Simon Wiesenthal: Fraudulent ‘Nazi Hunter’
By Mark Weber
Source: Archives, Institute for Historical Review
For more than 40 years, Simon Wiesenthal has been tracking hundreds of “Nazi criminals” from his “Jewish Documentation Center” in Vienna. For his work as the world’s most prominent “Nazi hunter,” he has been awarded several honorary degrees and numerous medals, including Germany’s highest decoration. In a formal White House ceremony in August 1980, a teary-eyed President Carter presented him with a special gold medal awarded by the US Congress. President Reagan praised him in November 1988 as one of the “true heroes” of this century.
This living legend was portrayed in flattering terms by the late Laurence Oliver in the 1978 film fantasy “The Boys From Brazil,” and by Ben Kingsley in the 1989 HBO made-for-television movie “Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story.” One of world’s most prominent Holocaust organizations bears his name: the Simon Wiesenthal Center of Los Angeles.
Wiesenthal’s reputation as a moral authority is undeserved. The man whom The Washington Post has called the “Holocaust’s Avenging Angel”  has a little known but well-documented record of reckless disregard for truth. He has lied about his own wartime experiences, misrepresented his postwar “Nazi-hunting” achievements, and has spread vile falsehoods about alleged German atrocities.
Szymon (Simon) Wiesenthal was born on December 31, 1908, in Buczacz, a town in the province of Galicia (now Buchach in Ukraine) in what was then the eastern fringe of the Austro-Hungarian empire. His father was a prosperous wholesale sugar merchant.
In spite of all that has been written about him, just what Wiesenthal did during the war years under German occupation remains unclear. He has given conflicting stories in three separate accounts of his wartime activities. The first was given under oath during a two day interrogation session in May 1948 conducted by an official of the US Nuremberg war crimes commission.  The second is a summary of his life provided by Wiesenthal as part of a January 1949 “Application for Assistance” to the International Refugee Committee.  And the third account is given in his autobiography, The Murderers Among Us, first published in 1967. 
Soviet Engineer or Factory Mechanic?
In his 1948 interrogation, Wiesenthal declared that “between 1939 and 1941” he was a “Soviet chief engineer working in Lvov and Odessa.”  Consistent with that, he stated in his 1949 declaration that from December 1939 to April 1940 he worked as an architect in the Black Sea port of Odessa. But according to his autobiography, he spent the period between mid-September 1939 and June 1941 in Soviet-ruled Lvov, where he worked “as a mechanic in a factory that produced bedsprings.” 
After the Germans took control of Galicia province in June 1941, Wiesenthal was interned for a time in the Janowska concentration camp near Lvov, from where he was transferred a few months later to a camp affiliated with the repair works (OAW) in Lvov of the Ostbahn (“Eastern Railroad”) of German-ruled Poland. Wiesenthal reported in his autobiography that he worked there “as a technician and draftsman,” that he was rather well treated, and that his immediate superior, who was “secretly anti-Nazi,” even permitted him to own two pistols. He had his own office in a “small wooden hut,” and enjoyed “relative freedom and was permitted to walk all over the yards.” 
The next segment of Wiesenthal’s life — from October 1943 to June 1944 — is the most obscure, and his accounts of this period are contradictory. During his 1948 interrogation, Wiesenthal said that he fled from the Janowska camp in Lvov and joined a “partisan group which operated in the Tarnopol-Kamenopodolsk area.”  He said that “I was a partisan from October 6, 1943, until the middle of February 1944,” and declared that his unit fought against Ukrainian forces, both of the SS “Galicia” division and of the independent UPA partisan force. 
Wiesenthal said that he held the rank of lieutenant and then major, and was responsible for building bunkers and fortification lines. Although he was not explicit, he suggested that this (supposed) partisan unit was part of the Armia Ludowa (“Peoples Army”), the Polish Communist military force established and controlled by the Soviets. 
He said that he and other partisans slipped into Lvov in February 1944, where they were “hidden by friends of the A.L. [‘People’s Army’] group.” On June 13, 1944, his group was captured by the German Secret Field Police. (Although Jewish partisans caught in hiding were often shot, Wiesenthal reports that he was somehow spared.) Wiesenthal told much the same story in his 1949 statement. He said that he fled from internment in early October 1943 and then “fought against the Germans as a partisan in the forest” for eight months — from October 2, 1943, to March 1944. After that, he was “in hiding” in Lvov from March to June 1944.
Wiesenthal tells a totally different story in his 1967 autobiography. He reports there that after escaping from the Ostbahn Repair Works on Oct. 2, 1943, he lived in hiding in the houses of various friends until June 13, 1944, when he was discovered by Polish and German police and returned to a concentration camp. He makes no mention of any partisan membership or activity. 
