The head Nazi-hunter’s trail of lies
The London Times | July 19, 2009
UPDATE: The article was removed from the source site on August 14, 2009.
Simon Wiesenthal, famed for his pursuit of justice, caught fewer war criminals than he claimed and fabricated much of his own Holocaust story.
Since the early 1960s Simon Wiesenthal’s name has become synonymous with Nazi hunting. His standing is that of a secular saint. Nominated four times for the Nobel peace prize, the recipient of a British honorary knighthood, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the French Légion d’honneur and at least 53 other distinctions, he was often credited with some 1,100 Nazi “scalps”. He is remembered, above all, for his efforts to track down Adolf Eichmann, one of the most notorious war criminals.
His reputation is built on sand, however. He was a liar — and a bad one at that. From the end of the second world war to the end of his life in 2005, he would lie repeatedly about his supposed hunt for Eichmann as well as his other Nazi-hunting exploits. He would also concoct outrageous stories about his
war years and make false claims about his academic career. There are so many inconsistencies between his three main memoirs and between those memoirs and contemporaneous documents, that it is impossible to establish a reliable narrative from them. Wiesenthal’s scant regard for the truth mapossible to doubt everything he ever wrote or said.
He did bring some Nazis to justice; but it was in nothing like the quantity that is claimed and Eichmann was certainly not among them.
Wiesenthal died in 2005 at the age of 96 and was buried in Israel. The tributes and eulogies were many and fulsome and at the time it would have been churlish to have detracted from the many positive aspects of the role he played. He was at heart a showman and when he found a role as the world’s head Nazi hunter, he played it well. As with so many popular performances, it was impossible for the critics to tell the public that the Great Wiesenthal Show was little more than an illusion. Ultimately, it was an illusion mounted for a good cause.
Bradley Smith wrote:
It would be good to care when one man lies about others, particularly when those lies help to institutionalize the “unique” monstrosity of those about whom he lies. How can it be a good to not care?
July 25, 2009
“Ultimately, it was an illusion mounted for a good cause.” The end justifies the means, eh? And what was the “good cause” that the author is willing to accept what he admits is a poorly woven tapestry of lies for? The destruction and prevention from reformation of a governmental system that is anathema to the Yiddisher? The murder and incarceration of the innocent? Or perhaps the rise and rise of the Jewish Reich? Cui bono?
Where there is one lie, there is another and another and another ….