Recently, Jackson and I watched the Netflix Documentary Series (just out in October) about former Cleveland resident and alleged Ivan the Terrible, John Demjanjuk.
Demjanjuk has been dead for more than seven years now, but his story certainly lingers on.
As a teenager of the 80’s I can remember hearing his name on the nightly news for what seemed like years. To go back and watch what I had missed in my youth was not only nostalgic (seeing Ted Henry), but also educational.
The series is split into five segments, and well worth watching. The truth is that I have been studying the Holocaust and learning from survivors since 1995, and I was so very moved watching this. To see people who survived the horrors of the Holocaust sit in that courtroom and face who was—to them—a monster, made me feel a different kind of sadness and disgust for what happened to so many, many people, and not so long ago.
I supposed I can’t complete this review without giving you my beliefs on whether or not Demjanjuk was, in fact, Ivan the Terrible, so here goes. But please—watch and decide for yourself. Whether or not Demjanjuk was the sadistic, terrifying killer of Treblinka, and I think he was, there is no question that he was in Sobibor. He admitted that. And a Ukrainian collaborator who worked at another killing center is enough damning evidence for me. Not enough people were held accountable, and it’s too bad that he may have died an “innocent” man.