Simon Wiesenthal, the Holocaust survivor who helped track down numerous Nazi war criminals after World War II, then spent the later decades of his life fighting anti-Semitism and prejudice against all people, died Tuesday, officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Center announced. He was 96.
Wiesenthal died in his sleep at his home in Vienna, according to Rabbi Marvin Hier, the center’s dean and founder.
“I think he’ll be remembered as the conscience of the Holocaust. In a way, he became the permanent representative of the victims of the Holocaust, determined to bring the perpetrators of the greatest crime to justice,” Hier told the Associated Press.
Wiesenthal, who had been an architect before World War II, changed his life’s mission after the war, dedicating himself to trying to track down Nazi war criminals and to being a voice for the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust.
“When history looks back I want people to know the Nazis weren’t able to kill millions of people and get away with it,” he once said.
A full obituary will appear in Wednesday’s paper.