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One more observation needs to be made before moving to a consideration of the evidence. If ever a case supported the Judicial Conference rule barring cameras from the courtroom, this case does. From the beginning it was like a Hollywood spectacular and polarized the residents of South Florida.

As an example of some of the emotional intensity surrounding the trial, the Jewish Defense League ran ads in newspapers offering chartered buses from Miami Beach to Fort Lauderdale on opening day. A demonstration outside the courtroom ensued with a chant: “Who do we want? Fedorenko. How do we want him? Dead." After the court was interrupted twice and the first three warnings were ignored by the demonstrators, a leader who was using an amplified bullhorn was arrested. A counter-demonstrator appeared two days later with an ensuing confrontation. Lamentably, defendant's counsel was briefly attacked by women spectators at the courtroom entrance at the close of the trial. If the trial has been brought into South Florida homes by television, the incidence of such confrontations likely would have increased.

EVIDENCE AS TO DEFENDANT'S CONDUCT, 1941-49 PRE-TREBLINKA 10 Defendant was mobilized on June 23, 1941, almost immediately after the invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany. He was a truck driver and the truck he drove was also mobilized. He had no previous military training and in the next two to three weeks his group was encircled twice by the German Army. He escaped the first time but was captured three days later by the Germans with about one-third of his fellow Russian solidiers.

The Germans transported several truckloads of prisoners to Zytomir, a former Soviet training camp, and defendant described the conditions as very bad and with little water or food; the camp housed about 50,000 to 100,000 prisoners, with no barracks available for them. After two or three weeks he was then transferred to Rovno for about 10 days where there were fewer people than at Zytomir; the camp was surrounded by electrified barbed wire.

Next he was transferred to Chelm, Poland, a camp also ringed by barbed wire rolls. The prisoners who tried to escape were trapped on the barbed wire and their plight was quite visible to fellow-prisoners in the morning. While at Chelm he worked in the kitchen, dug holes and built barracks. Defendant estimated the population at Chelm at about 80,000 prisoners.

Defendant described the conditions at Chelm as so bad that if you became ill you rarely recovered. He also indicated that food was at a minimum and that approximately 40,000 prisoners of war died over the winter of 1941-1942. Defendant testified that he supplemented his food intake by eating grass and roots.'1

Defendant testified he would receive beatings from German soldiers when he didn't understand and comply with orders. On two occasions he was hit with a rifle butt, once when he went to pick up a beet and also when he picked up an apple a Polish citizen had thrown. Defendant testified the conditions at Chelm were so bad that he would have died if he had not been transferred to Travnicki.

One day at Chelm the Germans assembled the Russian prisoners and walked down the line selecting 200 to 300 who were sent on to to Travnicki. Defendant vehemently denies volunteering and described the selection process: “they (the Germans) didn't ask; if you didn't go they'd shoot you down like a dog."


• Fortunately, the U.S. Marshal Service and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department per: formed at their usual outstanding level of competence in maintaining courtroom decorum and order in the environs around the court facility. The deputy marshals even apprehended one news reporter going through the judge's wastebasket under the bench.

The court is unaware if the Government is bringing charges against the demonstrators under 18 U.S.C. $ 1507.

10 The only evidence as to defendant's activities before Treblinka was given by defendant plus some opinions voiced by Government's expert Jenkins.

11 The court can take judicial notice from numerous news stories published during the trial that many spectators at the trial had been in various concentration camps or death camps in Europe or had lost relatives there, or both.

Defendant's testimony on direct began shortly after lunch. During the lunch recess a memorial service for the dead at Treblinka was held in the park-like area immediately outside of the courtroom. (The United States courtroom in Fort Lauderdale is in temporary quarters and the splendid new facilities for the Fort Lauderdale court and Federal Building will not open until about three months hence). Judging from the spectators' reactions to the colloquy over translating problems at the beginning of defendant's testimony, the spectators were hardly receptive to defendant; but that was to be expected as he had been described over the period of two weeks by various witnesses as committing gross atrocities.

Defendant described his early personal life; when he revealed his loss at the age of eight of his father in World War I and that his father was killed "by the Germans, of course”, the courtroom became immediately quiet as if an engineer in the sound control booth had turned the gain control knob down to zero. When defendant testified about surviving by eating roots and grass,

the courtroom became even quieter although that didn't seem possible.

The court specifically finds that the defendant did not volunteer for transfer to Travnicki .

