The determined men and women who refused to allow the crimes of Nazi perpetrators to go unpunished are the subject of an Amram Scholar Series lecture, presented jointly by journalist Andrew Nagorski and Professor Lawrence Douglas at Temple on Sunday, April 2 at 10:30 am.
Mr. Nagorski, a former bureau chief for Newsweek magazine in six foreign capitals, will share stories he researched for his latest book, The Nazi Hunters. He tells of the young American prosecutors in the Nuremberg and Dachau trials, the case against Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss, the German judge and prosecutor who forced his country to confront its record of mass murder, and the Israeli team that captured Adolf Eichmann. He also recounts the persevering efforts of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, which sought decades after war’s end to expel former Nazi perpetrators secretly living in the United States.
Among that group of hidden war criminals was John Demjanjuk, a Cleveland autoworker and naturalized U.S. citizen, who is the focus of Professor Douglas’ latest book, The Right Wrong Man. Douglas, a professor of law and social thought at Amherst College, covered the former camp guard’s final trial for Harper’s Magazine from 2009–2011, and he provides a gripping eyewitness account of this last major Holocaust prosecution. A legal battle that began in 1975, with the suspicion that Demjanjuk had been the “Ivan the Terrible” of Treblinka, ended 36 years later when a Munich court found him guilty of assisting in the murder of 28,060 Jews at a different Polish death camp, Sobibór.
This joint program about the impetus for legal closure of Nazi war crimes is presented in partnership with the Jewish Book Council.