Miss Mabrouk of Egypt

Check the archives too - a lot of good stuff to enjoy. Me myself? Off to new adventures in the blogosphere, if time permits.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Simon Wiesenthal, RIP

Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal dies at 96
Simon Wiesenthal, the Holocaust survivor who helped track down numerous Nazi war criminals following World War II, then spent the later decades of his life fighting anti-Semitism and prejudice against all people, died in his sleep at his home in Vienna on Tuesday. He was 96 years old.

Wiesenthal, who had been an architect before World War II, changed his life's mission after the war, dedicating himself to tracking down Nazi war criminals and to being a voice for the 6 million Jews who died during the Holocaust. 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.

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 (45 kilograms) when he was freed. He said he quickly realized "there is no freedom without justice," and decided to dedicate "a few years" to seeking justice. "It became decades," he added.

Even after reaching the age of 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 said in an interview with The Associated Press in May 1999. "What happened to the Jews cannot be compared with all the other crimes. Every Jew had a death sentence without a date."

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home