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Posted: 9/20/2005 6:08:57 AM EDT
LOS ANGELES (Sept. 20) - Simon Wiesenthal, the Holocaust survivor who helped track down Nazi war criminals following World War II, then spent the later decades of his life fighting anti-Semitism and prejudice against all people, died Tuesday. He was 96.

Wiesenthal died in his sleep at his home in Vienna, said Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.

"I think he'll be remembered as the conscience of the Holocaust. In a way he became the permanent representative of the victims of the Holocaust, determined to bring the perpetrators of the greatest crime to justice," Hier told The Associated Press.

Wiesenthal, who was an architect before World War II, changed his life's mission after the war, dedicating himself to trying to track down Nazi war criminals and to being a voice for the 6 million Jews who died during the onslaught. He himself lost 89 relatives in the Holocaust.

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.

"When history looks back I want people to know the Nazis weren't able to kill millions of people and get away with it," he once said.


"The most important thing I have done is to fight against forgetting and to keep remembrance alive."
-Simon Wiesenthal

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that Wiesenthal "brought justice to those who had escaped justice."

"He acted on behalf of 6 million people who could no longer defend themselves," ministry spokesman Mark Regev said. "The state of Israel, the Jewish people and all those who oppose racism recognized Simon Wiesenthal's unique contribution to making our planet a better place."

Calls of remorse poured into Wiesenthal's office in Vienna, where one of his longtime assistants, Trudi Mergili, struggled to deal with her grief.

"It was expected," she said. "But it is still so hard."

Wiesenthal was first sent to a concentration camp in 1941, outside Lviv, Ukraine, according to the Wiesenthal Center Web site. In October 1943, he escaped from the Ostbahn camp just before the Germans began killing all the inmates. He was recaptured in June 1944 and sent back to Janwska, but escaped death as his SS guards retreated westward with their prisoners from the Soviet Red Army.

Wiesenthal's quest began after the Americans liberated the Mauthausen death camp in Austria where Wiesenthal was a prisoner in May 1945. It was his fifth death camp among the dozen Nazi camps in which he was imprisoned, and he weighed just 99 pounds when he was freed. He said he quickly realized "there is no freedom without justice," and decided to dedicate "a few years" to that mission.

"It became decades," he added.

Even after turning 90, Wiesenthal continued to remind and to warn. While appalled at atrocities committed by Serbs against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo in the 1990s, he said no one should confuse the tragedy there with the Holocaust.

"We are living in a time of the trivialization of the word 'Holocaust,"' he told AP in 1999. "What happened to the Jews cannot be compared with all the other crimes. Every Jew had a death sentence without a date."

Wiesenthal's life spanned a violent century.

He was born on Dec. 31, 1908, to Jewish merchants at Buczacs, a small town near the present-day Ukrainian city of Lviv in what was then the Austro-Hungarian empire. He studied in Prague and Warsaw and in 1932 received a degree in civil engineering.

He apprenticed as a building engineer in Russia before returning to Lviv to open an architectural office. Then the Russians and the Germans occupied Lviv and the terror began.

After the war ended, working first with the Americans and later from a cramped Vienna apartment packed floor to ceiling with documents, Wiesenthal tirelessly pursued fugitive Nazi war criminals.

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.

Wiesenthal 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 the AP in 1972. "I do not know if and to what extent reports I sent to Israel were used."

Among others Wiesenthal tracked down was Austrian policeman Karl Silberbauer, who he believed arrested the Dutch teenager Anne Frank and sent her to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where she died.

Wiesenthal decided to pursue Silberbauer in 1958 after a youth told him he did not believe in 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.

Wiesenthal's long quest for justice also stirred controversy.

In Austria, which took decades to acknowledge its own role in Nazi crimes, Wiesenthal was ignored and often insulted before finally being honored for his work when he was in his 80s.

In 1975, then-Chancellor Bruno Kreisky, himself a Jew, suggested Wiesenthal was part of a "certain mafia" seeking to besmirch Austria. Kreisky even claimed Wiesenthal collaborated with Nazis to survive.

