September 20th, 2005

Simon Wiesenthal’s death is a great loss

It is with shock and great sadness that the Central Council of Jews in Germany has learnt of the death of Simon Wiesenthal.

This Shoa survivor, born in Galicia and liberated from Mauthausen concentration camp, passed away in Vienna aged 96. The world has lost a champion of justice, tolerance and humanity. The founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Los Angeles sought not revenge but the right of millions of victims of Nazi repression never to be forgotten. Describing the driving force behind his tireless search, the prominent Nazi hunter declared: “My only clients were my Jewish conscience
, my loyalty to the Jewish people and remembrance of the dead.” Jews around the world know that this “irritating fellow“, as he was sometimes scornfully dubbed, succeeded in exposing more than 1100 Nazi criminals and bringing them before the courts.

“Simon Wiesenthal was driven by his deep-seated humanitarian convictions to dedicate his life to justice. He never remained silent. In fact, thanks to decades of dedication Wiesenthal ensured that later generations heard about the gruesome deeds for which the Nazis were responsible. We shall remember him as the conscience of the Holocaust. We are eternally grateful to him for that,” said
Paul Spiegel, President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

Berlin, 20 September 2005/16 Elul 5765