The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal
(1908 - 2005)

Like other survivors, Simon’s experiences during the     Holocaust changed his life irrevocably. However for the vast majority of survivors, post-war life was not focused on Holocaust remembrance but rather about picking up the pieces and starting life anew, usually outside of Europe in communities scattered around the world.

Simon’s post-war journey took a very different trajectory. From liberation until his death at the age of 96 in 2005, Simon pursued justice for victims of the Holocaust through his work as a “Nazi Hunter” and worked tirelessly

to promote Holocaust Education and human rights for all.  This work began immediately once he had been freed from Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp in May of 1945 when he handed a list of Nazi criminals to American intelligence organizations. He subsequently helped gather evidence for the first war crimes trials held at Dachau and Nuremberg.  In 1947, he co-founded the Jewish Historical Documentation Centre (JHDC) and set up shop in Linz, Austria, coincidentally the same city where Adolf Hitler spent his childhood. From the JHDC he worked to gather information for future war crime trials and aided refugees in their search for lost relatives.

He and his family moved to Vienna in 1960 and opened the Documentation Centre of the Association of Jewish Victims of the Nazi Regime in Vienna in 1961. From Vienna he continued to try to locate  missing Nazi war criminals, working primarily by himself using historical documents, old address books, and telephone directories.

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