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herman2
01-28-2010, 11:20 AM
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/book_extracts/article6718913.

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 makes it possible to doubt everything he ever wrote or said.
Some may feel I am too harsh on him and that I run a professional danger in seemingly allying myself with a vile host of neo-Nazis, revisionists, Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites. I belong firmly outside any of these squalid camps and it is my intention to wrestle criticism of Wiesenthal away from their clutches. His figure is a complex and important one. If there was a motive for his duplicity, it may well have been rooted in good intentions. For his untruths are not the only shocking discoveries I have made researching the escape of Nazi war criminals. I found a lack of political will for hunting them. Many could have been brought to justice had governments allocated even comparatively meagre resources to their pursuit.
It is partly thanks to Wiesenthal that the Holocaust has been remembered and properly recorded and this is perhaps his greatest legacy. 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. There is no space here, however, for my forensic examination of his claims as a Nazi hunter. I will confine myself to some famous episodes before and during the war that are at the heart of the Wiesenthal myth.
He was born in 1908 in Buczacz, Galicia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and now in Ukraine. After the first world war, Buczacz changed hands frequently between Poles, Ukrainians and Soviet forces. In 1920 the 11-year-old Wiesenthal was attacked with a sabre by a mounted Ukrainian who slashed his right thigh to the bone. Wiesenthal regarded the scar as part of a long line of evidence that he was protected from violent death by an “unseen power” that wanted him kept alive for a purpose.
His background was ideal for any aspiring fabulist. Like many from Galicia, Wiesenthal would have spent his childhood immersed in the Polish literary genre of tall stories told over the dinner table. In a place such as Buczacz in the 1920s, truth was a relatively elastic concept. At 19 he enrolled as an architectural student at the Czech Technical University in Prague, where he found his metier as a raconteur and appeared as a stand-up comedian.
His studies went less well. Although most biographies — including that on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s website — say he graduated, he did not complete his degree. Some biographies say he gained a diploma as an architectural engineer at Lvov polytechnic in Poland, but the Lvov state archives have no record of his having studied there and his name is absent from Poland’s pre-war catalogue of architects and builders. He claimed fraudulently throughout his life that he did have a diploma; his letterheads proudly display it.
Similarly, there are large discrepancies in his dramatic stories of the second world war. He was in Lvov when it fell to the Nazis in 1941. He claimed he and a Jewish friend called Gross were arrested at 4pm on Sunday July 6, one of the few dates that remain constant in his ever-shifting life story. Whenever he is so specific, however, he is usually lying.
Frogmarched to prison, they were put in a line of some 40 other Jews in a courtyard. Ukrainian auxiliary police started shooting each man in the neck, working their way down the line towards Wiesenthal. He was saved by a peal of church bells signifying evening mass. Incredibly, the Ukrainians halted their execution to go to worship. The survivors were led to the cells, where Wiesenthal claims he fell asleep. He was woken by a Ukrainian friend in the auxiliary police who saved him and Gross by telling them to pretend they were Russian spies. They were brutally questioned — Wiesenthal lost two teeth — but were freed after cleaning the commandant’s office.
The story of this sensational escape — one of the most famous of Wiesenthal’s war and one that has helped to establish the notion of his divine mission — is in all likelihood a complete fabrication. Certainly the Ukrainians carried out brutal pogroms in Lvov in early July 1941; but there was then a pause and they did not start again until July 25. According to testimony Wiesenthal gave to American war crimes investigators after the war, he was actually arrested on July 13 and managed to escape “through a bribe”. By subsequently placing his arrest on July 6, his story fitted the timing of the pogroms.
