Sago Boulevard

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

May His Memory Be For Blessing

Nazi Hunter Simon Wiesenthal Dies at 96
Simon Wiesenthal, 96, the controversial 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 early today at his home in Vienna, Austria. He had a kidney ailment.

Called the "deputy for the dead" and "avenging archangel" of the Holocaust, Wiesenthal after the war created a repository of concentration camp testimonials and dossiers on Nazis at his Jewish Documentation Center. The information was used to help lawyers prosecute those responsible for some of the 20th century's most abominable crimes.

Wiesenthal spoke of the horrors first-hand, having spent the war hovering near death in a series of labor and extermination camps. Nearly 90 members of his family perished.

After the Nuremberg Trials of the late 1940s, Wiesenthal remained a persistent and lonely voice calling for war crimes trials of former Nazis.