Useful Enemies: John Demjanjuk and America’s Open-Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals

Richard Rashke. Delphinium (HarperCollins, dist.), $29.95 (640p) ISBN 978-1-8832-8551-7
%%BUY_BOX(978-1-8832-8551-7,1,,,Useful Enemies: John Demjanjuk and America’s Open-Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals)%%
WWII isn’t over for everyone—in May 2011, John Demjanjuk, a native of Ukraine and “former American citizen,” was convicted of war crimes for his role as a guard at the Sobibor concentration camp. Rashke (Escape from Sobibor) uses Demjanjuk’s story to explore the troubling implications of U.S. immigration patterns after WWII; the author contends that the United States knowingly accepted Nazis while simultaneously denying entry to Holocaust survivors, a trend motivated by a political agenda concerned with monitoring Europe in the postwar period and during the cold war. As evidenced by the particulars of Demjanjuk’s case—which included numerous trials in various countries, possibly forged identity papers, and extradition deadlock—the narrative is riddled with political intrigue. While the immediate ethical and political ramifications of his argument are fascinating, one of the most interesting aspects of Rashke’s investigation is how it complicates the idea of a survivor: was Demjanjuk, who lived a quiet life in Cleveland following the war, also a survivor of the Nazis, different from the men and women whose killings he oversaw only by degree? The answer, as Rashke points out, requires untangling “historical forces, moral behaviors, legal issues,” and more, and it’s a riveting read. B&w photos. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/29/2012
Release date: 01/01/2013
Paperback - 624 pages - 978-1-883285-64-7
Ebook - 640 pages - 978-1-4804-0778-7
Ebook - 640 pages - 978-1-4804-0159-4
Show other formats
FORMATS
%%BUY_BOX(978-1-8832-8551-7,1,,,Useful Enemies: John Demjanjuk and America’s Open-Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals)%%
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X