According to both his 1948 interrogation and his 1967 autobiography, he tried to commit suicide on June 15, 1944, by cutting his wrists. Remarkably, though, he was saved from death by German SS doctors and recovered in an SS hospital.  He remained in the Lvov concentration camp “with double rations” for a time, and then, he reports in his autobiography, he was transferred to various work camps. He spent the remaining chaotic months, until the end of the war, in different camps until he was liberated from Mauthausen (in Austria) by American forces on May 5, 1945. 
Did Wiesenthal invent a past as a heroic wartime partisan? Or did he later try to suppress his record as a Communist fighter? Or is the true story altogether different — and too shameful to admit?
Did Wiesenthal voluntarily work for his wartime oppressors? That’s the accusation leveled by Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky, himself of Jewish ancestry and leader for many years of his country’s Socialist Party. During an interview with foreign journalists in 1975, Kreisky charged Wiesenthal with using “Mafia methods,” rejected his pretense of “moral authority,” and suggested that he was an agent for the German authorities. Some of his more pertinent remarks, which appeared in Austria’s leading news magazine Profil, include: 
I really know Mr. Wiesenthal only from secret reports, and they are bad, very nasty. I say this as Federal Chancellor … And I say that Mr. Wiesenthal had a different relationship with the Gestapo than I did. Yes, and this can be proven. I can’t say more [now]. Everything else, I’ll say in court.
My relationship with the Gestapo is unambiguous. I was their prisoner, their inmate, and I was interrogated. His relationship was a different one, I can say, and this will come out clearly. It’s bad enough what I’ve already said here. But he can’t clear himself by charging me with defaming his honor in the press, as he might wish. It’s not that simple, because that would mean a big court case … A man like this doesn’t have the right to pretend to be a moral authority. That’s what I say. He doesn’t have the right …
Whether a man who, in my view, is an agent, yes, that’s right, and who uses Mafia methods … Such a man has to go …
He is no gentleman, and I would say, to make this clear, so that he won’t become a moral authority, because he is not … He shouldn’t pretend to be a moral authority …
I say that Mr. Wiesenthal lived in that time in the Nazi sphere of influence without being persecuted. Right? And he lived openly without being persecuted, right? Is that clear? And you perhaps know, if you know what was going on, that no one could risk that.
He wasn’t a “submarine” … that is, submerged and in hiding, but instead, he was completely in the open without having to, well, ever risk persecution. I think that’s enough. There were so many opportunities to be an agent. He didn’t have to be a Gestapo agent. There were many other services.
In response to these damning words, Wiesenthal began efforts to bring a lawsuit against the Chancellor. Eventually, though, both Wiesenthal and Kreisky backed away from a major legal clash.
Before he became famous as a “Nazi hunter,” he made a name for himself as a propagandist. In 1946 Wiesenthal published KZ Mauthausen, an 85-page work that consists mainly of his own amateurish sketches purporting to represent the horrors of the Mauthausen concentration camp. One drawing depicts three inmates who had been bound to posts and brutally put to death by the Germans. 
The sketch is completely phony. It was copied — with some minor alterations — from photographs that appeared in Life magazine in 1945, which graphically record the firing-squad execution in December 1944 of three German soldiers who had been caught operating as spies behind the lines during the “Battle of the Bulge.”  The source of the Wiesenthal drawing is instantly obvious to anyone who compares it with the Life photos. 
The irresponsible character of this book is also shown by Wiesenthal’s extensive citation therein of the supposed “death bed confession” of Mauthausen Commandant Franz Ziereis, according to which four million were gassed to death with carbon monoxide at the nearby Hartheim satellite camp.  This claim is totally absurd, and no serious Holocaust historian still accepts it.  Also according to the Ziereis “confession” cited by Wiesenthal, the Germans supposedly killed another ten million people in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.  In fact, this fraudulent “confession” was obtained by torture. 
Years later, Wiesenthal was still lying about Mauthausen. In a 1983 interview with the daily newspaper USA Today, he said of his experience in Mauthausen: “I was one of 34 prisoners alive out of 150,000 who had been put there.”  This is a blatant falsehood. The years have apparently not been kind to Wiesenthal’s memory, because in his own autobiography he wrote that “almost 3,000 prisoners died in Mauthausen after the Americans liberated us on May 5, 1945.”  Another former inmate, Evelyn Le Chene, reported in her standard work about Mauthausen that there were 64,000 inmates in the camp when it was liberated in May 1945.  And according to the Encyclopaedia Judaica, at least 212,000 inmates survived internment in the Mauthausen camp complex. 
After the war Wiesenthal worked for the US Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner of the CIA) and the US Army’s Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC). He was also vice chairman of the Jewish Central Committee in the US occupation zone of Austria. 
Wiesenthal has given circulation and credence to one of the most scurrilous Holocaust stories, the charge that the Germans manufactured soap from the corpses of murdered Jews. According to this tale, the letters “RIF” in bars of German-made soap allegedly stood for “Pure Jewish Fat” (“Rein judisches Fett”). In reality, the initials stood for “National Center for Industrial Fat Provisioning” (“Reichstelle fur industrielle Fettversorgung”). 
