Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Simon Wiesenthal

After a truly full and productive life Simon Wiesenthal has died.
Simon Wiesenthal, the Holocaust survivor who dedicated his life to tracking down Nazi war criminals and bringing them to justice, has died. He was 96.
Wiesenthal died in Vienna today, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said in a statement.
The Jewish hunter of the Nazi regime's most elusive war criminals spent almost six decades collecting information on those considered most responsible for the killing of 6 million Jews during World War II. Wiesenthal said he had helped track down 1,100 Nazis by the time he retired in April 2003, according to Efraim Zuroff, director of the Israeli branch of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem.
"My job is done," Wiesenthal told the Austrian magazine Format after his retirement. "I found the mass murderers I was looking for. I survived them all."
One of his successes was to locate Franz Stangl, the commandant of the Treblinka and Sobibor concentration camps in Poland, who was hiding in Brazil. In 1967, Stangl was sentenced to life in prison, where he died.
Wiesenthal also played a central role in tracking down Karl Silberbauer, the Nazi officer who arrested Anne Frank, the German Jewish teenager who wrote a diary while hiding in an Amsterdam apartment. Silberbauer, who was a police officer in Austria at the time of his arrest, corroborated Frank's story, helping to discredit claims that "The Diary of Anne Frank" was a forgery.
See here for more about his extraordinary life.

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