January 10, 2010: The Strange Life and Times of John Demjanjuk - Love Me Tender (Doc) - A Conversation with Dr. Sima Samar, Afghanistan's leading Human Rights Activist

Hour 1: The Strange Life and Times of John Demjanjuk - The first time John Demjanjuk faced a verdict, it was in a concert hall in Jerusalem that had been converted into a courtroom, so that his trial could be televised. He was accused of being Ivan the Terrible, a notorious and sadistic prison guard who helped run the gas chambers at the Nazis' Treblinka death camp. It was 1988.

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Hour 2: Love Me Tender - Documentary - Among many other things, Alzheimer's disease tests the bonds of friendship. A lot of friends fail that test. Unable or unwilling to cope with the repetition, the change in character, the missteps, the forgetfulness, the not knowing, they don't stick around.

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Hour 3: A Conversation with Dr. Sima Samar - Afghanistan's leading Human Rights Activist  - Michael Enright spoke with Sima Samar, Chair of the Independent Afghanistan Human Rights Commission and U.N. Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Sudan, while she was visiting in Toronto.


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Elsewhere on the show - A Tribute to Lhasa de Sela, Sled Dogs to Snow Machines - Documentary, and some of your mail.

Music

Song: 1er mouvt : Allegro Maestoso
Artist: Chamber Orchestra Of Europe & Maria-João Pires
Album: Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1, Fantaisie, Op. 49 & Others


Michael's Essay

In this week's essay, Michael makes up his mind to move forward and takes a tongue and cheek approach to the methods by which some of our favourite politcal figures have been "moving forward" this year.


Music

Song: On the Case
Artist: Al Henderson Septet
Album: Regeneration


The Strange Life and Times of John Demjanjuk

The first time John Demjanjuk faced a verdict, it was in a concert hall in Jerusalem that had been converted into a courtroom, so that his trial could be televised. He was accused of being Ivan the Terrible, a notorious and sadistic prison guard who helped run the gas chambers at the Nazis' Treblinka death camp. It was 1988.

When the verdict came, John Demjanjuk was pronounced guilty. And he was sentenced to hang. For the next five years, Demjanjuk sat on death row. But before his scheduled execution, new questions about the evidence came to light. And the Israeli Supreme Court set him free.

Nearly two decades later, Demjanjuk sits in a prison cell in Munich, Germany, charged with being a accessory to nearly 28.000 murders. Those murders were carried out at a different Nazi death camp known as Sobibor.

It's being called the "last Nazi war crimes trial" - Demjanjuk is 89 and ill and both the surviving victims and perpetrators of Second World War atrocities are dying off. But in addition to the long list of serious questions about Demjanjuk's individual guilt, the trial has also raised questions about World War Two trials in general. Is it still worthwhile to prosecute old men for crimes that may or may not have been committed six decades ago? What is the ultimate meaning of this trial, given the number of serious war criminals that lived the remainder of their lives in freedom?

Scott Raab is a writer for Esquire Magazine. He became interested in the Demjanjuk case and last November, Esquire published his detailed and critical look at the case against the former auto worker. He was in our studio in Manhattan.

Rebecca Wittman has also been following this case closely and is attending the trial in Munich. She teaches at the University of Toronto, where she specializes in the Holocaust, postwar German trials of Nazis and German legal history. She was in our Toronto.

Music

Song: Andante spianato et Grande Polonaise, OP 22
Artist: Christina Petrowska
Album: Chopin and Liszt


Mail Pack

We also took time to take a look at your mail.

On January 3rd, Michael kicked off our first show of the New Year with his reflections on the past decade. For some of you... he may have spoken too soon.

Also, on December 27th we talked about Inequality in Canada. This was part two of a special series that we are doing on Poverty.

You can write to us about anything you hear on the program. Our email address is thesundayedition@cbc.ca. We look forward to hearing from you!



Music

Song: Groove Merchant
Artist: Hank Jones and Oliver Jones
Album:
Hank Jones and Oliver Jones' Pleased To Meet You


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Music

Song: Love Me Tender
Artist: Cyrus Chestnut
Album:
Cyrus Plays Elvis


Love Me Tender - Documentary

Among many other things, Alzheimer's disease tests the bonds of friendship.