Wiesenthal promoted the “human soap” legend in articles published in 1946 in the Austrian Jewish community paper Der Neue Weg (“The New Path”). In an article entitled “RIF,” he wrote: “The terrible words ‘transport for soap’ were first heard at the end of 1942. It was in the [Polish] General Government, and the factory was in Galicia, in Belzec. From April 1942 until May 1943, 900,000 Jews were used as raw material in this factory.” After the corpses were turned into various raw materials, Wiesenthal wrote, “The rest, the residual fat stuff, was used for soap production.”
He continued: “After 1942 people in the General Government knew quite well what the RIF soap meant. The civilized world may not believe the joy with which the Nazis and their women in the General Government thought of this soap. In each piece of soap they saw a Jew who had been magically put there, and had thus been prevented from growing into a second Freud, Ehrlich or Einstein.” 
In another imaginative article published in 1946 entitled “Belzec Soap Factory,” Wiesenthal alleged that masses of Jews were exterminated in electrocution showers: 
The people, pressed together and driven on by the SS, Latvians and Ukrainians, go through the open door into the “bath.” Five hundred persons could fit at a time. The floor of the “bath chamber” was made of metal and shower heads hung from the ceiling. When the room was full, the SS turned on the 5,000 volts of electric current in the metal plate. At the same time water poured from the shower heads. A short scream and the execution was over. An SS chief physician named Schmidt determined through a peep hole that the victims were dead. The second door was opened and the “corpse commando” came in and quickly removed the dead. It was ready for the next 500.
Today no serious historian accepts the stories that Jewish corpses were manufactured into bars of soap or that Jews were electrocuted to death at Belzec (or anywhere).
Wiesenthal’s imaginative view of history is not limited to the twentieth century. In his 1973 book Sails of Hope, he argued that Christopher Columbus was a secret Jew, and that his famous voyage to the western hemisphere in 1492 was actually a search for a new homeland for Europe’s Jews. 
Wiesenthal is not always wrong, of course. In 1975 and again in 1993 he publicly acknowledged that “there were no extermination camps on German soil.”  He thus implicitly conceded that the claims made at the postwar Nuremberg Tribunal and elsewhere that Buchenwald, Dachau and other camps in Germany proper were “extermination camps” are not true.
‘Fabrications’ About Eichmann
In more than 40 years of “Nazi hunting,” Wiesenthal’s role in locating and capturing Adolf Eichmann is often considered his greatest achievement.  (Eichmann headed the wartime SS Jewish affairs department. He was kidnapped by Israeli agents in Argentina in May 1960 and hanged in Jerusalem after a trial that received worldwide media attention.)
But Isser Harel, the Israeli official who headed the team that seized Eichmann, has declared unequivocally that Wiesenthal had “absolutely nothing” to do with the capture. (Harel is a former head of both the Mossad and Shin Bet, Israel’s foreign and domestic security agencies.) 
Wiesenthal not only “had no role whatsoever” in the apprehension, said Harel, but in fact he endangered the entire Eichmann operation. In a 278-page manuscript, Harel carefully refuted every claim by Wiesenthal about his supposed role in identifying and capturing Eichmann. Claims by Wiesenthal and his many friends about his supposedly crucial role in capturing the former SS officer, said Harel, have no foundation in fact. Many specific assertions and incidents described in two books by Wiesenthal, said the Israeli official, are “complete fabrications.” 
“Wiesenthal’s reports and statements at that period prove beyond any doubt that he had no notion of Eichmann’s whereabouts,” said Harel.  (For example, just before Eichmann’s capture in Argentina, Wiesenthal was placing him in Japan and Saudi Arabia.) 
Characterizing Wiesenthal as a rank opportunist, Harel summed up: “All the information supplied by Wiesenthal before and in anticipation of the [Eichmann] operation was utterly worthless, and sometimes even misleading and of negative value.” 
Reckless Charges in Walus Case
One of Wiesenthal’s most spectacular cases involved a Polish-born Chicago man named Frank Walus. In a letter dated December 10, 1974, he charged that Walus “delivered Jews to the Gestapo” in Czestochowa and Kielce in Poland during the war. This letter prompted a US government investigation and legal action.  The Washington Post dealt with the case in a 1981 article entitled “The Nazi Who Never Was: How a witch hunt by judge, press and investigators branded an innocent man a war criminal.” The lengthy piece, which was copyrighted by the American Bar Association, reported: 
In January 1977, the United States government accused a Chicagoan named Frank Walus of having committed atrocities in Poland during World War II.
In the following years, this retired factory worker went into debt in order to raise more than $60,000 to defend himself. He sat in a courtroom while eleven Jewish survivors of the Nazi occupation of Poland testified that they saw him murder children, an old woman, a young woman, a hunchback and others …
Overwhelming evidence shows that Walus was not a Nazi War criminal, that he was not even in Poland during World War II.
