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The Devil Next Door Review

The issue with crime stories like this is that there is far too much emotion involved.

The Devil Next Door looks at a Nazi concentration camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible, a man now known as John who lives in Cleveland and has done so for many years. John is accused of being Ivan the Terrible and is sent back to Israel to be tried for his crimes, but due to the fact that the Holocaust happened some 40 years previously finding connections between Ivan the Terrible and John is no easy feat. From witness statements from people who were at the camp that he worked at and the possibility that his photofit and documents may be forged, this is no easy job to decide whether this man really is the terrible Nazi that he’s claimed to be, or not.

Watching the series it was fascinating to hear all the accounts of people who were at the concentration camp and what they had to go through. It was absolutely heart breaking and I can’t imagine having to live with that ordeal especially knowing so many died. So to have to be in a room recounting those horrible moments in front of a guy that you believe is the guy who caused so much of your suffering must’ve been so hard to deal with.

But the shock came when John was convicted as Ivan the Terrible and was going to be put to death only for his sentence to be overturned and for him to be found to have worked at a concentration camp but to not be Ivan the Terrible himself.

My take on this is it’s very awkward and I can understand the outcry of all the people. John/Ivan seems like a monster, he clearly had little to no remorse, he sat there uncaring and unfeeling as these people recounted these horror stories. When sentenced he put on a show to show that he was sick when actually he was fine and it was all to make people feel sympathy for him. It is undeniable that he was a monster but to claim that he is this specific monster, that cannot be proven, and surely it’s worse to send a man down for being a certain person and to stop the search for that person rather than for him to still be convicted of his crime but for the search for Ivan the Terrible to continue.

It’s very hard for me to comment on the show because I cannot even begin to understand the pain and hurt that these people went through with the Holocaust. All they want is justice and to think they finally found one of the worst people in the Nazi regime to then be told it’s not actually him must’ve been soul crushing. But, at the same time, wouldn’t it be worse to stop hunting for Ivan the Terrible thinking they had found him to only be proven wrong and to know that he was able to live out quite happily the rest of his life without facing justice or death for the terrible things he did? That is not justice in my eyes.

If you’re into these sorts of history documentaries and understanding more about World War II and what people went through, especially in the aftermath, then I definitely recommend this series. It is a hard watch especially hearing the survivors recount what they went through, and you will be on a rollercoaster of emotions, but it is just an utterly fascinating series and has definitely sent me down a rabbit hole of watching more shows like this to see how the world’s worst people came to justice and finally got what they deserved.

Do you think John was Ivan the Terrible?

Until next time.

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