A lot of friends fail that test. Unable or unwilling to cope with the repetition, the change in character, the missteps, the forgetfulness, the not knowing, they don't stick around.

That leaves people with memory loss and dementia on the loneliest of journeys.
Which makes a group of women in London, Ontario all the more worth knowing.

Every Friday afternoon they gather - Stella, Cathy, Sandy, Anne, and Mary - all women in their sixties, to be with each other and with Joan McConnell. Joan McConnell has Alzheimer's. She can remember snippets of the distant past. But not yesterday. Or last week or last month. Unless a plate of food is put in front of her, she often forgets to eat.

She's one of 500,000 people living with Alzheimer's in this country. A report released this week says that number will more than double over the next twenty years.

Joan McConnell always loved parties, gatherings, celebrations. But since her diagnosis, Joan truly hates to be alone.Her days are packed into a tight, almost dizzying list of scheduled, weekly activities. All marked in pencil by her husband and daughter on the kitchen calendar: Swimming with Sandy on Mondays and Wednesdays. Volunteer work on Tuesdays. Support Group on Thursdays. Doctor with Kathy. Tea with Mary. Lunch with Stella. Dinner with Ann.And every Friday. At the same time, that precious afternoon with lifelong friends.
Our feature documentary this week is called, Love Me Tender.

Love Me Tender was produced by Alisa Siegel.


Music

Song: Love Me Tender
Artist: Elvis Presley
Album: Elvis at the Movies



Planes, Security and the Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights

Michael Enright spokewith Kate Hanni, founder of the Coalition for an Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights about the ramped up security provisions put in place since the failed bombing of a Detroit bound plane on Christmas Day by an operative for Al Queda. She was in San Francisco.


Music

Song: The Return of Dr. Spookulus
Artist: Matthew Brubeck, David Braid
Album: Twotet/Deuxtet


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Music

Song: Concordia
Artist: Yo-Yo Ma & Friends
Album: Yo-Yo Ma & Friends - Songs of Joy and Peace



A Conversation with Dr. Sima Samar - Afghanistan's leading Human Rights Activist  

The situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate politically and militarily. The Karzai Government is in turmoil after parliament rejected the majority of the nominees for the Cabinet. The Taliban insurgency continues to grow and the U.S. and NATO allies are confounded as to what the best strategy is or should be. The Canadian involvement is beset by a mounting death toll, 4 soldiers and a journalist were killed over the Christmas Break in a road side bombing, and as well by allegations that Canadian officials were at best indifferent to the fate of Afghan detainees handed over to Afghan intelligence officials. Is there a way forward?

Michael Enright spoke with Sima Samar, Chair of the Independent Afghanistan Human Rights Commission and U.N. Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Sudan, while she was visiting in Toronto.



Music

Song: Dona nobis pacem
Artist: Yo-Yo Ma & Friends
Album: Yo-Yo Ma & Friends - Songs of Joy and Peace


Music

Song: Who by Fire (Leonard Cohen cover)
Artist: Lhasa de Sela
Album: Lhasa de Sela live performance



A Tribute to Lhasa de Sela


Lhasa de Sela was born in the town of Big Indian, New York. Her father was Mexican, her mother, American. When Lhasa was little they bought a converted school bus and began criss-crossing the continent. Lhasa and her sisters were home schooled by their mom right on the bus during the day. At night they would sing.

Lhasa died of breast cancer on New Year's day. She was just 37 years old.


Music

Song: Fool's Gold
Artist: Lhasa de Sela
Album: Lhasa

Sled Dogs to Snow Machines - Documentary

Until a few short decades ago, sled dogs outnumbered cars and trucks in the Northwest Territories. Then came the 1970's and the first snow machines. Arctic Cat, Ski-doo, Bombardier, Elan.

They couldn't keep you warm on a cold winter night. You couldn't shoot them for food if you were lost on the barrenlands.

But one test drive and northerners never looked back, except for a few die hard mushers who still prefer dog power to turbo-power. The second documentary we aired this weeks is from Yellowknife and it's called, Sled Dogs to Snow Machines.

Sled Dogs to Snow Machines was produced by Dave Miller, of CBC Yellowknife.

Music

Song: Long Ago and Far Away
Artist: Sonny Greenwich Quartet : Greenwich
Album:
Portraits


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