamzer shouts at you.”
When asked why Jews demonstrate in a neighborhood where the perception of Demjanjuk as an innocent man seems unshakable and nearly unanimous, the middle- aged demonstrator said he had six million reasons for being there. When asked about the questionable behavior by the OSI. and the acquittal in Israel, he replied, “Do you think we don’t know what we’re doing? Or do you believe we’re knowingly hounding an innocent man?
Short URL: http://www.newsnet14.com/?p=99018 

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