Accused Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk was finally deported from Ohio to Munich, Germany yesterday to stand trial after a prolonged court battle that has covered many decades and countries. The extradition came four days after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider Demjanjuk’s request to block the deportation. Demajanjuk, at 89, will, in all likelihood, be the last person to stand trial for Nazi war crimes.
Yesterday was a real victory for all of the holocaust survivors who’ve waited decades to see this man be brought to justice. "After too many years of delay, Demjanjuk is now under a final order of deportation," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor.
Not everyone is so pleased that Demjanjuk will finally face trial. MSNBC political commentator and former Presidential Candidate Pat Buchanan compared Demjanjuk to Jesus Christ and the American version of Alfred Dreyfuss in a column on April 14. (Alfred Dreyfuss was a captain in the French Army in the nineteenth century who was accused and convicted of treason, simply because he was Jewish.)
Buchanan wrote that the U.S. Justice Department’s efforts to bring Demjanjuk to justice is “the same satanic brew of hate and revenge that drove another innocent Man up Calvary that first Good Friday 2,000 years ago.”
Despite Buchanan’s anti-Semitic and holocaust denying rants from over the years, it's always surprising to hear someone defend the Nazis. It's also surprising that NBC gives Buchanan a platform to speak his opinion as a political commentator due to his extreme views on Jewish issues.
Here’s some other perspectives on the situation:
JTA editor Menachem Z. Rosensaft: “OP-ED: Comparing Demjanjuk to Jesus is Obscene”
Huffington Post’s Jason Linkins: “Pat Buchanan’s Holocaust-Denial Enabling Ignored by NBC”