Friday, September 23, 2005

Simon Wiesenthal

Once in a while, HanWorks Research dedicates a post to history -- past events that have had profound impact on the human race, and the movers and shakers who made the world it is today.

News: Simon Wiesenthal was buried in Herziliya on Friday, but no government ministers attended the funeral.

Simon Wiesenthal was a Holocaust survivor and a famed Nazi hunter who spent the rest of life after the war chasing escaped Nazis and building up cases against them so that they would be bought to justice.

Notably, he also assisted Israeli intelligence (Mossad) in tracking down Adolf Eichmann, one of the most high-ranking Nazi to be ever caught.

My first encounter with the name "Simon Wiesenthal" was in Frederick Forsyth's The Odessa File, where the ODESSA is an organisation/network that helps former SS members. Sadly, today is my second encounter with his name.

Unfortunately, Wiesenthal's work has not always been appreciated. Chasing war criminals is no small and easy job. It takes patience, time and courage. Although there were opposition from governments (Americans and Russians during the Cold War), he eventually won the hearts of many.

"He was ... the conscience of the Holocaust," said Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. "Nobody did more than he to bring the perpetrators of history's greatest crime to justice."

No doubt, it was a tiring job, but he had a stong conscience for justice. Today, people like him are few and far between, and there are even fewer people who choose the road less taken by.

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