Simon WiesenthalNazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal passed away in his sleep at his home in Vienna, Austria at the age of 96. The LA times has an excellent obituary which concludes as follows:

Wiesenthal spoke often of a Sabbath dinner he had spent at the home of another survivor of Mauthausen, who had become a wealthy jeweler. The man speculated that Wiesenthal could have become a millionaire if he had gone back to architecture instead of hunting Nazis.

“When we come to the other world,” Wiesenthal said he responded, “and meet the millions of Jews who died in the camps, and they ask us, ‘What have you done?’ there will be many answers.

“You will tell them, ‘I became a jeweler.’

“Another will say, ‘I smuggled coffee and American cigarettes.’

“Another will say, ‘I built houses.’

“But I will say, ‘I didn’t forget you.’.”

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ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

10 Comments

  • Back when I was a little yeshiva girl and we learned about the Holocaust, I did a term paper on Simon Wiesenthal–together with Elie Wiesel, he was an icon of post-Holocaust heroism; instead of choosing to go back to his pre-war life, he chose a much more aggressive stance, to track down the Nazis and make sure that they were held accountable for their crimes. I don’t know many of us who would have the strength of will and spirit to continue in this pursuit as long as he did.

    May his memory be for a blessing and his dedication to justice be an inspiration to people of all faiths.

  • simon was an icon…not only a Jewish icon…but
    an icon to humanity….may he be blessed…and he will remain “a living legend”…samuel of montreal

  • I just want to say that LA Times article is by far the best article about him out there today. It’s a great read. Thanks, ck.

  • i just felt that i should say something about how his stories have impacted me and what an or l’goyim he was to all nations, jews and the like. he truly was a righteous man and has inspired me as well as countless others to always search for justice and never to forget.

    may his memory always be a blessing

  • I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Simon Wiesenthal. Simply put, he was my hero. A Jewish victim of the Nazi death machine, who picked up the fight for millions of slaughtered innocents and hunted after their killers. He, along with the resurrection of the State of Israel, filled the chest of every Jew with a powerful pride, that we weren’t the pitiful, wandering Jews, destined to suffer. That we could and would strike back at those who seek our destruction, and seek justice for our massacred friends and families…

    There are no words.

    I feel like a certain threshold in history has been crossed, as if we’re in the closing chapter of the last generation of survivors. Soon, it will rest on us, the last generation to have met and heard the survivors tell their harrowing stories, to carry forward the lessons of the Shoah. I tremble with the thought of having to bear such a unfathomable weight…

    This has renewed my conviction that everyone who can should go on “March of the Living”. I plan on attending this year. One can see from the conditions in eastern Europe that many of the death camps / monuments will not be around forever, and that many will be gone in our lifetime. As the last generation to have known survivors, it is all the more important that we witness these sites ourselves, and see the demonic infrastructure of genocide with our own two eyes…

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