For legal reasons, I have had to alter a number of facts in this book. These are minor changes that mainly involve details of identification and locale and are of little significance to the overall story and its verisimilitude. Any name that has been changed is marked with a small circle the first time it appears.
I’ve drawn Operation Shylock from notebook journals. The book is as accurate an account as I am able to give of actual occurrences that I lived through during my middle fifties and that culminated, early in 1988, in my agreeing to undertake an intelligence-gathering operation for Israel’s foreign intelligence service, the Mossad.
The commentary on the Demjanjuk case reflects accurately and candidly what I was thinking in January 1988, nearly five years before Soviet evidence introduced on appeal by the defense led the Israeli Supreme Court to consider vacating the death sentence handed down in 1988 by the Jerusalem District Court, whose sessions I attended and describe here. On the basis of Soviet interrogations dating from 1944 to I960 that came fully to light only after the demise of the Soviet Union — and in which twenty-one former Red Army soldiers who volunteered to become SS auxiliaries and whom the Soviet authorities later executed established the surname of Treblinka’s Ivan the Terrible to have been Marchenko and not Demjanjuk — the defense contended that it was impossible for the prosecution to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Cleveland autoworker John Ivan Demjanjuk and the notorious gas-chamber operator were the same “Ivan.” The prosecution’s rebuttal claimed not only that the records from the old Soviet Union were riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions but that, even more importantly, because the evidence had been taken under unascertainable circumstances from guards no longer available for cross-examination, it was inadmissible hearsay. In addition the prosecution argued that newly discovered documentation from German federal archives now proved conclusively that Demjanjuk had perjured himself repeatedly in denying that he had also been a guard at the Trawniki training camp, the Flossenburg concentration camp, and the Sobibor death camp.
As of this date, the Supreme Court is still deliberating the appeal.
December 1, 1992
1 PIPIK APPEARS
I learned about the other Philip Roth in January 1988, a few days after the New Year, when my cousin Apter° telephoned me in New York to say that Israeli radio had reported that I was in Jerusalem attending the trial of John Demjanjuk, the man alleged to be Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka.