Christian Pentzold

John ‘Ivan’ Demjanjuk (1920-2012), an American citizen since 1958, was a soldier of the Soviet Red Army,
German prisoner of war during the Second World War, and an auxiliary police guard, a so-called
Trawniki man, at the Nazi extermination camp Sobibór. He stood trials for Holocaust-related crimes,
in Israel (1983 to 1993), in the U.S.A. (2001 to 2004), and in Germany (2009 to 2011), where he was
finally convicted as an accessory to murder pending appeal, but died before serving his sentence. As
the trials’ proceedings developed across different countries, particularly Israel, Germany and the U.S.
with reverberations especially in the Netherlands and Russia, a corresponding discourse embedding
the case in its wider cultural, historic and judicial context unfolded in the multi-lingual interplay of
national and international mass and social media. The Demjanjuk case study is a prime example for an
in-depth analysis of the rifts and relations of Holocaust remembrance on a global, transnational, and
transcultural scale. The research aims to analyze the trials’ media coverage in a cross-country
and cross-linguistic comparison of media frames and thus the discursive aspects of mediated memory
cultures in general and war crimes’ memory in particular.

Collaborative project together with Shani Horowitz-Rozen and Shlomo Shpiro from Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel and with Vivien Sommer from Technische Universität Chemnitz.