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Simon Wiesenthal, holocaust survivor turned Nazi hunter, dies

Agence France-Presse – September 20, 2005

VIENNA, Sept 20 (AFP) – Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal, an untiring campaigner who helped track down hundreds of Nazi war criminals, died Tuesday in Vienna aged 96, the US-based center which bears his name said.

Wiesenthal, who died after a long illness, helped bring more than 1,100 Nazi criminals to justice, according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which did not give the cause of his death.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Los Angeles-based center, described Wiesenthal as “the conscience of the Holocaust”.

“When the Holocaust ended in 1945 and the whole world went home to forget, he alone remained behind to remember,” Hier said in a statement.

“He did not forget. He became the permanent representative of the victims, determined to bring the perpetrators of the historys greatest crime to justice. “

Born in 1908 in the town of Buchach in what is now Ukraine, Wiesenthal practised architecture prior to World War II, when he was twice imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps, in 1941-43 and 1944-45.

Wiesenthal was freed by American soldiers from the camp at Mauthausen in central Austria in May 1945, but dozens of his family members, among them his mother, stepfather and stepbrother died in the Nazi genocide.

He founded the Jewish Documentation Center in Vienna two years after the end of the war and in 1977 helped set up the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, to fight bigotry and anti-Semitism worldwide.

Wiesenthal played an important part in helping the Israeli secret service track down Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Nazis’ “Final Solution” — the extermination of Europe’s Jewish population.

Eichmann was seized by Israeli agents in Argentina and taken to Israel to be tried. He was executed there in 1961.

O caçador de Nazis, o homem que foi a voz e consciência não só dos 6 milhões de judeus assassinados, mas também de muitos outros milhões afectados directamente pelo holocausto, finalmente perdeu uma batalha.
Por muitos desconhecido, Wiesenthal será sempre recordado como um dos maiores heróis da pós-guerra pelos seus actos heróicos.
A sua fundação perpetuará o seu nome.
Que descanse em paz.

Para saber mais sobre Wiesenthal, clique aqui.

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