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.

Wiesenthal's failure to condemn Waldheim as a war criminal drew international ire and conflict with American Jewish groups. But it made Austrians realize that the Nazi hunter did not condemn everybody who took part in the Nazi war effort.

Wiesenthal did repeatedly demand Waldheim's resignation, seeing him as a symbol of those who suppressed Austria's role as part of Hitler's German war and death machine. But he turned up no proof of widespread allegations that Waldheim was an accessory to war crimes.

Wiesenthal's work exposed him to danger.

His house and office have been guarded by an armed police officer since June 1982, when a bomb exploded at his front door, causing severe damage but resulting in no injuries, according to the Wiesenthal Center Web site. One German and several Austrian neo-Nazis were arrested.

He pursued his crusade of remembrance into old age with the vigor of youth, with patience and determination. But as he entered his 90s, he worried that his mission would die with him.

"I think in a way the world owes him and his memory a tremendous amount of gratitude," Hier said.

Wiesenthal had more distinguished foreign awards than any other living Austrian citizen. In 1995, the city of Vienna made him an honorary citizen. He also wrote several books, including his memoirs, "The Murderers Among Us," in 1967, and worked regularly at the small downtown office of his Jewish Documentation Center even after turning 90.

"The most important thing I have done is to fight against forgetting and to keep remembrance alive," he said in the 1999 interview with The Associated Press. "It is very important to let people know that our enemies are not forgotten."

Wiesenthal's wife, Cyla, whom he married in 1936, died in November 2003.

A memorial service is tentatively planned to be held in Vienna's central cemetery on Wednesday. Funeral services will be in Israel, said Avra Shapiro, the Wiesenthal Center's public relations director.

Link Posted: 9/20/2005 6:12:41 AM EDT
What a shame
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 6:19:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LUGERMAN:
What a shame



Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

anyway,

RIP Mr. Wiesenthal
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 6:42:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By unkempt1:

Originally Posted By LUGERMAN:
What a shame



Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm




Evidently. I hate Nazis. I really really hate Nazis. So it's too bad Mr. Wiesenthal went before finding more of the bastards.

Oh, and it's 11 million people, not 6. 6 million Jews + 5 million political prisoners, Poles, catholics, protestants, homosexuals, Russians, Czechs, etc.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 6:52:06 AM EDT
R.I.P. Mr. Wiesenthal. You performed a great service to the world, helping to rid the world of Nazi scum.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 6:56:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Nimrod1193:
R.I.P. Mr. Wiesenthal. You performed a great service to the world, helping to rid the world of Nazi scum.




+1
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:03:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By piccolo:

Originally Posted By Nimrod1193:
R.I.P. Mr. Wiesenthal. You performed a great service to the world, helping to rid the world of Nazi scum.




+1



+2
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:09:11 AM EDT
96 years old!
Just goes to show ya that Nazi hunting will keep ya young.
It's important to keep up with active hobbies after you retire.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:13:30 AM EDT
I will always think of him as Lawrence Olivier in "The Boys From Brazil".

RIP.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:15:20 AM EDT
RIP, Mr. Wiesenthal.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:22:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LUGERMAN:
What a shame



What a shame some idiot donated a computer to your institution.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:27:13 AM EDT
As a Pole who lost family in the Camps, he will be missed.

Av.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:29:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:30:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:30:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
I will always think of him as Lawrence Olivier in "The Boys From Brazil".

RIP.



Me too! LOL
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:32:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 7:33:06 AM EDT by Alien]

Originally Posted By LUGERMAN:
What a shame



Hmmmmmm LUGERMAN

Nothing wrong with liking Lugers, but there is something wrong with you. You probably can't see it though. Thanks for showing your true colors though.