By the end of the year Wiesenthal was in Janowska, a concentration camp outside Lvov. Given the task of painting Soviet railway engines with Nazi insignia, he made friends with Adolf Kohlrautz, the German senior inspector at the workshop, who was secretly anti-Nazi. On April 20, 1943, Wiesenthal was apparently selected for a mass execution again. The SS at Janowska picked him among some Jews to be shot in a grim celebration of Hitler’s 54th birthday. They silently walked towards a huge sandpit, 6ft deep and 1,500ft long. A few dead bodies were visible in it. Forced to undress, they were herded in single file down a barbed-wire corridor known as the hose to be shot one by one at the edge of the pit.
A whistle interrupted the gunshots, followed by a shout of “Wiesenthal!” An SS man called Koller ran forward and told Wiesenthal to follow him. “I staggered like a drunk,” Wiesenthal recalled. “Koller slapped my face twice and brought me back to earth. I was walking back through the hose, naked. Behind me, the sounds of shooting resumed but they were over long before I had reached the camp.” Back at the workshop he found a beaming Kohlrautz, who had convinced the camp commander it was essential to keep Wiesenthal alive to paint a poster that would feature a swastika and the words “We Thank Our Führer”.
On October 2, 1943, according to Wiesenthal, Kohlrautz warned him that the camp and its prisoners were shortly to be liquidated. The German gave him and a friend passes to visit a stationery shop in town, accompanied by a Ukrainian guard. They managed to escape out the back while the Ukrainian waited at the front.
Yet again he had seemingly cheated death in a miraculous fashion. But we only have his word for it. According to Wiesenthal, Kohlrautz was killed in the battle for Berlin in April 1945. He also told a biographer, however, that Kohlrautz was killed on the Russian front in 1944. And in an affidavit made in August 1954 about his wartime persecutions, he neglects to include the story at all. In both this document and in his testimony to the Americans in May 1945, he mentions Kohlrautz without saying the German saved his life.
From this point in Wiesenthal’s war it is impossible to establish a reliable train of events. With at least four wildly different accounts of his activities between October 1943 and the middle of 1944 — including his alleged role as a partisan officer — serious questions must be raised. Some, such as Bruno Kreisky, the former Austrian chancellor, repeatedly accused Wiesenthal in the 1970s and the 1980s of collaborating with the Gestapo. Kreisky’s claims were supported by unsubstantiated evidence from the Polish and Soviet governments. Wiesenthal took him to court and won.
Whatever the truth, by November 1944 Wiesenthal was in Gross-Rosen, a camp near Wroclaw. He told Hella Pick, his biographer, that he was forced to work barefoot in the camp quarry and soon learnt that the team of 100 prisoners assigned to the work kommando shrank by one each day. After a few days he felt sure his turn was about to come. “My executioner was behind me,” he recalled, “poised to smash my head with a rock. I turned around and the man, surprised, dropped his stone. It crushed my toe. I screamed.”
Wiesenthal’s quick reactions and yell apparently saved his life because there was some form of inspection that day — he thought it may have been by the Red Cross — and so he was stretchered away to the first-aid station. His toe was cut off without anaesthesia while two men held him still. The following day, Wiesenthal said, he was in agony. “The doctor came back and saw that I had a septic blister on the sole of my foot. So they cut it open and the gangrene spurted all over the room.”
Yet again, one of Wiesenthal’s “miracles” is open to doubt. First, the story appears in no other memoir or statement. Secondly, if the Red Cross really was inspecting Gross-Rosen that day, then the SS would have temporarily halted any executions. As it was, the Red Cross was not allowed access to concentration camps at that time. Thirdly, the medical consequences seem entirely implausible.

