Simon Wiesenthal

Simon
Wiesenthal
1908
2005

Austrian Holocaust Survivor, Hunter of Nazi War Criminals

Author Quotes

There is no denying that Hitler and Stalin are alive today...they are waiting for us to forget, because this is what makes possible the resurrection of these two monsters.

Violence is like a weed--it does not die even in the greatest drought.

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances - to choose one's own way.

You're a religious man. You believe in God and life after death. I also believe. When we come to the other world and meet the millions of Jews who died in the camps and they ask us, 'What have you done?' there will be many answers. You will say, 'I became a jeweler.' Another will say, 'I smuggled coffee and American cigarettes.' Still another will say, 'I built houses,' but I will say, 'I didn't forget you.'

I found hundreds of people all over Germany who worked there (as) guards or (who) were somehow involved in Auschwitz, that was in 2003 ? people were very old then, and I don?t know how many of them will be alive at the moment.

That we must never forgive would seem to follow from the same stern logic. For if we forgive, it will be a sign to those in the future that they can act without fear of punishment, and that the world has a moral escape valve labeled 'forgiveness' that permits evil not only to survive but to thrive... Forgiveness becomes a 'weak' virtue, one that Christians seem particularly prone to champion, and one that always carries the possibility of condoning, rather than constricting, the spread of evil.

The history of man is the history of crimes, and history can repeat. So information is a defense. Through this we can build, we must build, a defense against repetition.

Anne Frank became a symbol of the million murdered children, and I tell it to the father of Anne Frank, the diary of his daughter had a bigger impact than the Nuremberg trial.

Come, let us do honor to the man who has always honored us.

I have received many honors in my lifetime... When I die, these honors will die with me. But the Simon Wiesenthal Center will live on as my legacy.

The history of man is the history of crimes, and history can repeat. So information is a defense. Through this we can build, we must build a defense against repetition.

When we come to the other world and meet the millions of Jews who died in the camps and they ask us, 'What have you done?' there will be many answers. You will say, 'I became a jeweler.' Another will say, 'I smuggled coffee and American cigarettes.' Another will say, 'I built houses.' But I will say, 'I didn't forget you.'

Discovering witnesses is just as important as catching criminals.

I know I am not only the bad conscience of the Nazis. I am also the bad conscience of the Jews. Because what I have taken up as my duty was everybody's duty.

The National Socialist (Nazi) party had 10 million members, of whom at most 150,000 were criminals. It would be grotesque to stick the label of criminal on every former member of the party.

You're a religious man... You believe in God and life after death. I also believe. When we come to the other world and meet the millions of Jews who died in the camps and they ask us, 'What have you done?' there will be many answers. You will say, 'I became a jeweler.' Another will say, 'I smuggled coffee and American cigarettes.' Another will say, 'I built houses.' But I will say, 'I didn't forget you.'

For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.

I was over four years in different camps with people from 15 nations: Jews, Gentiles, Gypsies, communists. Through this experience, my view on the Holocaust and the whole problem of Nazism is a lot different from Elie Wiesel, who was only six months in camps and only with Jews.

The only value of nearly five decades of my work is a warning to the murderers of tomorrow, that they will never rest.

For me was the Holocaust not only a Jewish tragedy, but also a human tragedy. After the war, when I saw that the Jews were talking only about the tragedy of six million Jews, I sent letters to Jewish organizations asking them to talk also about the millions of others who were persecuted with us together - many of them only because they helped Jews.

If all of us forgot, the same thing might happen again, in 20 or 50 or 100 years,

The ruling is a victory of history over hate, ... Today's decision definitely places Irving where he belongs -- not as a historian, but as a leading apologist for those who seek to whitewash the most heinous crime in human history.

For your benefit, learn from our tragedy. It is not a written law that the next victims must be Jews. It can also be other people. We saw it begin in Germany with Jews, but people from more than twenty other nations were also murdered. When I started this work, I said to myself, 'I will look for the murderers of all the victims, not only the Jewish victims. I will fight for justice.'

If you know from history the danger, then part of the danger is over because it may not take you by surprise as it did your ancestors.

The schools would fail through their silence, the Church through its forgiveness, and the home through the denial and silence of the parents. The new generation has to hear what the older generation refuses to tell it.

Author Picture
First Name
Simon
Last Name
Wiesenthal
Birth Date
1908
Death Date
2005
Bio

Austrian Holocaust Survivor, Hunter of Nazi War Criminals