R.I.P. Mr Wiesenthal
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 7:36:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LUGERMAN:
What a shame



Are you a racist/neo-Nazi or something? I saw another post of yours today that was edited and said "racist remarks removed".
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 8:07:29 AM EDT
a good soldier bites the dust.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 8:09:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 8:10:18 AM EDT by KlubMarcus]
How many of them did he catch after the war? 1100, real or an estimate?
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 8:12:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bumblebee_Bob:

Originally Posted By piccolo:

Originally Posted By Nimrod1193:
R.I.P. Mr. Wiesenthal. You performed a great service to the world, helping to rid the world of Nazi scum.




+1



+2



+3
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 8:18:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 8:21:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LUGERMAN:
What a shame




Nitwit.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 8:26:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DLoken:

Originally Posted By LUGERMAN:
What a shame



Are you a racist/neo-Nazi or something? I saw another post of yours today that was edited and said "racist remarks removed".



"Illinois Nazis.. I hate Illinois Nazis.."
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 8:31:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By hardcorps1775:
a good soldier bites the dust.



Well said. What tenacity! RIP Mr. Wiesenthal.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 8:31:54 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 8:39:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Nimrod1193:
R.I.P. Mr. Wiesenthal. You performed a great service to the world, helping to rid the world of Nazi scum.



+1,000,000

one of my heros.....
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 8:43:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By piccolo:

Originally Posted By Nimrod1193:
R.I.P. Mr. Wiesenthal. You performed a great service to the world, helping to rid the world of Nazi scum.




+1



+10000000 but unfortunately he didn't get them all...


oh, and fuck off lugerman you nazi piece of shit.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 9:12:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 9:14:05 AM EDT by red65]
never mind
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 9:17:16 AM EDT
God, I can never understand what would cause someone to shit in a thread about something as somber as this.

They are like the class clown that still laughs eve though everyone else doesn't.

R.I.P. Mr. Wiesenthal, You saw and did more in your life then I can ever hope or want to experience.

Thanks for your contributions in persacuting war criminals.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 9:19:46 AM EDT

I hate Nazis. I really really hate Nazis. So it's too bad Mr. Wiesenthal went before finding more of the bastards.

+1
Nazis should all be shot on sight.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 9:20:58 AM EDT
He was a damn good man, and society owes him a huge debt.

Rest in peace, Simon, you've earned it.

Bob
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 9:23:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LUGERMAN:
What a shame



Stop polluting my beloved AR15.com with your racist nazi BS. Eat shit and die, you fucking cocksucker.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 9:50:43 AM EDT
Godspeed Simon Wisenthal.

Go fuck yourself LUGERDORK.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:05:56 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:08:34 AM EDT
I always found something cool about the title, "Nazi Hunter"

Could you imagine if your high school counselor told you your career would be.....NAZI HUNTER?

That would be awesome!
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:09:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By shotar:

Originally Posted By thelastgunslinger:

Originally Posted By LUGERMAN:
What a shame



Stop polluting my beloved AR15.com with your racist nazi BS. Eat shit and die, you fucking cocksucker.



You know, it occurrs to me. This closet 88 would not have been outed without this thread. Even in death, Mr. Weisenthal got another one.



+1
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:12:47 AM EDT
Oddly enough, I don't know much about him specifically, but I do know about the ones who simply refused to let the Nazi scumbags skate.

May the Lord have you in His care. I'm sure you made the Nazis fear you more than they ever made you fear them.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:13:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By shotar:

Originally Posted By thelastgunslinger:

Originally Posted By LUGERMAN:
What a shame



Stop polluting my beloved AR15.com with your racist nazi BS. Eat shit and die, you fucking cocksucker.



You know, it occurrs to me. This closet 88 would not have been outed without this thread. Even in death, Mr. Weisenthal got another one.





Good point!
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:14:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Nimrod1193:
R.I.P. Mr. Wiesenthal. You performed a great service to the world, helping to rid the world of Nazi scum.



Amen.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:19:17 AM EDT
Didn't the Wiesenthal Center label the NRA a "right wing terrorist group" about 5 years ago. I lost all respect for the man when that happened.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:36:48 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:43:07 AM EDT
I always found his story interesting due to the fact that he slit his own wrists while in a concentration camp in 1944 and was just barely saved by SS doctors. He was given double rations while recovering.