Uyraell
02-04-2010, 05:33 AM
It isn't easy to see Wiesenthal as either fraud or saint.
It is easy to see him as over zealous, and unscrupulous with words when he wanted to achieve some goal he had in mind.
What has always bothered me about him is that he seemed to think that just because he spoke, his word should automatically be accepted and taken as truth, regardless of circumstance: whereas were it not for his avocation, he would have been dismissed from public awareness as an absurdity, an anachronism.
In other words, it is only the "nazi hunter" aspect that gave the man any vague sense of credibility. In any other field of endeavour he would have been rigourously and rightly questioned.
Thus, to my eyes at least, anything about him has to be taken with a large grain of salt, his achievements notwithstanding.

Regards, Uyraell.

Rising Sun*
02-04-2010, 06:14 AM
"The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed."

Variously attributed to Hitler or Goebbels.


"Self-promoters always lie. It's only a question of degree. And the degree is often determined by how much money, influence, admiration or other things they want."

Just coined by Rising Sun*.

windrider
02-04-2010, 10:27 AM
I'm surprised , I thought that all nazi-hunters were angels ?

herman2
02-04-2010, 11:57 AM
...as long as they got the bastards, thats all that counts.

windrider
02-04-2010, 12:49 PM
If only there was some "bastard" with enough guts to also prosecute the israeli war crimminals, things could "maybe" get better. Double standards, as always, is not even close to justice. And what is international justice ?
IMO a dirty old rag that just about every goverment on the planet steps on at some point.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/13/gaza-israel-war-crimes

The Israeli military are accused of:
• Using powerful shells in civilian areas which the army knew would cause large numbers of innocent casualties;
• Using banned weapons such as phosphorus bombs;
• Holding Palestinian families as human shields;
• Attacking medical facilities, including the killing of 12 ambulance men in marked vehicles;
• Killing large numbers of police who had no military role.

Deaf Smith
02-07-2010, 12:35 AM
The Israeli military are accused of:


• Using powerful shells in civilian areas which the army knew would cause large numbers of innocent casualties;

Hate to say this but that's kind of hokie. Just how do you downsize the shell in a hurry? Or know the exact size you need (or have present.) And while we are at it, has Hammas or Hezbollah been accused of using to large a shell? Did B-17s use to large of bomb on German cities knowing it would cause large number of innocent casualties? See what I mean? How do you use the 'just right' size?


• Using banned weapons such as phosphorus bombs;

That was supposedly in Gaza and it may be true, but even if true, you mean Hammas or Hezbollah doesn't?.


• Holding Palestinian families as human shields;

Even if true, you mean Hammas or Hezbollah doesn't?


• Attacking medical facilities, including the killing of 12 ambulance men in marked vehicles;

Even if true, you mean Hammas or Hezbollah doesn't?


• Killing large numbers of police who had no military role.

They have guns and they shoot back so what do you mean 'no military role'?

The thing is Israel is a war with terrorist that will attack with any means and will not abide by any convention. They will use any method to destroy Israel.

So don't be shocked if the Israelis play hard ball back. The term 'War is Hell' is not a trite expression.

Deaf

windrider
02-10-2010, 04:06 PM
The Israeli military are accused of:



Hate to say this but that's kind of hokie. Just how do you downsize the shell in a hurry? Or know the exact size you need (or have present.) And while we are at it, has Hammas or Hezbollah been accused of using to large a shell? Did B-17s use to large of bomb on German cities knowing it would cause large number of innocent casualties? See what I mean? How do you use the 'just right' size?



That was supposedly in Gaza and it may be true, but even if true, you mean Hammas or Hezbollah doesn't?.



Even if true, you mean Hammas or Hezbollah doesn't?



Even if true, you mean Hammas or Hezbollah doesn't?



They have guns and they shoot back so what do you mean 'no military role'?

The thing is Israel is a war with terrorist that will attack with any means and will not abide by any convention. They will use any method to destroy Israel.

So don't be shocked if the Israelis play hard ball back. The term 'War is Hell' is not a trite expression.

Deaf

Well, I don't see how shooting hundreds of 155 mm phosphorous artillery shells in
a densely populated urbanized area has anything to do with defense of said territory. It's just blatant civilian massacre. I don't invent this, the ****ing U.N. say it ! And your poor argumentation wont change the facts.

I won't lecture you on the history of the conflict,
or on the numerous U.N. resolutions that the Israel state failed to acknowledge since, or on the usual "you are anti-semitic" response everybody gets when they are critical of the methods the israel government uses in this conflict.

