In 1988 he was sentenced to hang, but in 1993, acquitted. In 2002 his American citizenship was revoked—for the second time. Was he guilty? And of what exactly? The Trials of John Demjanjuk probes the nature of guilt and the need for retribution as the circus of the public trial transforms the courtroom into cabaret, lawyers into Nazis, and survivors into singing emcees.
Jonathan Garfinkel has written a book of poetry, Glass Psalms, and the book Ambivalence: Adventures in Israel and Palestine (published in Canada, the US, and the UK; forthcoming in Germany and Hungary). His play The Trials of John Demjanjuk: A Holocaust Cabaret has been performed in Canada and Germany and was also published by Playwrights Canada Press. His articles have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Pen International, Judische Allgemeine, and The Walrus. Jonathan divides his time between Berlin, Budapest, and Toronto.
"There's nothing finer, for those with strong nerves, than cabaret that's the real thing…. The unfakable ingredient is that the artists must be so angry that they struggle to remain coherent…. Everything becomes furiously beautiful and cruelly funny…. Garfinkel has prepared an acidic script… hideously magnetic."—**** The Globe and Mail