… In an atmosphere of hatred and loathing verging on hysteria, the government persecuted an innocent man. In 1974, Simon Wiesenthal, the famous “Nazi hunter” of Vienna, denounced Walus as “a Pole in Chicago who performed duties with the Gestapo in the ghettos of Czestochowa and Kielce and handed over a number of Jews to the Gestapo.”
The Chicago weekly newspaper Reader also reported on the case in a detailed 1981 article headlined: “The Persecution of Frank Walus: To Catch a Nazi: The U.S. government wanted a war criminal. So, with the help of Simon Wiesenthal, the Israeli police, the local press and Judge Julius Hoffman, they invented one.”  The article stated:
… It is logical to assume that the “reports received by Wiesenthal [against Walus] actually were rumors… In other words, Simon Wiesenthal had no evidence against Walus. He denounced him anyway.
While [Judge] Hoffman had the Walus case under advisement, Holocaust aired on television. During the same period, in April 1978, Simon Wiesenthal came to Chicago, where he gave interviews taking credit for the Walus case. “How Nazi-Hunter Helped Find Walus,” was the Sun-Times headline on a story by Bob Olmstead. Wiesenthal told Sun-Times Abe Peck that he “has never had a case of mistaken identity.” “I know there are thousands of people who wait for my mistake,” he said.
It was only after an exhausting legal battle that the man who was vilified and physically attacked as “the butcher of Kielce” was finally able to prove that he had spent the war years as a peaceful farm laborer in Germany. Frank Walus died in August 1994, a broken and bitterly disappointed man.
Wiesenthal’s recklessness in the Walus case should have been enough to permanently discredit him as a reliable investigator. But his Teflon reputation survived even this.
Wrong about Mengele
Much of the Wiesenthal myth is based on his hunt for Joseph Mengele, the wartime physician at Auschwitz known as the “Angel of Death.” Time and time again, Wiesenthal claimed to be close on Mengele’s heels. Wiesenthal reported that his informants had “seen” or “just missed” the elusive physician in Peru, Chile, Brazil, Spain, Greece, and half a dozen locations in Paraguay. 
One of the closest shaves came in the summer of 1960. Wiesenthal reported that Mengele had been hiding out on a small Greek island, from where he escaped by just a few hours. Wiesenthal continued to peddle this story, complete with precise details, even after a reporter whom he had hired to check it out informed him that the tale was false from beginning to end. 
According to another Wiesenthal report, Mengele arranged for the murder in 1960 of one of his former victims, a woman he had supposedly sterilized in Auschwitz. After spotting her, and her distinctive camp tattoo, at a hotel in Argentina where he was staying, Mengele allegedly arranged to have her killed because he feared that she would expose him. It turned out that the woman was never in a concentration camp, had no tattoo, had never met Mengele, and her death was a simple mountaineering accident. 
Mengele regularly dined at the finest restaurants in Asuncion, the Paraguayan capital, Wiesenthal said in 1977, and supposedly drove around the city with a bevy of armed guards in his black Mercedes Benz. 
Wiesenthal announced in 1985 that he was “100 percent sure” that Mengele had been hiding out in Paraguay until at least June 1984, and charged that the Mengele family in Germany knew exactly where. As it turned out, Wiesenthal was completely wrong. It was later definitively established that Mengele had died in 1979 in Brazil, where he had been living for years in anonymous poverty. 
Israel’s ambassador to Paraguay from 1968 to 1972, Benjamin (Benno) Varon, remarked in 1983 on the Mengele campaign: “Wiesenthal makes periodic statements that he is about to catch him, perhaps since Wiesenthal must raise funds for his activities and the name Mengele is always good for a plug.” Wiesenthal “failed miserably” in the Mengele case, the diplomat said on another occasion.  In the Mengele case, former Mossad chief Harel remarked, “Wiesenthal’s folly borders on the criminal.” 
In truth, the bulging Mengele file in Wiesenthal’s Vienna “Documentation Center” was such a jumble of useless information that, in the words of the London Times, it “only sustained his self-confirmatory myths and gave scant satisfaction to those who apparently needed a definitive answer to Mengele’s fate.” 
In the considered view of Gerald Posner and John Ware, coauthors of Mengele: The Complete Story, Wiesenthal spent years assiduously cultivating a mythical “self-image of a tireless, dogged sleuth, pitted against the omnipotent and sinister might of Mengele and a vast Nazi network.” Because of his “knack of playing to the gallery,” Posner and Ware concluded, Wiesenthal “ultimately compromised his credibility.” 
