Tuesday, September 20, 2005

 

Simon Weisenthal, A True Hero Passes Away

Simon Weisental, a true Jewish hero who helped bring justice to over a thousand Nazi war criminals, passed away today at the age of 96. Your righteous work will never be forgotten, may you rest in peace.

Simon Weisenthal (1908-2005) [picture taken from Jpost.com]

Simon Wiesenthal, the Holocaust survivor who helped track down numerous Nazi war criminals following World War II and spent the later decades of his life fighting anti-Semitism and prejudice against all people, died Tuesday at the age of 96.

Wiesenthal passed away in his sleep at his home in Vienna, Austria, according to Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.

Rabbi Hier told The Jerusalem Post that Wiesenthal's family, who live in Israel, were en route to Vienna to retrieve his body. He will be buried in Israel, and a memorial at the center will be held at a later date, Hier said.

Hier believes the contribution of Simon Wiesenthal to history is best described as keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive during the crucial years.

"One must understand that before writers like Wiesel or directors like Spielberg created movies and books, the Holocaust was on the way to being forgotten. But when Simon went after Nazis, it made news."

"He kept the memory alive when no one had time to hunt Nazis. In the 1950s, the US was busy with the Cold War, while Israel had its own troubles with the Arabs," he added.

Hier explained, "He just took the job. It was a job no one else wanted. He was the only full-time Nazi hunter. A day after World War II ended, Wiesenthal handed over a crumbling list of Nazis to US Army intelligence. He also cooperated with Israeli authorities, especially the Mossad."

"Simon did not want to be a Nazi hunter, he was an architect by profession. However, the Holocaust forced him into action; 89 members of his family were murdered by the Nazis. He couldn't forget, he believed someone had to go after the criminals," said Hier.

According to Rabbi Hier, "For years, he was all by himself. He was even forced to close the center several times in the past because he didn't have money. In the mid 50s he even received a tip that Adolf Eichmann was in Argentina but was unable to afford the trip at the time."

Hier said that until the age of 92-93, Wiesenthal came into the office every day. "In the last couple of years his health deteriorated, but his mind remained clear," he said.

Wiensenthal was perhaps best known for his role in tracking down Eichmann. He often was accused of exaggerating his role in Eichmann's capture. He did not claim sole responsibility, but said he knew by 1954 where Eichmann was.

Eichmann's capture "was a teamwork of many who did not know each other," Wiesenthal told AP in 1972. "I do not know if and to what extent reports I sent to Israel were used."

Aside from Eichmann, among the 1,100 Nazi war criminals Wiesenthal helped bring to justice, were the commanders of Treblinka and Sobibor, and also the Nazi who arrested Anne Frank, Karl Silberbauer.

On behalf of the government, Deputy Minister of Social and Diaspora Affairs in charge of Anti-Semitism, Rabbi Michael Melchior, issued the following statement: "The Israeli government mourns the passing of a great man. One of the greatest figures in the Jewish world has passed away. Simon Wiesenthal was a man who emerged from the infernal concentration camps with the purpose of pursuing justice.

According to Melchior, "Wiesenthal, more than anyone else in the world, represented the belief that anti-Semitism and crimes against humanity are not mitigated with passing time, nor are they ever forgiven."

Yad Vashem also responded to Wiesenthal's passing: "Yad Vashem has learned with sadness of the passing of Simon Wiesenthal, in Vienna. Wiesenthal dedicated his life to bringing Nazi criminals to justice and to ensuring that the memory of the Holocaust will never fade."

"The symbol of Nazi-Hunting, Wiesenthal began his mission immediately after the war ended, and did not rest until his final days. Through his tireless efforts, many Nazi war criminals were prevented from escaping their due punishment, compelled instead to face the force of international law. He was unique in an environment that did not do enough to bring the guilty to justice."

"In his determination to expose the crimes of Nazis, Wiesenthal was the world's conscience, determined to document the full extent of Nazi war crimes, and hold those responsible accountable for their actions. Yad Vashem mourns this tremendous loss to the Jewish and international community."

"In the mid-1950's, Wiesenthal gave Yad Vashem hundreds of files and material from his the Jewish Historical Documentation Center in Linz, Austria, which he closed. In 1960 he gave Yad Vashem a written testimony, and in 1986 he gave Yad Vashem audio testimony," the statement concluded.
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Comments:
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this blog is not a place to vent your jew hatred, i have deleted your foul comment.

 
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The world is a poorer place without this great man.

Lorna
Scotland

 
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Glad to see that the premier liar of the 20th Century is now gone and rotting in hell where he belongs.

 
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