TORONTO (Mar. 11)
Canada’s large Ukrainian community is raising money for the defense of John Demjanjuk, currently on trial in Israel for crimes against humanity and the Jewish people. There are about 600,000 Ukrainians in Canada.
According to Peter Jacyr of Mississauga, 1,340 Ukrainians across Canada have so far donated $120,000. The Ukrainian community in Toronto has started a Demjanjuk defense fund. His son-in-law, Ed Nishnic, came here to help.
The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, a retired automobile worker from Cleveland, Ohio, was extradited to Israel last year. So far in his trial, four Holocaust survivors have positively identified him as the sadistic Treblinka death camp guard known as “Ivan the Terrible” who operated the gas chambers.
Nishnic told the Toronto Star “We could lose this case through financial default. Our finances are about to be tapped out.” He said money was needed for legal expenses and the cost of sending experts to Israel to testify for Demjanjuk. The accused war criminal is defended by an American lawyer, Mark O’Connor, who contends that Demjanjuk is a victim of mistaken identity.