The trial of Andrei Sawoniuk: Holocaust testimony under cross-examination

Hirsh, David. 2001. The trial of Andrei Sawoniuk: Holocaust testimony under cross-examination. Social and Legal Studies, 10(4), pp. 529-545. ISSN 09646639 [Article]

[img] Text (postprint)

Download (82kB)

Abstract or Description

Andrei Sawoniuk, a member of a Nazi-organized police outfit, led an operation in a small town in Belorus in 1942-3 to kill the Jews who had evaded the main Nazi massacre. He was found guilty, not of genocide or crimes against humanity, but of murder, according to the War Crimes Act (1991) in a trial in London in 1999. This article explores the ways in which the testimonies elicited were transformed from memoirs of the Holocaust by the rules and norms of the trial process into legally admissible evidence by the processes of cross-examination and of selecting what evidence was suitable to be considered by the jury and what was not. The extraordinariness of the events with which the trial was concerned accentuated the differences between memoir and evidence. The key witnesses in the trial found ways to circumvent the rules of the court and to speak directly to the jury.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Departments, Centres and Research Units:



1 December 2001Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

12 Mar 2009 15:42

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:27

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)