WASHINGTON (JTA) — James Traficant, a former Ohio congressman, says he will travel to Germany to testify on John Demjanjuk’s behalf if subpoenaed.
Demjanjuk, 89, a Ukrainian death camp guard, was deported earlier this year to Germany to face murder charges. His trial is scheduled to begin in Munich on Nov. 30.
"I will also address the issue of John Demjanjuk, who is not being just prosecuted — Demjanjuk and his family are being persecuted, and no one in Washington will help," Traficant wrote this week in a column he is launching in American Free Press, a publication that provides online links to Holocaust deniers. "I plan to help him and will testify in Germany about the crimes in the Justice Department if subpoenaed."
Traficant advocated on behalf of Demjanjuk when the retired autoworker was jailed in Israel from 1986 to 1993 on charges that he was "Ivan the Terrible," a mass murderer at Treblinka.
After initially convicting him, the Israeli prosecution later uncovered compelling evidence that another man was Ivan and shared this with the court, which released Demjanjuk. Nonetheless, the court noted that the evidence that Demjanjuk was a guard at another death camp, Sobibor, seemed irrefutable.
Upon his return to the United States, immigration authorities launched deportation proceedings based on Demjanjuk’s covering up his Nazi past when he emigrated from the former Soviet Union in the 1950s.
Traficant, who served seven years in prison on corruption charges, in his column also promises to address in future columns the American Israel Public Affairs Committee "and its control over our very lives."