At Travnicki most of the guards were Volksdeutschers (ethnic Germans who resided outside Germany in the areas occupied by the German Army). Defendant is not a Volksdeutscher but Ukrainian. He was doing carpentry work at Travnicki and testified he had to work or he might be executed. He received several beatings from the guards. Just as defendant was a hard-worker in America, he clearly did not shirk work responsibility at Travnicki-undoubtedly why the Germans selected him. He indicated that sometimes a loaf of bread was given for working:

In the spring of 1942 the Germans gave black uniforms to all of the prisoners. Volksdeutschers also wore black uniforms but theirs were well-tailored and of better material. After the barracks had been constructed at Travnicki the Germans gave instruction in the firing of rifles, such as field-stripping and in marching. They were not allowed to fire a rifle or to keep one. They also received some privileges such as being able to walk down the road outside of the camp. Defendant testified that he went to a Polish home where he gave them soap and they fed him. He added that if a prisoner did not come back he would be executed (when located).

In the spring of 1942 defendant was sent to Lublin where at first the prisoners guarded their own camp and then were sent to the Jewish ghetto; again the Germans did not ask for volunteers but demanded them to go. At Lublin the Soviet prisoners guarded houses, furniture-whatever was left; they were issued rifles which were not fired. The Soviet prisoners were converted from workers to guards at Lublin.

From Lublin defendant was sent to Warsaw along with about 80 to 100 others and the Soviet prisoners were asked if they wanted to go but none volunteered: there was "no choice.” They were transported with a few Germans and two or three zugwachmaenner (spelled Zugwachmanner in German).

Defendant was transported to Treblinka as a prisoner guard in approximately September 1942.

TREBLINKA The Government called six survivors at Treblinka, four of whom served as working prisoners at Camp 1 and two in what was described as Camp 2 (where the gas chambers were located.)12 Each of the Government witnesses testified as to general or specific instances of murder or brutality on the part of defendant.

12 Inasmuch as the actual operation of Treblinka is not an issue, it will be described in footnote form to assist in evaluating evidence of what defendant actually did there. Because of the nature of the Government's charge and also the nature of Fedorenko's defense, evidence was presented in clinical and gruesome details about the operation of the death camp known as Treblinka. The testimony was so gruesome that on more than one occasion the court doubted it would be possible to continue taking evidence until the recess time. Early recesses were required for the witnesses on several occasions.

Treblinka was a human abattoir. It contained only living facilities for the SS and the persons working there. The thousands who arrived daily on the trains had no need for barracks or mess halls: they would be dead before nightfall. It was operated with a barbarous methodologybrutally efficient—and such camps surely fill one of the darkest chapters in the annals of human existence, certainly the darkest in that which we call Western civilization.

The camp at Treblinka was described repeatedly by witnesses with details to shock any listener. The camp was garrisoned by approximately 30 members of the SS and 150 Soviet, mostly Ukrainian, guards. Also in the camp were approximately 700 Jewish prisoners, mostly men, who performed various tasks.

The Government witnesses were among the working prisoners who escaped during an uprising on August 2, 1943. Each had been there from eight to ten months as a laborer.

The general methodology emerges from the evidence: the Jewish victims were either rounded up from ghettos in Poland by the SS and Russian, Ukrainian or Latvian guards or were lured into a square by handbills promising each person three kilos of bread and a quantity of jam. One witness, Josef Czarny, then 15, came to the square in response to the notice after his parents and three sisters had starved to death in the Warsaw ghetto. After sometimes being held for as long as three days, they were then herded, with beatings, into cattle cars on a train. The train trip took occasionally three days, although Treblinka was located only about 100 kilometers east of Warsaw. No food or water was permitted the prisoners on the train and some slaked their thirst with perspiration and urine. Several persons perished during the trip and approximatley 100 persons would be in the cattle cars or box cars.

Sometimes four of five trains (transports) would arrive at Treblinka during a day but occasionally there would be none. Each transport would contain 2,000 to 3,000 prisoners. The prisoners, unless selected as a labor prisoner, would be exterminated that same day either in a lazaret or the gas chambers.

Apparently to maintain order the prisoners aboard the train were told they were going to a labor camp although at least one witness testified of knowing what Treblinka was. He also testified he could smell the burning flesh upon arriving there. However, various ruses confronted the prisoners as they were ordered from the trains onto the ramp between two rows of SS troops and Soviet guards urging them to run faster and beating them with whips and rifle butts. The ruses included a sign over the camp entrance in German bearing a motto that “work makes life sweeter" and an orchestra playing at the entrance. The orchestra was conducted by Herbert Gold (a noted conductor from Warsaw, per Fort Lauderdale news article dated June 3rd, 1978).

