While awaiting extradition to his native Ukraine yesterday, former Nazi concentration camp guard John Demjanjuk quite possibly broke the land speed record for writing children’s books. Hastily scribbled in crayon on several rolls of prison-issued toilet paper, “The Madcap Adventures of Ivan, the Treblinka Teddy” is the charming tale of a friendly little bear who gets mixed up with the wrong crowd and engages in the sort of wild, reckless mischief that all young boys do. One night, while Ivan is enjoying a few beers with his wacky friends, things get out of hand they sort of “gas” a few million people. As penance for his sins, Ivan spends the remainder of the story suffering in a living hell - or, as some people call it, “Ohio”.
I can respect the powerful message Ivan sends to young kids to stay in school, do their homework, and resist peer pressure from genocidal fascist regimes. But the whole charade comes off like a desperate ploy to capitalize on the outpouring of love and support the Hollywood Community bestowed upon Tookie Williams, a gifted children’s author who was brutally murdered by the Nazi governor of California simply because he plugged some honkies and a couple of gooks. Demjanjuk, on the other hand, is a racist and a bigot. Unless he magically transforms into an esteemed senator from West Virginia, he deserves nothing but scorn and contempt from the aging cast of M*A*S*H and rap artists alike.
However, I’m sure he would make an excellent keynote speaker at the next Republican National Convention.