Do some research before yo post some nonsense,
it's not because you don't know something exist that it doesn't exist.

HOS Bandit
03-28-2010, 11:39 AM
Ha-Ha! Because the ****ing U.N. (your words, not mine) says so, makes it so?

Nickdfresh
03-28-2010, 12:48 PM
Well, they did say Saddam was in violation of numerous resolutions and various right wing Neo Con types had no problem name dropping the U.N. then...

Schuultz
03-28-2010, 12:58 PM
herman2 you mind checking the link? It appears to be broken...

HOS Bandit
03-29-2010, 09:52 AM
So now by implication, I'm a right-wing neo-con? I don't care who uses the un as a reference, as far as I'm concerned, the un is a festering sore perched upon the *** of NYC that should have been lanced years ago. And No, I'm not equating NYC too some unsightly body part. But you Can infer that I am using that analogy correctly in regards too the un.

Nickdfresh
03-29-2010, 08:40 PM
So now by implication, I'm a right-wing neo-con? I don't care who uses the un as a reference, as far as I'm concerned, the un is a festering sore perched upon the *** of NYC that should have been lanced years ago. And No, I'm not equating NYC too some unsightly body part. But you Can infer that I am using that analogy correctly in regards too the un.

I never said anything about your political sympathies. However, while I don't blindly trust the U.N., I also don't blindly use them as a whipping boy. I think things are a bit more complicated than that.

I also think the United States' blind allegiance to a little state proclaiming some divine right out of the Bible is equally ludicrous. Especially since they routinely spy on us despite receiving massive subsidies of foreign aid, antagonize Arabs and flame radicalism with their own brand of bent radicalism, and are now preparing to sell much of our defense technologies to China...

flyerhell
05-24-2010, 01:10 AM
If only there was some "bastard" with enough guts to also prosecute the israeli war crimminals, things could "maybe" get better. Double standards, as always, is not even close to justice. And what is international justice ?
IMO a dirty old rag that just about every goverment on the planet steps on at some point.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/13/gaza-israel-war-crimes

The Israeli military are accused of:
• Using powerful shells in civilian areas which the army knew would cause large numbers of innocent casualties;
• Using banned weapons such as phosphorus bombs;
• Holding Palestinian families as human shields;
• Attacking medical facilities, including the killing of 12 ambulance men in marked vehicles;
• Killing large numbers of police who had no military role.

How did this thread turn from talking about Wiesenthal to Israel?

I only really have one comment about Israel - while both sides have both done things that were wrong, the Israelis (or anyone else, with the exception of Bosnia or Rwanda in the 1990s, for that matter), could NEVER be equated with the Nazis. It is the same reason why the comparison with the Holocaust with the Japanese internment camps doesn't hold up either - the Nazis had an actual EXTERMINATION plan for the Jews - camps were built solely for that purpose and millions died there. The Israelis don't have any "death camps" for the Palestinians and while it is debateable about why the Palestinians lost their land in 1948 and 1967, the Arabs who did stay in Israel are now full Israeli citizens.

kurt
05-26-2010, 03:18 PM
I never said anything about your political sympathies. However, while I don't blindly trust the U.N., I also don't blindly use them as a whipping boy. I think things are a bit more complicated than that.

I also think the United States' blind allegiance to a little state proclaiming some divine right out of the Bible is equally ludicrous. Especially since they routinely spy on us despite receiving massive subsidies of foreign aid, antagonize Arabs and flame radicalism with their own brand of bent radicalism, and are now preparing to sell much of our defense technologies to China...

I agree, and I would like to make a question:
why on earth, the USA supports Israel against its own interests as a nation ?

kurt
05-26-2010, 03:30 PM
And about the main issue, according to that publication the man is a knave and the Wiesenthal Center should make an statement, otherwise, we can realize thereal power of the media since this man was 4 times candidate to the Nobel Peace Prize. Outrageous

Leibstandarte
05-28-2010, 11:02 PM
How did this thread turn from talking about Wiesenthal to Israel?