Defendant admits he was a guard at Treblinka; however, he claims that he was a guard involuntarily and denied emphatically that he committed any atrocities or any of the specific acts of brutality described by the witnesses.

It is important to bear in mind that no documentary evidence whatsoever was introduced by the Government or defendant as to the duties or conduct of defendant at Treblinka. Therefore the issue turns entirely on the testimony and credibility of the witnesses.

The first witness, Eugen Turowski, testified that he had seen defendant at the lazaret many times shooting prisoners. He testified that defendant carried a leather whip with metal balls on it and frequently saw him beating arriving prisoners. He also claimed defendant shot prisoners who, after escaping and then being recaptured, were hung upside down as an example to the other prisoners. Turowski described defendant in 1942 as having specific eyes that were “slightly Chinese looking” and that defendant was a non-commissioned officer who spoke "bad German” and was called by_name by the SS personnel. Turowski claimed there were no Volksdeutschers at Treblinka but that Biedermann was the leader of the “Ukrainian” guards and that Rohoza was not a leader of an Ukrainian unit.

The second witness, Schalom Kohn, testified that defendant beat him with his whip on two occasions and he saw defendant beat other Jewish prisoners at the arrival of the transport. He also testified he saw defendant beating prisoners at the lazaret.

Kohn described defendant as “mean-looking,' and when he walked around the courtroom there was the same “mean-looking” face; that was his explanation for being able to identify defendant in the courtroom.

Josef Czarny, clearly the least credible of the survivor witnesses, testified that at the arrival of every transport he saw defendant beating people as they emerged from the cars, and that he saw defendant on one occasion shoot a prisoner at the lazaret. Czarny claimed to have seen defendant at every one of the twice-daily assemblies, and that there were no other Ukrainians at the daily assemblies.

Mr. Gustaw Boraks was the last of the survivors witnesses who worked in Camp 1, the receiving area where the lazaret was located. He was the most candid and credible of the survivor witnesses. Boraks testified he would go to the arrival of the transport two or three times a week to look for friends or relatives and saw defendant there although he had only a few minutes to stay in that area. He never saw defendant hitting prisoners or had any personal confrontations with him.

From his position in the barber shop nearest the door at the end of the barracks where the women had to undress, he heard a shot one day. Boraks rushed to the

Footnotes continued from last page Mr. Gold and the members of the orchestra were, of course, working prisoners. A well was nearby but it was dry.

In view of the relatively small number of SS and Soviet guards, even though well armed, compared to the large number of labor prisoners and arriving prisoners, the system of ruses, beatings, and humiliation apparently was to assist the SS in maintaining order by keeping the arriving prisoners confused and bewildered and thereby docile. In addition, it also prevented organization among the prisoners which might have resulted in a charge en masse by the prisoners. Only the prisoners arriving after the ghetto uprising in Warsaw in the spring of 1943, for example, refused to doff their clothing upon their arrival.

A grisly establishment was camouflaged and identified as a lazaret, meaning first aid station. The working prisoners were also at the entrance of the lazaret bearing Red Cross armbands and a Red Cross flag flew over the entrance. Another cruel ruse: it was a charnel house.

The purpose of the lazaret was to receive and liquidate the aged, the crippled and children without parents. These persons were separated from the rest of the arriving prisoners and taken to the lazaret which had a bench on the bank of a pit three meters deep and approximately 20 meters long and 10 meters across. After being stripped the prisoners were seated on the bench and were executed by being shot in the back of the head; their bodies would fall into the pit. A fire was kept constantly burning in the pit to dispose of the corpses.

The other arriving prisoners were separated into groups of men and women; the men were ordered to remove all their clothing in the open "square”. The clothing was processed by the working prisoners and the camp was described as having "mountains of shoes" and "mountains of eye glasses”.

The female prisoners were herded into a barracks where they were ordered to disrobe; they then filed into a barber shop set up at the end of the barracks where 20 men served as barbers. Each barber had about one minute to cut as much hair as possible from the head of each woman. Apparently the hair was used for various products as well as being steam cleaned in an effort to find if any valuables were hidden there. From the barber shop the women were herded out onto the path and both men and women made to run to Camp 2 where the gas chambers were located, referred to as "baths”.