I guess he was a good worker. Why else would resources have been spent to save his life, if he was to be gassed later? I always thought that was weird.

Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:45:45 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:50:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 10:52:03 AM EDT by Zarathustra1]

Originally Posted By shotar:

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:
I always found his story interesting due to the fact that he slit his own wrists while in a concentration camp in 1944 and was just barely saved by SS doctors. He was given double rations while recovering.

I guess he was a good worker. Why else would resources have been spent to save his life, if he was to be gassed later? I always thought that was weird.




Simple. He was chosen by God for a great mission. The doctors had no choice in the matter.




Yikes...So neither did the Nazis then.

I didn't know John Calvin posted on ARF.com
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:53:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By shotar:

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:
I always found his story interesting due to the fact that he slit his own wrists while in a concentration camp in 1944 and was just barely saved by SS doctors. He was given double rations while recovering.

I guess he was a good worker. Why else would resources have been spent to save his life, if he was to be gassed later? I always thought that was weird.




Simple. He was chosen by God for a great mission. The doctors had no choice in the matter.



+1 What's the life expectancy for a camp survivor, let alone one who led such a vigorous life?

You gotta marvel that he got a longer run than almost any Nazi, whether he had a hand in their capture or not.

Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:56:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CITADELGRAD87:

Originally Posted By shotar:

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:
I always found his story interesting due to the fact that he slit his own wrists while in a concentration camp in 1944 and was just barely saved by SS doctors. He was given double rations while recovering.

I guess he was a good worker. Why else would resources have been spent to save his life, if he was to be gassed later? I always thought that was weird.




Simple. He was chosen by God for a great mission. The doctors had no choice in the matter.



+1 What's the life expectancy for a camp survivor, let alone one who led such a vigorous life?

You gotta marvel that he got a longer run than almost any Nazi, whether he had a hand in their capture or not.




Why marvel at the man if it was divine intervention? He could not have done otherwise.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:56:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By LUGERMAN:
What a shame



What a shame some idiot donated a computer to your institution.




No kidding. I guess that screen name "Lugarman" tells the story.

Fuck Nazis. Anybody who brings one in, and I mean even if the piece of shit is 100 years old, is OK by me.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:57:44 AM EDT
Rest In Peace Sir.

Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:58:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:

Originally Posted By shotar:

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:
I always found (blah, blah, blah)...




Simple. He was chosen by God for a great mission. The doctors had no choice in the matter.




Yikes...So neither did the Nazis then.

I didn't know John Calvin posted on ARF.com



For those that missed it, here Zarathustra1 demonstrates that he doesn't understand Calvinism, just like most other subjects he posts about.

Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:59:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:

Originally Posted By CITADELGRAD87:

Originally Posted By shotar:

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:
I always found his story interesting due to the fact that he slit his own wrists while in a concentration camp in 1944 and was just barely saved by SS doctors. He was given double rations while recovering.

I guess he was a good worker. Why else would resources have been spent to save his life, if he was to be gassed later? I always thought that was weird.




Simple. He was chosen by God for a great mission. The doctors had no choice in the matter.



+1 What's the life expectancy for a camp survivor, let alone one who led such a vigorous life?

You gotta marvel that he got a longer run than almost any Nazi, whether he had a hand in their capture or not.




Why marvel at the man if it was divine intervention? He could not have done otherwise.



Where does it say I marvel at the man? I'm pointing out things ABOUT the man that support divine intervention.

Do you not marvel at divine intervention? Surely we haven't become that jaded.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 11:00:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:

Originally Posted By shotar:

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:
I always found (blah, blah, blah)...




Simple. He was chosen by God for a great mission. The doctors had no choice in the matter.




Yikes...So neither did the Nazis then.

I didn't know John Calvin posted on ARF.com



For those that missed it, here Zarathustra1 demonstrates that he doesn't understand Calvinism, just like most other subjects he posts about.




Yawn. Give me a one-sentence definition of it then.
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