Wiesenthal, Simon

SKU: AUT6996


Simon Wiesenthal, KBE (31 December 1908 – 20 September 2005) was an Austrian Jewish Holocaust survivor who became famous after World War II for his work as a Nazi hunter.  Document Signed, 01/31/1993 - 8 x 112 -  (PP12) Bulletin:  signed in the hand of the author with blue ink;  twelve pages of data concering his work in Europe and Americia.  This typed document signed, is a complete issue.  Overall, fine/very fine condition. 


He studied architecture and was living in Lwów at the outbreak of World War II. After being forced to work as a slave labourer in Nazi concentration camps such as Janowska, Plaszow, and Mauthausen during the war, Wiesenthal dedicated most of his life to tracking down and gathering information on fugitive Nazi war criminals so that they could be brought to trial. 

In 1947 he co-founded the Jewish Historical Documentation Center in Linz, Austria, where he and others gathered information for future war crime trials and aided refugees in their search for lost relatives. 

He opened the Jewish Documentation Center in Vienna in 1961 and continued to try to locate missing Nazi war criminals. He played a small role in locating Adolf Eichmann, who was captured in Buenos Aires in 1960, and worked closely with the Austrian justice ministry to prepare a dossier on Franz Stangl, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1971.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Wiesenthal was involved in two high-profile events involving Austrian politicians. Shortly after Bruno Kreisky was inaugurated as Austrian chancellor in April 1970, Wiesenthal pointed out to the press that four of his new cabinet appointees had been members of the Nazi Party. Kreisky, angry, called Wiesenthal a "Jewish Nazi" and likened his organisation to the Mafia.

He later accused him of collaborating with the Nazis. Wiesenthal successfully sued for libel; the suit was settled in 1989.

In 1986, Wiesenthal was involved in the case of Kurt Waldheim, whose Nazi past was revealed in the lead-up to the 1986 Austrian presidential elections. Wiesenthal, embarrassed that he had previously cleared Waldheim of any wrongdoing, suffered much negative publicity as a result of this event. 

Wiesenthal died in his sleep at age 96 in Vienna on 20 September 2005, and was buried in the city of Herzliya in Israel.

He was survived by his daughter, Paulinka Kriesberg, and three grandchildren. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, located in Los Angeles, is named in his honour. 

Within three weeks of the liberation of Mauthausen, Wiesenthal had prepared a list of around a hundred names of suspected Nazi war criminals—mostly guards, camp commandants, and members of the Gestapo—and presented it to a War Crimes office of the American Counterintelligence Corps at Mauthausen. 

He worked as an interpreter, accompanying officers who were carrying out arrests, though he was still very frail. When Austria was partitioned in July 1945, Mauthausen fell into the Soviet-occupied zone, so the American War Crimes Office was moved to Linz. Wiesenthal went with them, and was housed in a displaced persons camp. 

He served as vice-chairman of the area’s Jewish Central Committee, an organisation that attempted to arrange basic care for Jewish refugees and tried to help people gather information about their missing family members.