Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Nazi hunter dies

"Simon Wiesenthal, the Holocaust survivor who helped track down Nazi war criminals following World War II and spent the later decades of his life fighting anti-Semitism and prejudice, has died aged 96."
  • "Wiesenthal spent more than 50 years hunting Nazi war criminals, speaking out against neo-Nazism and racism, and remembering the Jewish experience as a lesson for humanity. Through his work, he said, some 1,100 Nazi war criminals were brought to justice."
  • "... Wiesenthal began his work on May 9, 1945 — the day after World War II ended — by presenting his American liberators a list of Nazi war criminals that he had compiled. He took on a task nobody else wanted."
  • "He was perhaps best known for his role in tracking down Adolf Eichmann, the one-time SS leader who organized the extermination of the Jews. Eichmann was found in Argentina, abducted by Israeli agents in 1960, tried and hanged for crimes committed against the Jews."
  • "Among others Wiesenthal tracked was Austrian policeman Karl Silberbauer, who he believes arrested the Dutch teenager Anne Frank and sent her to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where she died. Officials never reacted to the tip. Wiesenthal decided to pursue Silberbauer in 1958 after a youth told him he did not believe in Anne Frank's existence and murder, but would if Wiesenthal could find the man who arrested her. His five-year search resulted in Silberbauer's 1963 capture."
  • "Wiesenthal did not bring to justice one prime target — Dr. Josef Mengele, the infamous 'Angel of Death' of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Mengele died in South America after eluding capture for decades.
  • "Ironically, it was the furor over Kurt Waldheim, who became president in 1986 despite lying about his past as an officer in Hitler's army, that gave Wiesenthal stature in Austria."


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