As final sardonic actions, the path to Camp 2 was termed by the SS "himmelweg"—the road to heaven. And on the gas chambers in Camp 2 was painted the Star of David.

Treblinka-bleaker than Bruegel's Triumph of Death. The death toll? One million victims, according to one witness.

door and saw defendant, the SS and other Soviet guards and a woman who had been shot in the shoulder. He did not see Fedorenko shoot her but testified that defendant had a revolver in his hand and was closer to the woman than anyone else. He subsequently cut the woman's hair before she was sent to the gas chamber; she told Boraks that she had been shot because she did not want to undress. He didn't know who shot the woman and the woman said she didn't know who it was either. He further testified that defendant did nothing wrong in the barracks with the women who were undressing. He testified he had seen defendant chasing people on the pathway to Camp 2 a few times and he knew it was defendant because he wore a black uniform while the others wore khaki. He testified that Fedorenko was some type of leader of the Ukrainian guards.

Two witnesses testified about working in Camp 2, where the gas chambers were located. The first, Sonja Lewkowicz, testified that defendant had a long and terrifying face and that she saw him in Camp 2 many times. She testified that on one occasion she saw him from a distance of 20 meters shoot a Jewish prisoner in Camp 2, but when she realized what was happening quickly turned her head. She never remembers defendant being at the twice-daily assemblies and never remembers seeing him beat or mistreat any prisoners other than the shooting incident.

The last of the survivors witnesses, Pinchas Epstein, was a witness with considerable intensity showing on his face; he testified he saw defendant beat Jewish prisoners and that on one occasion defendant shot and killed a friend of his named Laibel from his home town. On direct examination he described the incident as having occurred when Laibel's partner was returing alone from dumping a corpse into one of the pits in Camp 2.

On cross-examination Epstein stated he was Laibel's stretcher-bearer partner on the day Laibel was shot. That answer was completely inconsistent with his testimony on direct; upon his realization of that he began to squirm and fidget in the witness stand. In addition, Epstein did not mention to investigator Martin Kolar the matter of the shooting of his home-town friend or of any of the beating incidents attributed by him to defendant despite a three hour conversation with Kolar. Epstein acknowledged that Kolar told him at the interview that the purpose of the interview was for testimony against Fedorenko.

Defendant's testimony was basically a denial of all charges. He contended he was a wachmann-a sentry or guard-not a non-commissioned officer. He testified that he was never in the barracks with the women undressed; he was only at the arrival of the transport on one or two occasions and did not know what was going on at the camp. At least the latter is not credible to this court, neither in content nor from the manner in which the testimony was given. Defendant was far from convincing in his manner of speaking and appearance when he testified about unawareness of what was going on at Treblinka. (That testimony was in distinct contrast to his usual earnest testimony where he often volunteered extra items in his answers.) He testified he patrolled the fence as a guard and served in the tower. He testified he only served as a sentry outside of Camp 2 one day and

saw what was going on, and reported to his zugwachmann-whom he identified as Rohoza—that he couldn't eat or sleep and didn't want to go back to that post again. He denied participating at all in Camp 2 or ever being near the gas chambers.

The phrase most constantly used throughout the trial was zugwachmann. The survivors were all convinced and all testified that zugwachmaenner were leaders among the Ukraninian or Soviet guards and that defendant was one.13 The word does not translate easily and despite the request of the court for any source of material providing a translation, none was offered. The survivor witnesses claimed that defendant was a zugwachmann because he had one or two stripes on his shoulder. Defendant explained the stripes away as being good conduct awards because he didn't walk around dirty or get drunk.

The Government offered no expert testimony on the rank-structure and testimony of their expert witness, Mr. Kempton Jenkins, didn't quite touch on the subject. His testimony about the camps was consistently inaccurate.14

Defendant's description of who was a zugwachmann at least fits a logical pattern. He characterized zugwachmaenner as being Volksdeutschers because the Volksdeutschers', who were of ethnic German background, ability to speak both German and Russian or Ukrainian enabled the SS to use the Volksdeutschers as zugwachmaenner to transmit orders. From the evidence the chain of command in a descending order went as follows: SS (Schutzstaffeln); Volksdeutschers as zugwachmaenner; Soviet, basically Ukrainian, guards; working prisoners with a Nazi-imposed hierar

13 Apparently, zugwachmann is the leader of a group of guards or sentries and the group is the size of a squad (could be as large as one-third of company). See Heath's German Dictionary.