‘Incompetence and Arrogance’
Eli Rosenbaum, an official with the US government’s “Nazi hunting” Office of Special Investigations and an investigator for the World Jewish Congress, took aim at Wiesenthal’s carefully cultivated “Nazi hunter” reputation in a detailed 1993 book, Betrayal.  For example, Rosenbaum mentioned, Wiesenthal “had all these reports placing Mengele in almost every country in Latin America except the one he was in — namely, Brazil.” 
Wiesenthal, wrote Rosenbaum, has been a “pathetically ineffective” investigator who had “gone far beyond the buffoonery and false boasts in prior years.” Much of his illustrious career, Rosenbaum said, has been characterized by “incompetence and arrogance.” 
Bruno Kreisky once summed up his attitude towards the “Nazi hunter” in these words: 
The engineer Wiesenthal, or whatever else his title is, hates me because he knows that I despise his activity. The Wiesenthal group is a quasi-political Mafia that works against Austria with disgraceful methods. Wiesenthal is known as someone who isn’t very careful about the truth, who is not very selective about his methods and who uses tricks. He pretends to be the “Eichmann hunter,” even though everyone knows that this was the work of a secret service, and that Wiesenthal only takes credit for that.
‘Commercializing’ the Holocaust
The Los Angeles Wiesenthal Center pays the Vienna “Nazi Hunter” $75,000 a year for the use of his name, the director of Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust center said in 1988.
Both the Center and Wiesenthal “commercialize” and “trivialize” the Holocaust, the director added.
Wiesenthal “threw out” the figure of “11 million who were murdered in the Holocaust — six million Jews and five million non-Jews,” said the Yad Vashem official. When asked why he gave these figures, Wiesenthal replied: “The gentiles will not pay attention if we do not mention their victims, too.” Wiesenthal “chose ‘five million (gentiles)’ because he wanted a ‘diplomatic’ number, one that told of a large number of gentile victims but in no way was larger than that of Jews …” 
“What Wiesenthal and the Los Angeles Center that bears his name do is to trivialize the Holocaust,” commented The Jewish Press, a weekly that claims to be the largest-circulation English-language Jewish community paper in America.
In recent years Wiesenthal has been concerned about the growing impact of Holocaust revisionism. In “A Message from Simon Wiesenthal” published by the Center that bears his name, he said: “Today, when I see the rise of antisemitism here in Europe … the popularity of Le Pen, of David Duke, of the Holocaust revisionists, then I am convinced more than ever about the need for our new [Wiesenthal Center] Beit Hashoah-Museum of Tolerance” in Los Angeles. 
Wiesenthal is often asked why he does not forgive those who persecuted Jews half a century ago. His stock answer is that although he has the right to forgive for himself, he does not have the right to forgive on behalf of others.  On the basis of this sophistical logic, though, neither does he have the right to accuse and track down anyone in the name of others. Wiesenthal has never confined his “hunt” to those who victimized him personally.
‘Driven by Hatred’
It is difficult to say just what drives this remarkable man. Is it a craving for fame and praise? Or is he trying to live down a shameful episode from his past?
Wiesenthal clearly enjoys the praise he receives. “He is a man of considerable ego, proud of testimonials and honorary degrees,” the Los Angeles Times has reported.  Bruno Kreisky has given a simpler explanation. He said that Wiesenthal is “driven by hatred.” 
In light of his well-documented record of deceit, lies and incompetence, the extravagant praise heaped upon this contemptible man is a sorry reflection of the venal corruptibility and unprincipled self-deception of our age.
Quoted in: M. Weber, “‘Nazi Hunter’ Caught Lying,” The Spotlight (Washington, DC), Oct. 26, 1981, p. 9.
Interrogation of S. Wiesenthal on May 27 and 28, 1948, conducted by Curt Ponger of the Interrogation Branch of the Evidence Division of the Office (U.S.) Chief of Counsel for War Crimes. Interrogation No. 2820. On file at the National Archives (Washington, DC), “Records of the U.S. Nürnberg War Crimes Trials Interrogations, 1946-49,” Record Group 238, microfilm M-1019, roll 79, frames 460-469 and 470-476. Also cited in: “New Documents Raise New Doubts About Simon Wiesenthal’s War Years,” The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1988-89 (Vol. 8, No. 4), pp. 489-503.
PCIRO (International Refugee Organization, Austria) “Application for Assistance” filled out and signed by Wiesenthal. Dated Jan. 16,1949. (This was a trial exhibit in the Walus court case. Photocopy in author’s possession.)
Simon Wiesenthal, The Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Memoirs. Edited by Joseph Wechsberg. (New York: McGraw Hill, 1967)
Interrogation of S. Wiesenthal, May 27, 1948, pp. 1-2.
The Murderers Among Us, p. 27.
The Murderers Among Us, pp. 29-35. This account is not inconsistent with his 1948 and 1949 statements; See also: Simon Wiesenthal, Justice Not Vengeance (New York: Grove Weidenfeld: 1989), pp. 7-9.
