Thursday, November 13, 2014

John Demjanjuk Statement Analysis

Recently, a documentary included the story of John Demjanjuk aired on The History Channel.  

For those unfamiliar with the case, here is a small edited account from Wikipedia which is followed by a few statements he made. 

Statement Analysis is best done in first language, yet here, we will see how it is that as we "move the camera further away" and take a broad picture, sometimes the truth comes out..

just the same. 

We did see a sample of this in analysis at the Nuremberg trials where we do not need first language to see:

a.  A question answered with a question
b.  A question posed in an open statement
c.  An answer that avoids the question 
d.  The order of the answer indicating priority. 

We do not use some of the nuances of analysis in 2nd language statements, but we can view "the big picture."

John Demjanjuk April 1920 – 17 March 2012 was a retired Ukrainian-American auto worker, a former soldier in the Soviet Red Army, and a POW during the Second World War.
He was convicted in 2011 in Germany for  war crimes as an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews while acting as a guard named Ivan Demjanjuk at the Nazi extermination camp near Sobibór in occupied Poland. 

Years earlier, he was convicted and then repealed, in Israel, as the wrong location was initially given. 

Demjanjuk was born in Ukraine, and during World War II was drafted into the Soviet Red Army, where he was captured as a German prisoner of war. 

In 1952 he emigrated from West Germany to the United States, and was granted citizenship in 1958 whereupon he formally anglicized his name from "Ivan" to "John".


In 1986 he was deported to Israel to stand trial for war crimes, after being identified by eleven Holocaust survivors, many from Israel, as "Ivan the Terrible", a notorious guard at the Treblinka extermination camp in Nazi occupied Poland. Demjanjuk was accused of committing murder and acts of extraordinarily savage violence against camp prisoners during 1942–43. 
He was convicted of having committed crimes against humanity and sentenced to death there in 1988. The verdict was overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court in 1993, based on new evidence that "Ivan the Terrible" was probably another man, Ivan Marchenko.  
After the trial, in September 1993, he returned to his home in Ohio. 
In 1998 his citizenship was restored after a United States federal appeals court ruled that prosecutors had suppressed exculpatory evidence concerning his identity.
In 2001 Demjanjuk was charged again, this time on the grounds that he had, instead, served as a guard named Ivan Demjanjuk at the Sobibor and Majdanek camps in Nazi occupied Poland and at the Flossenbürg camp in Germany. 

 His deportation was again ordered in 2005, but after exhausting his appeals in 2008 he still remained in the United States, as no country would agree to accept him at that time. On 2 April 2009, it was announced that Demjanjuk would be deported to Germany, where he would stand trial...
On 12 May 2011, Demjanjuk was convicted pending appeal by an ordinary German criminal court as an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews at Sobibor and sentenced to five years in prison. 

 earlier statements from the first trial...

On July 27, 1987, John Demjanjuk took the witness stand and said:

"I am not the hangman or henchman you are thinking of.  I was never at Treblinka or Sobibor.  Since the beginning of this trial I have been sitting looking at the shadow of the accursed Treblinka."  

Please note: "the hangman or henchman you are thinking of."

This leads us to ask:   Is he saying that he is another hangman or henchman and just not the one they are thinking of?

He was asked whether he ever killed anyone, Demjanjuk said, "Never.  I cannot even kill a chicken.  My wife invariably did it."  

The word "never" is in response to the question "ever", making it appropriate, yet still not reliable.  We have seen, repeatedly, that "never" is not a substitute for "did not" or "didn't."

Roger Clemens and Lance Armstrong both "never" used performance enhancing drugs, but were both unable or unwilling to say "I did not" or "I didn't use PEDS..." in any of their statements, over the years.  

In the free editing process, where one is speaking for oneself, the guilty will avoid making this statement.  

John Demjanjuk said he had been unfairly pressured during interrogation by Israeli police about where he was during the operation of the Treblinka death camp in 1942-43.

"They kept shouting at me. They pressured me to speak to them all the time in English," said Demjanjuk, arguing that his uncertain command of English had led to mistakes in his earlier statements.  This may have some validity.  We listen to him, stepping back a bit, to get the big picture. 

Demjanjuk recalled that under police questioning he had spoken about Adolf Eichmann, the mastermind of the Nazi extermination of Jews in World War II, who was tried and hanged in Israel in 1962.

Demjanjuk said he told police "Eichmann was known to the entire world as a Nazi, who caused misery to the Jewish people. I am not the right man who should be tried. I'm innocent and shouldn't be tried."  

In attempting to explain why he gave incriminating statements to the police, Demjanjuk recalled what he told police:


"Eichmann was so big (gesturing with his hands) and I am so small." 