14 For example, see text at page 36.

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chy of a head kapo, kapos, vorarbeiters (foremen), and regular working prisoners. There is nothing in the evidence to suggest that Fedorenko is a Volksdeutscher 15 and there is nothing in the record from his background or education to raise the slightest suspicion that he could have learned more than a few words of German.

Fedorenko's testimony that only Volksdeutschers qualified as zugwachmaenner is supported by the berthing and messing arrangements at Treblinka. The SS didn't let the Volksdeutschers sleep or eat in the same barracks with them. Instead, the Volksdeutschers were permitted to sleep in a separate barracks-apparently giving them some privileges because of their German background-but were required to eat with the Soviet prisoner-guards, facilitating supervision of the guards by the zugwachmaenner.

The court specifically finds defendant was not a Volksdeutscher and not a zugwachmann.

PHOTO SPREADS In view of defendant's assertion that he was only a perimeter guard who didn't commit any atrocities at Treblinka, the issue of identification is the heart of this case. The witnesses’ identifications of defendant as the perpetrator of the crimes described were based on recognition of his photo and his person in the courtroom. In view of the passage of 35 years from the date of the incidents, the court must scrutinize these identifications and the circumstances under which they were made with great care.

The subject of pretrial and in-court identification and their reliability have received thorough attention by the courts in criminal cases. This attention has been focused on the dangers that pretrial identification may taint or make unreliable - subsequent in-court identification. Thus to preserve the integrity and fairness of pretrial identification procedures, courts have imposed on their use certain requirements of due process. See, e.g., Neil v. Biggers, 409 U.S. 188, 93 S. Ct. 375 (1972); Stoval v. Denno, 388 U.S. 293, 87 S. Ct. 1967 (1967), Foster v. California, 394 U.S. 440, 89 S. Ct. 1127 (1969).

Although the instant case is a civil case, the concerns of the Supreme Court regarding the reliability and probative value of identifications made in criminal cases are no less applicable here. Thus the court turns to those cases to determine what weight to give the testimony in this case in view of the circumstances surrounding the witnesses' identifications.

The problems inherent in the use of photo spreads as a pretrial identification procedure were pointed out in Simmons v. United States, 390 U.S. 377, 88 S. Ct. 967 (1968). In the usual case, where a witness has not had an opportunity to get a good look at a criminal under favorable conditions, there is a danger of misidentification of a photograph, even under the best of circumstances. This danger is greatly increased when the photograph is placed in a photo spread in such a manner that the witnesses' attention is drawn to it because of its size, color placement or other distinguishing mark. Thus while the Court recognized that use of photo spreads was necessary in police work, it held that a conviction based on an in-court identification following a pretrial identification would not stand if the photo spread was so unduly suggestive as to foster "a very substantial likelihood of irreparable misidentification." 390 U.S. at 384, 88 S. Ct. at 971. Cases following Simmons have therefore followed a two-step formula in determining the admissibility of an in-court identification based on an out-of-court photo spread: (1) whether the procedures followed were ‘impermissibly suggestive', and then (2) whether, being so, they created 'a substantial risk of misidentification'. United States v. Henderson, 489 F. 2d 802, (5th Cir. 1973).

With a time interval of 35 years, rather than days or a few weeks as in the typical criminal case, the threshold of what suggestibility becomes impermissible must necessarily be lowered. The court cannot find a decision considering the

15 The court considered the possibility that defendant's mother was an ethnic German. The first (Christian) name, Anna, is not an infrequent one both among German and Russian names. Defendant consistently listed his mother's maiden name as Hubar. The court's very limited familiarity with the German language doesn't cause any suspicion that the surname, Hubar, is a German name. However, on defendant's application for citizenship her name is spelled H-u-be-r; that spelling is in red ink and those notations were added by the Immigration and Naturalization Inspector Zimon. Notice can be taken of library resources which indicate that the name is a Ukrainian rather than German name; for example, O. Hubar has been cataloged by the Library of Congress as the author of a work on Ukrainian literature.

Even if defendant's mother were an ethnic German, there is nothing to indicate that his father was an ethnic German. It seems highly doubtful-and speculative at most—to assume the German language was spoken in the Fedorenko home, at least before the father's death. Far more importantly, the evidence overwhelmingly rebuts any such speculation.

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