September 21, 2005

Wiesenthal obituaries

It's all so complex. Here are a couple of obituaries on the passing of Simon Wiesenthal. Neither are straight forward praise but then obituaries rarely are these says. The Guardian has Wiesenthal falling out with former Austrian Chancellor, the late Bruno Kreisky and his support for Kurt Waldheim.
there were also prominent Jews who labelled him a charlatan, claiming he was intellectually dishonest and insisting he was primarily motivated by self-aggrandisement. In 1975, he clashed famously with Austria's Chancellor Bruno Kreisky over the inclusion of former Nazis in the Austrian cabinet. Kreisky claimed that Wiesenthal was trying to destroy him politically, and went so far as to allege that he had been a Gestapo collaborator. Wiesenthal only stopped his legal action after Kreisky withdrew at least part of his allegations.
And his famous spat with Elie Wiesel over the pecking order of holocaust suffering.
They first crossed swords over Wiesenthal's contention that Jews must be as much concerned for the non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust as for their own race.
While the Independent has legendary Mossad boss, Isser Harel writing
an unpublished manuscript which claimed that Wiesenthal not only "had no role whatsoever" in Eichmann's apprehension, but in fact "had endangered the entire Eichmann operation and aborted the planned capture of the evil Auschwitz doctor Josef Mengele". Harel claimed that he wrote the manuscript out of frustration at the amount of credit Wiesenthal was claiming for the capture of Eichmann and declined to publish it only because that might give succour to anti-semites.
Go here for the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's own biogrpahy of the man.

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