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Israel Television Plans Demjanjuk Trial Coverage for Schools

September 30, 1986

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) _ Israel’s educational television channel plans to broadcast parts of the upcoming trial of retired U.S. autoworker John Demjanjuk to teach Israeli children about the Nazi Holocaust, a spokeswoman said today.

The broadcasts will be televised in schools around the country if the trial material is found suitable for classroom use, educational television spokeswoman Dafna Weiss said. The channel is controlled by Education Ministry.

Demjanjuk, of Cleveland, Ohio, was indicted Monday on charges of Nazi war crimes. His trial is not expected to begin before December.

He is accused of being ″Ivan the Terrible,″ a guard at the Treblinka death camp in Poland who operated gas chambers where some 900,000 people, mostly Jews, were killed.

Ms. Weiss said the programs would combine segments of the trial with explanations by a narrator or panel discussions.

″The aim is to impart what values we can about the Holocaust,″ Ms. Weiss said. She said the programs would probably be aired once a week within the framework of televised lessons on contemporary history.

The only other Nazi trial held in Israel was also brought into the classroom. The 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann, hanged for planning the execution of 6 million Jews, was broadcast daily on Israel Radio and the live programs were piped into classrooms almost every day.

In a related development, the Education Ministry ordered school principals to organize lessons about the Sept. 6 massacre of 21 Jewish worshipers in a synagogue in Istanbul, Turkey.

The English-language Jerusalem Post reported that the director-general of the ministry urged principals to stress the link between the killing of Jews in the synagogue and the Nazi extermination of 6 million Jews in World War II.

Demjanjuk, 66, was born in the Soviet Ukraine. He arrived in the United States in 1952 and became a naturalized citizen. He was stripped of his citizenship in 1981 on grounds he had lied about his Nazi past when he entered the country, and deported.

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