Interrogation of May 27, 1948, p. 2. In a signed 1945 statement, Wiesenthal wrote:
“… I escaped on October 18, 1943, from the Lemberg [Lvov] hard labor camp where I was kept as a prisoner during my two years of labor at the railroad works… and went into hiding until joining Jewish partisans on November 21, 1943, who operated there. It was while fighting in the partisan ranks against the Nazis that we managed to collect and bury for safekeeping considerable amount of evidence… When the partisans were dispersed by the Germans I fled to Lemberg on February 10, 1944, and again went into hiding. On June 13, 1944, I was found during a house to house search and was immediately sent to the famous Lacki camp, near that city …” Source: “Curriculum Vitae of Ing. Wiesenthal, Szymon.” SHAEF, Subject: War Crimes, July 6, 1945. Records of USAEUR, War Crimes Branch, National Archives (Suitland, Maryland), Records Group 338, Box 534, Folder 000-50-59. Wiesenthal’s alleged partisans activities are also recounted in Alan Levy, The Wiesenthal File (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1994), pp. 50-53.
Interrogation of May 28, 1948, pp. 1-2.
Interrogation of May 28, 1948, p. 5.
The Murderers Among Us, pp. 35-37.
The Murderers Among Us, pp. 37-38; Interrogation, May 27, 1948, p. 2, and May 28, 1948, p. 5; A. Levy, The Wiesenthal File (1994), p. 54.
The Murderers Among Us, pp. 39-44; Interrogation, May 27, 1948, pp. 2-3.
Interview with foreign journalists in Vienna, Nov. 10, 1975. Text published in: “War Wiesenthal ein Gestapo-Kollaborateur?,” Profil (Vienna), No. 47, Nov. 18, 1975, pp. 16, 22-23; Reprinted in: Robert H. Drechsler, Simon Wiesenthal: Dokumentation (Vienna: 1982), pp. 215-218, 222-223; Quoted in part in A. Levy, The Wiesenthal File (1994), p. 349, and in, S. Wiesenthal, Justice Not Vengeance (New York: 1989), pp. 7, 299. Kreisky was not alone in charging that Wiesenthal had collaborated with the German Gestapo. Wim Van Leer, columnist for the English-language daily Jerusalem Post, stated in May 1986 that a high-level police official in Vienna, citing confidential police records, had told him during the early 1960s that these and other charges against Wiesenthal were true. Source: J. Bushinsky, “Nazi hunter sues over charges of links to Gestapo,” Chicago Sun-Times, Jan. 31, 1987.
Simon Wiesenthal, KZ Mauthausen (Linz and Vienna: Ibis-Verlag, 1946). Facsimile reprint in: Robert H. Drechsler, Simon Wiesenthal: Dokumentation (Vienna: 1982), p. 64.
“Firing Squad,” Life magazine, US edition, June 11, 1945, p. 50.
M. Weber and K. Stimely, “The Sleight-of-Hand of Simon Wiesenthal,” The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1984 (Vol. 5, No. 1), pp. 120-122; D. National-Zeitung (Munich), May 21, 1993, p. 3.
S. Wiesenthal, KZ Mauthausen (1946). See also facsimile reprint in: Robert H. Drechsler, Simon Wiesenthal: Dokumentation (Vienna: 1982), pp. 42, 46. This “confession” is a somewhat altered version of Nuremberg document NO-1973; A new edition of Wiesenthal’s 1946 book has been published under the title Denn sie Wussten, was sie tun: Zeichnungen und Aufzeichnungen aus dem KZ Mauthausen (Vienna: F. Deuticke, 1995). I am grateful to Robert Faurisson for bringing this to my attention. He points out in a July 1995 essay that Wiesenthal has deleted from this new edition both the “death bed confession” of Ziereis as well as his drawing of the three Mauthausen inmates.
According to the Encyclopaedia Judaica (“Mauthausen,”, Vol. 11, p. 1138), a grand total of 206,000 persons were inmates of Mauthausen and its satellite camps (including Hartheim) at one time or another.
S. Wiesenthal, KZ Mauthausen (1946). Facsimile reprint in: R. Drechsler, Simon Wiesenthal: Dokumentation, p. 47.
R. Faurisson, “The Gas Chambers: Truth or Lie?,” The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1981, pp. 330, 361. See also: Hans Fritzsche, The Sword in the Scales (London: 1953), p. 185; Gerald Reitlinger, The Final Solution (London: Sphere, pb., 1971), p. 515; M. Weber, “The Nuremberg Trials and the Holocaust,” The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1992 (Vol. 12, No. 2), p. 182.
USA Today, April 21, 1983, p. 9A.
The Murderers Among Us, p. 44.
Evelyn Le Chene, Mauthausen: The History of a Death Camp (London: 1971), pp. 166-168 and 190-191.
“Mauthausen”, Encyclopaedia Judaica (New York and Jerusalem: 1971), vol. 11, p. 1138.
