Biography

Years in Vienna


1961-2004

Dole, Wiesenthal und Doles Gattin sitzen im Dokumentationszentrum

In 1961, the Wiesenthal family moved to Vienna. After a short period of working in collaboration with the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde, the Jewish community organization in Vienna, Simon Wiesenthal founded the Dokumentationszentrum des Bundes Jüdischer Verfolgter des Nazi Regimes, the Documentation Center of the Association of Jewish Victims of the Nazi Regime. He now devoted himself entirely to the search for Nazi criminals who, because of the impending 20-year term for the prosecution of wartime crimes dictated by the statutes of limitation in Germany and Austria, had good prospects of escaping justice if proceedings
against them were not initiated soon.

Simon Wiesenthal mit Gattin Cyla und Enkelkind

As he struggled for “justice for millions of innocent victims,” many considered him to be unswerving and purposeful while to many others he was a most inconvenient testifier and eyewitness.
In keeping with his self-imposed duty as a survivor of the Holocaust - i.e. to warn against forgetting the Shoa, which did not begin with mass murder and the gas chambers but with the dismantling of democracy and human rights - he lectured to audiences throughout the world. His numerous, widely translated books are also a part of the legacy he left behind for future generations. (Bibliography)

During his active time, Simon Wiesenthal and his family were continually subjected to anti-Semitic hostilities. In 1963, the life of his daughter was threatened by an anonymous phone caller.  After a bomb attack on his house by a member of a radical right-wing group in 1982, both his private
home and his office were constantly guarded by the police.



2005

Eine Schulklasse nach dem Gespräch mit dem Zeitzeugen Simon Wiesenthal, 1994Having gradually withdrawn from his activities after his wife’s death in 2003, Wiesenthal died peacefully in his home in Vienna, on September 20, 2005, at the age of 96. Both he and his wife are entombed in Herzliya, Israel.

 

 

 

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