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SIMON WIESENTHAL 1908-2005

'When history looks back I want people to know the Nazis weren't able to kill millions of people and get away with it'

Simon Wiesenthal at the Western Wall in Jerusalem

Simon Wiesenthal, 96, the Nazi hunter who pursued hundreds of war criminals after World War II and was central to preserving the memory of the Holocaust for more than half a century, died today in Vienna, Austria, his base of operations.



Simon Wiesenthal with a group of Boy Scouts in Buczacz, Poland. Only one of these boys survived the Holocaust

Simon Wiesenthal was one of the lucky few who survived the Nazi death camps of World War II. Unlike many other survivors however, Mr. Wiesenthal did not return to his pre-War profession as an architect, but instead became the world famous Nazi hunter, the conscience and voice for not only the Holocaust's 6,000,000 Jewish victims but for the millions of others who were murdered by the Nazis as well. When asked why he chose his unique course, Wiesenthal explains, "When history looks back I want people to know the Nazis weren't able to kill millions of people and get away with it." His work stands as a reminder and a warning for future generations.

Simon Wiesenthal at the opening of the Museum of Tolerance, 1993

In November 1977, the Simon Wiesenthal Center was founded. Today, together with its world renowned Museum of Tolerance, it is a 400,000 member strong international center for Holocaust remembrance, the defense of human rights and the Jewish people. With offices throughout the world, the Wiesenthal Center carries on the continuing fight against bigotry and antisemitism and pursues an active agenda of related contemporary issues. "I have received many honors in my lifetime," said Mr. Wiesenthal. "When I die, these honors will die with me. But the Simon Wiesenthal Center will live on as my legacy."

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