This is something we can understand in 2nd language, just as easily as in first.  

11 comments:

GetThem said...

"I was never at Treblinka or Sobibor". ---- Again he uses the word never and does not offer a reliable denial in that entire paragraph. Also, something weird about using the word: at. Maybe it's because using the word AT, almost sounds like he is talking about a visit as opposed to admitting working there. He could have said something like "I didn't go there."

C5H11ONO said...

Demjanjuk was born in Ukraine, and during World War II was drafted into the Soviet Red Army, where he was captured as a German prisoner of war.

In 1952 he emigrated from West Germany to the United States, and was granted citizenship in 1958 whereupon he formally anglicized his name from "Ivan" to "John".

I don't understand how he went from being a Soviet prisoner of war to emigrating from Germany? Why would such a big chunk of information be so conspicuously missing.

Anonymous said...

He way well be exactly who they are thinking of - but just wants to suggest that they are confused. Esp since false identity seems to be part of his deal from the beginning.

saying he's small -- does not say he wasn't there doing war the crimes. maybe he just wants you to as the little guy in the corner of the memory --

his language does nothing to even suggest he did not commit war atrocities.

also -- killing a chicken -- is not the same kind of killing as murdering people - that he would equate the two in the context against defending himself againt accusations that he treated humans far worse than animals -- he's a guilty dog.

john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tania cadogan said...

He was asked whether he ever killed anyone, Demjanjuk said, "Never. I cannot even kill a chicken. My wife invariably did it."

Never does not mean did not.
here would be the place for a strong reliable denial yet he doesn't make one

Invariably doesn't mean always.
He allows for others to kill the chicken, including himself.

He reduces kill anyone to kill a chicken which is minimizing language.

It is possible he may not be able to kill a chicken, it doesn't mean he is not able to kill a human.
Kack then, Jews, Gypsies, the disabled were regarded as less than human, they were classed as vermin to be exterminated.
Chickens were valuable, Jews etc were not.
In his mind he would not regard the victims as human and thus anyone.
Anyone would be his family, his friends, neighbors, non-Jews and the like.
He would not and did not kill them, thus justifying his answer.

I would have asked for his definition of anyone, his definition of the prisoners in the camps, Jews and so on.

Skeptical said...

Considering that he underwent Israeli interrogation, were his answers examined to see if they showed signs of PTSD. Shin Bet, Aman and Mossad are known to use more than Statement Analysis to obtain information.

Anonymous said...

http://www.wistv.com/story/27381948/heather-elvis-search-warrant-case-hearing-in-circuit-court

anybody have theories as to why the court is so far still refusing to make the search wannant on the moorers house Public record??

I find it bizarre. I am 90% sure the moorers are guilty. And i'd also not be surprsed if there is zero evidnece of their guilt on their property. But what does suprise me is the courts resistance to release the warrant.

Anonymous said...

http://mauinow.com/2014/11/13/missing-makawao-woman-last-seen-on-monday-in-lahaina/

Anonymous said...

Re: Anon 8:16 Quotes from the boyfriend of tbr missing Makawao woman. Andrew Langreck Attn Everyone this is her boyfriend of 4 years..we live together...i made the flyer u see above with her friend lauren....as of now i have the police and detectives all iver it i have been doing everything humanly possible to track her down and figure out what going on....she has not been home since monday morning...we have hung flyers all over and are makin more...please help find my baby...if u have any information anything please call me Andrew 808-268-0596 or the maui police department....thankyou for your thoughts and love...i need all i can get in this extreme time of sorry...let us pray....let my sweet booboo come home safely...Love&Aloha
November 13, 2014 6:01 pm
Andrew Langreck ATTENTION ALL> This is Andrew her boyfreind of 4 years...i made the flyer u see above with her friend Lauren..and put it all over today...we live together all her belongings are here she has not been home since monday morning..she went to lahaina...i went to work...habent seen her or hears from her...latest info as of about 4 hours ago is she made it back upcountry from lahaina and was seen at our postal shop by the stopwatch...we live on makani and she walks that rd alot....i have done everything humanly possible to find her and find out whats happened..everyone is looking for her..police dtectives...all her friends employers and we r making more flyers...if you have any information please contact me at 808-268-0596 or the maui police....thanku all for your thoughts and love threw this living nightmare ...i can only keep trying and pray...im gonna put it on the radio and news soon....please help if you know or hear anything.....Mahalo Nui Loa...

GetThem said...

As a follow up to my first post... Maybe the word AT is distancing?

tania cadogan said...

she went to lahaina...i went to work...habent seen her or hears from her.

Let's play a game.

Spot the dropped pronoun