Simon Wiesenthal at the opening of the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles in 1993.
Simon Wiesenthal at the opening of the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles in 1993. Jim Mendenhall
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Simon Wiesenthal and his wife Cyla in a 1936 portrait. Eighty-nine members of their families died in the Holocaust. The couple, believing each other to be dead, were reunited in late 1945. Cyla Wisenthal died in 2003 at age 95.
Simon Wiesenthal, who shared his experience of the Holocaust as a way to teach a lesson to humanity and spent decades hunting Nazi war criminals, has died at age 96.
He helped to find a leader of the Holocaust — Adolf Eichmann — who was hiding in Argentina, and brought the former Gestapo officer who arrested Anne Frank to justice. Wiesenthal said he kept hunting Nazis because, in another world, he might meet again with those the Nazis killed during World War II.
"There were a lot of skeptics," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, headquartered in Los Angeles. "People said, 'What are you doing? The war's over.
"He couldn't free himself from it…" Hier said. "He often said to me it wasn't an act of vengeance. He said, 'I'm doing to for my grandchildren because if the murderers of the past got away with it, the murderers of the future will get away with it.'"