“Revenge is for them”

23 December 2009 by Hermione Gee

Isaac Fransman: born in Amsterdam July 23 1898, deceased 9 April 1943 in Sobibor; Rachel Fransman-Lochem: born in Amsterdam July 7 1900, April 9 1943 deceased in Sobibor.

“In all these years,” says Rob Fransman, “the names of my father and mother have never been mentioned in any courtroom. I’ve often said the Kaddish [but] I’ve never specifically said it for my parents. The way the judge read out the names this afternoon was a prayer. He said Kaddish for me. How ironic - a German judge in Munich.”

Fransman is one of 22 co-prosecutors at the trial of John Demjanjuk in Munich, Germany. They are all family members of people murdered at the Nazi death-camp in Sobibor, Poland, during World War II. Both of Fransman’s parents died at Sobibor.

Demjanjuk, 89, is charged with accessory to the murder of 29,700 Dutch Jews at Sobibor where he allegedly worked as a camp guard in 1943. |

What’s does it mean for you, to be in the courtroom and see Demjanjuk on trial?
I try to examine my own feelings. In the trial, my seat in the courtroom is less than 3 meters from the bed where he is laying. So if I stand up, I can touch him. I can do something to him. But I don’t have that urge at all. He’s not a symbol of evil for me. He’s John Demjanjuk, and he’s there, and he plays the role of victim now.

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