I only really have one comment about Israel - while both sides have both done things that were wrong, the Israelis (or anyone else, with the exception of Bosnia or Rwanda in the 1990s, for that matter), could NEVER be equated with the Nazis. It is the same reason why the comparison with the Holocaust with the Japanese internment camps doesn't hold up either - the Nazis had an actual EXTERMINATION plan for the Jews - camps were built solely for that purpose and millions died there. The Israelis don't have any "death camps" for the Palestinians and while it is debateable about why the Palestinians lost their land in 1948 and 1967, the Arabs who did stay in Israel are now full Israeli citizens.

Actually the sites were originally internment camps and their purpose afterward is largely debated. What you label them is your own opinion however.

kurt
06-01-2010, 11:53 AM
How did this thread turn from talking about Wiesenthal to Israel?

I only really have one comment about Israel - while both sides have both done things that were wrong, the Israelis (or anyone else, with the exception of Bosnia or Rwanda in the 1990s, for that matter), could NEVER be equated with the Nazis. It is the same reason why the comparison with the Holocaust with the Japanese internment camps doesn't hold up either - the Nazis had an actual EXTERMINATION plan for the Jews - camps were built solely for that purpose and millions died there. The Israelis don't have any "death camps" for the Palestinians and while it is debateable about why the Palestinians lost their land in 1948 and 1967, the Arabs who did stay in Israel are now full Israeli citizens.

" ....the Israelis could NEVER be equated with the Nazis.",

Who is equating them with the nazis? nobody but themselves, because that comparison makes an excuse for their own atrocities, like yesterday's crime. The holocaust is kind of a joker's wild in a card game, it is useful under any situation,
what is the relationship between that crime and the palestinian people?

Firefly
06-01-2010, 03:01 PM
This thread is for discussing the topic. Please remember this guys.

Valkyrie
06-01-2010, 05:19 PM
I too wonder how the discussion turned from Wiesenthal to the current situation in Israel and Palestinians.For me Wiesenthal done wonderful work,he was always a voice in an era that people wanted to forget.Some say that he was a lier and a fraud,but I would like to see these people recall exact dates and facts under similar circumstances.

Nickdfresh
06-01-2010, 08:41 PM
Actually the sites were originally internment camps and their purpose afterward is largely debated. What you label them is your own opinion however.

They were internment camps initially, however, there is little real "debate" in credible historical circles regarding what they became...

Nickdfresh
06-01-2010, 08:45 PM
As for the thread topic, I heard long ago that it was actually Mossad that did much of the leg work in tracking down the Nazi war criminals and that Wiesenthal got much of the credit...

Schuultz
06-01-2010, 08:54 PM
Why would Mossad not want to take credit? Were they trying to establish Wiesenthal as a propaganda tool?

As in Rags-to-Riches except he was created as a Concentration-Camp-to-Nazi-Hunter?

Nickdfresh
06-01-2010, 09:23 PM
I'm not sure. I think Mossad may have used him as a front to keep their trade-craft and hand quiet...

Rising Sun*
06-01-2010, 09:46 PM
How did this thread turn from talking about Wiesenthal to Israel?

Possibly because they are inextricably linked.

Here's what the Simon Wiesanthal Center says it is:


An international Jewish human rights organization dedicated to generating change through the Snider Social Action Institute and education by confronting antisemitism, hate and terrorism, promoting human rights and dignity, standing with Israel, ...
http://www.wiesenthal.com/site/pp.asp?c=lsKWLbPJLnF&b=4441471

Rising Sun*
06-01-2010, 09:58 PM
...as long as they got the bastards, thats all that counts.

It appears they rarely did, as summarised in this review of the book whose author is quoted in the first post.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/bookreviews/5940232/Hunting-Evil-by-Guy-Walters-review.html