Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Simon Wiesenthal dies at 96

Simon Wiesenthal, Holocaust survivor and the world's most famous Nazi hunter, has died at the age of 96. Instrumental in the discovery of Adolf Eichmann hiding in Argentina, Wiesenthal is credited with tracking down some 1100 Nazi war criminals throughout a 50 year career. Wiesenthal helped bring some sense of justice to the 6.5 million Jews butchered by the Germans in the 1930's and 1940's. More here and here.

A character loosely based on Wiesenthal was played by Sir Lawrence Olivier in the movie, "The Boys from Brazil", with Gregory Peck playing the Nazi hunter's most coveted prey, Dr. Josef Mengele, the "Angel of Death" of the Auschwitz concentration camp. In reality, Wiesenthal was never able to locate Mengele and the world's most wanted Nazi butcher finally died in South America some years ago. After seeing the movie, every time I heard Wiesenthal's name I pictured him as looking, talking and acting like the Olivier character. Silly, but that's the way it was.

I would imagine that there are still some people alive today who will breathe a sigh of relief upon hearing this news. Justice awaits.

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