C. Moritz, ed., Current Biography 1975 (New York: H.W. Wilson, 1975), p. 442; Wiesenthal interrogation of May 27, 1948, p. 3.
Mark Weber, “Jewish Soap,” The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1991 (Vol. 11, No. 2), pp. 217-227; See also: Robert Faurisson, “La savon juif,” Annales d’Histoire Revisionniste (Paris), No. 1, Printemps 1987, pp. 153-159.
Der Neue Weg (Vienna), No. 17/18, 1946, pp. 4-5. Article entitled “RIF” by “Ing. Wiesenth.” (Simon Wiesenthal).
Der Neue Weg (Vienna), Nr. 19/20, 1946, pp. 14-15. Article entitled “Seifenfabrik Belsetz” (“Belzec Soap Factory”), by “Ing. S.Wiesenth.”
S. Wiesenthal, Sails of Hope (Macmillan, 1973).
Letters by Wiesenthal in Books and Bookmen (London), April 1975, p. 5, and in Stars and Stripes (European edition), Jan. 24, 1993, p. 14. Facsimile of Stars and Stripes letter in The Journal of Historical Review, May-June 1993, p. 10; In 1986 Wiesenthal lied about his 1975 statement. In a letter dated May 12, 1986, to Prof. John George of Central State University in Edmond, Oklahoma (copy in author’s possession), Wiesenthal wrote: “I have never stated that ‘there were no extermination camps on German soil.’ This quote is false, I could never have said such a thing.”
For example, in a letter (dated Sept. 13, 1993), published in The New York Times, Sept. 29, 1993, Wiesenthal boasted: “I succeeded in putting a number of Nazis on trial who had perpetrated horrendous crimes in the Nazi era, including Adolf Eichmann, Franz Stangl, Gustav Wagner,…”
S. Birnbaum, “Wiesenthal’s Claim on Eichmann Disputed by Former Mossad Head,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency Daily News Bulletin (New York), April 4, 1989. (Dispatch dated April 3).
J. Schachter, “Wiesenthal had no role in Eichmann capture,” The Jerusalem Post, May 18, 1991. Facsimile reprint in Christian News, May 27, 1991, p. 19. See also: Ruth Sinai, “Wiesenthal’s role in Eichmann’s capture disputed,” Associated Press, The Orange County Register, Feb. 25, 1990, p. A 26; L. Lagnado, “How Simon Wiesenthal Helped a Secret Nazi,” Forward (New York), Sept. 24, 1993, pp. 1, 3.
J. Schachter, The Jerusalem Post, May 18, 1991 (cited above). Facsimile in Christian News, May 27, 1991, p. 19.
Arnold Forster, Square One (New York: 1988), pp. 187-189. (Forster was general counsel of the Anti-Defamation League, a major Zionist organization.)
J. Goldberg, “Top Spy Says Wiesenthal Lied About His Exploits,” Forward (New York), Nov. 12, 1993, pp. 1, 4; R. Sinai, “Wiesenthal’s role…,” The Orange County Register, Feb. 25, 1990 (cited above).
Michael Arndt, “The Wrong Man,” The Chicago Tribune Magazine, Dec. 2, 1984, pp. 15-35, esp. p. 23; Charles Ashman and Robert J. Wagman, The Nazi Hunters (New York: Pharos Books, 1988), pp. 193-195.
“The Nazi Who Never Was,” The Washington Post, May 10, 1981, pp. B5, B8.
“The Persecution of Frank Walus,” Reader (Chicago), Jan. 23, 1981, pp. 19, 30. After Wiesenthal was ultimately proven wrong in a similar case in Canada, the Toronto Sun newspaper commented in an editorial: “It seems that material provided by professional Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal is wrong, but repeated anyway [in the media].” (Quoted by M. Weber in The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1984, pp. 120-122.)
Gerald L. Posner and John Ware, Mengele: The Complete Story (New York: Dell, 1987), pp. 220-221; Gerald Astor, The ‘Last’ Nazi: The Life and Times of Dr. Joseph Mengele (Toronto: Paperjacks, 1986), p. 202.
G. Posner and J. Ware, Mengele: The Complete Story (cited above), p. 220.
G. Posner and J. Ware, Mengele (cited above), pp. 179-180; G. Astor, The ‘Last’ Nazi (cited above), pp. 178-180.
Time magazine, Sept. 26, 1977, pp. 36-38. Cited in: G. Posner and J. Ware, Mengele (cited above), p. 219.
“Hunting the ‘Angel of Death’,” Newsweek, May 20, 1985, pp. 36-38. See also: M. Weber, “Lessons of the Mengele Affair,” Journal of Historical Review, Fall 1985 (Vol. 6, No. 3), p. 382. On Wiesenthal’s distortion of truth in the Mermelstein-IHR case, see: M. Weber, “Declaration,” Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1982 (Vol. 3, No. 1), pp. 42-43; M. Weber, “Albert Speer and the ‘Holocaust,”‘ Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1984 (Vol. 5, Nos. 2-4), p. 439.
