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Simon Wiesenthal: The Nazi Hunter Essay

1933 words - 8 pages

Simon Wiesenthal: The Nazi Hunter
There are many heroic individuals in history that have shown greatness during a time of suffering ,as well as remorse when greatness is needed, but one individual stood out to me above them all. He served as a hero among all he knew and all who knew him. This individual, Simon Wiesenthal, deserves praise for his dedication to his heroic work tracking and prosecuting Nazi war criminals that caused thousands of Jews, Gypsies, Poles and other victims of the Holocaust to suffer and perish.

The Life of a Holocaust Victim
The effect the Holocaust had on Wiesenthal played a major role on the person he made himself to be. Born on December 31, 1908, Simon Wiesenthal lived in Buczacz, Germany which is now known as the Lvov Oblast section of the Ukraine. The Nazi-Hunter came from a small Jewish family who suffered horrifically during the Holocaust (The Simon Wiesenthal Center). Wiesenthal spent a great amount of time trying to survive in the harsh conditions while in internment camps and after escaping the last camp he attended. Wiesenthal spent weeks traveling through the wilderness until he was eventually captured by the Allies, still wondering the entire time if his wife was even alive (The Simon Wiesenthal Center). Of the 3000 prisoners in the camp Wiesenthal escaped from, only 1200 survived and Wiesenthal was one of them (Holocaust Research Project). Once Simon was safe, he began working for the War Crimes Section of the United States Army and was later reunited with his wife (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). The two were under the impression that their spouse was dead. After their reunification, they had their first child in 1946 (Holocaust Research Project). Wiesenthal opened a Jewish Documentation Center in Austria where he along with four other staff members worked to track Nazi war criminals (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). He did not seek revenge, but in stood Justice gathered and prepared evidence on Nazi war criminals. At the time, Wiesenthal also headed a welfare and relief program named ‘The Jewish Central Committee of the American Zone of Austria (Holocaust Research Project). Through all of his suffering, Wiesenthal continued to be reminded of the horrific memories from his childhood that the Holocaust had caused, and fought to bring the Nazi criminals to Justice.

Greatness in a Small Numbers
Wiesenthal was one of the few survivors that dedicated his life to serving the Nazis Justice. Formed in 1947, Wiesenthal’s documentation center contained only a few members. From this documentation center in Vienna, these few members and Wiesenthal himself alone captured 1,100 Nazis for crimes committed during the war (The Simon Wiesenthal Center). Wiesenthal’s team consisted of himself, a West German prosecutor, a blind Argentinean Jew, and his daughter (Hunting Eichmann Prologue). According to the centers’ records, about 40,000 Nazis were tried for war crimes (The Simon Wiesenthal...

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