Daviborshch's Cart: Narrating the Holocaust in Australian War Crimes Trials

Synopsis

In the spring of 1942, Nazi forces occupying the Ukraine launched a wave of executions targeting the region's remaining Jewish communities. These mass shootings were open, public, and intimate. Although the victims themselves could never testify against their killers, many eyewitnesses could and did identify the perpetrators. Among these communities, three local men from the villages of Serniki, Israylovka, and Gnivan were intimately implicated in such killing operations: Ivan Polyukhovich, a forester in the German-controlled administration; Heinrich Wagner, a Volksdeutscher liaison officer; and Mikolay Berezowsky, a member of the local police force. More than fifty years later, these three men were arrested and brought to trial in Australia for their alleged war crimes. Daviborshch's Cart is more than an account of Holocaust perpetrators who found a safe haven in postwar Australia. It is also the story of the Holocaust in the Ukraine, the War Crimes Act, Nazi policies, and the ways in which future generations translate history into law, archives into proof, and law into justice. Based on a review of previously unexamined historical and legal documents and transcripts, Daviborshch's Cart offers the first critical examination of Australian attempts to bring alleged Nazi criminals to justice.

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Lincoln, NE
Publication year:
  • 2010