Simon Wiesenthal laid to rest in Herzliya, Israel Friday

After dedicating six decades to hunting Nazi criminals responsible for killing 6 million Jews in World War II and bringing them to justice, Simon Wiesenthal retired in 2003,. He had helped track down 1,100 Nazis and said: “My job is done. I found the mass murderers I was looking for. I survived them all.”
Wiesenthal was liberated from Mauthausen death camp by American troops in May 1945. After recovering, he plunged into the work that became his life by helping the US army gather documentation for the Nazi war-crime trials.
“Survival is a privilege which entails obligations,” he wrote in his book “Justice, Not Vengeance: Recollections.”
Wiesenthal’s role in the capture of Adolf Eichman, head of the Gestapo’s Jewish department has often been argued. He is reported to have tipped Israeli intelligence on the Nazi criminal’s presence in Argentina in 1953. Mossad agents finally captured him in 1959 and put him on trial in Jerusalem. Eichman was executed for his crimes in 1961.
The Nazi hunter located and brought to trial Franz Stangl, commandant of the Treblinka and Sobibor concentrations camps in Poland, who was hiding in Brazil, and Karl Silberbauer, the Nazi officer who arrested Anne Frank in Amsterdam. He was also instrumental in the extradition to Germany in 1973 of Hermine Braunsteiner. The supervisor of the murder of hundreds of children in Majdanek had made a new life as a housewife living in Queens, New York.
He often faced threats and survived a bomb that exploded outside his Vienna home in 1982.
Born in Buczacz, Astro-Hungary in a region of the present day Ukraine, Wiesenthal spent most of the war in concentration camps separated from his wife, Cyla.
Eulogized by Rabbi Marvin Hier, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles as “the conscience of the Holocaust,” he was awarded the Medal of Honor of the Yad Vashem foundation in Jerusalem, the Dutch Medal of Freedom and the US Congressional Gold Medal, as well as an honorary knighthood form Queen Elizabeth II. A film “The Boys from Brazil” based on Wiesenthal’s life was made in 1978 with Laurence Olivier playing him in the starring role.

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