Midstream, Dec. 1983, p. 24. Quoted in: G. Posner and J. Ware, Mengele (cited above), p. 219; Los Angeles Times, Nov. 15, 1985, p. 2.
J. Schachter, “Wiesenthal had no role in Eichmann capture,” The Jerusalem Post, May 18, 1991. Facsimile reprint in Christian News, May 27, 1991, p. 19.
Tom Bower in The Times (London), June 14, 1985, p. 14. Quoted in: G. Posner and J. Ware, Mengele (cited above), pp. 222-223.
G. Posner and J. Ware, Mengele (cited above), pp. 222-223.
Betrayal, by Eli M. Rosenbaum, with William Hoffer. Published in 1993 by St. Martin’s Press (New York). Reviewed by Jacob Heilbrunn in The New York Times Book Review, Oct. 10, 1993, p. 9.
Quoted in L. Lagnado, “How Simon Wiesenthal…,” Forward (New York), Sept. 24, 1993, p. 3.
The New York Times Book Review, Oct. 10, 1993, p. 9; Forward (New York), Sept. 24, 1993, p. 3.
“Was hat Wiesenthal zu verbergen?,” D. National-Zeitung (Munich), Nov. 11, 1988, p. 4.
David Sinai, “News We Doubt You’ve Seen,” The Jewish Press (Brooklyn, NY), Dec. 23, 1988. Based on report in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Dec. 16, 1988.
“A Message from Simon Wiesenthal,” Response: The Wiesenthal Center World Report, Winter 1992, p. 11.
Charles Ashman and Robert J. Wagman, The Nazi Hunters (New York: Pharos Books, 1988), p. 286; A. Popkin, “Nazi-Hunter Simon Wiesenthal: ‘Information is Our Best Defense’,” Washington Jewish Week, Oct. 29, 1987, p. 2.
Quoted in: M. Weber, The Spotlight, Oct. 26, 1981, p. 9.
Quoted in D. National-Zeitung (Munich), July 8, 1988, p. 7, and in, R. Drechsler, Simon Wiesenthal: Dokumentation (Vienna: 1982), p. 199.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center: An Overview
By Mark Weber
Arriving in Los Angeles in 1977 with a $500,000 gift from Canadian Jewish businessman Samuel Belzberg, Rabbi Marvin Hier lost no time launching his dream project: the Simon Wiesenthal Center. In the years that followed, Hier succeeded in building the Center, named after the well-known “Nazi hunter,” into one of the world’s most influential Jewish organizations.
“Now second in membership only to B’nai B’rith International with 380,000 members,” noted the Los Angeles Times in 1990, “the Simon Wiesenthal Center at times rivals the venerable American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League and the World Jewish Congress for its impact and access to world leaders.”1 Today, five years later, the Center’s power and impact are, if anything, even more formidable.
Fear mongering and ‘Holocaustomania’
Hier achieved all this, and so quickly, because he hit on a winning formula for raising vast sums of money from American Jews: highly emotional appeals to raw fear with sensationalistic exploitation of the Holocaust story.
Hier and his colleagues never cease harping on the danger of anti-Semitism (or, as the Center spells it “antisemitism”). In its wide range of propaganda materials, including videotapes and fund-raising mailings, and especially in its glossy magazine, Response, the Center conjures up a paranoid fantasy world in which a sinister international network of neo-Nazis, Islamic extremists and other anti-Jewish forces of “hate” are on the march everywhere, plotting a murderous new “Final Solution” of all Jews.
The Center projects a paradoxical image of American Jewry: Fabulously wealthy and influential, but simultaneously threatened with physical extermination. Only the eternally vigilant Simon Wiesenthal Center, its publications suggest, protects Jews against a dangerous worldwide “hate” conspiracy and a new “Final Solution.”
“In America,” writes New York Times Deputy Media Editor Judith Miller in her 1990 book, One, by One, by One, “the lowest common denominator often sets the agenda. The Holocaust is not immune from this tendency.”2
“Marvin Hier and the Center will always cry anti-Semitism,” a renowned scholar told two Los Angeles Times writers, who summed up: “To get people to pay attention to his battle against anti-Semitism, Hier refuses to let anyone forget the Holocaust even for a minute.”3
As even the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith has acknowledged, though, the Wiesenthal Center makes “inaccurate” and “exaggerated claims” about anti-Semitism to raise money. In a 1984 internal memorandum, ADL official Justin Finger cited a Center fund-raising letter that is “replete with factual misstatements and exaggerations” about anti-Jewish sentiment in the United States and Europe.4
The 1991 Gulf War provided an ideal opportunity for the Simon Wiesenthal Center to trot out sensational new propaganda lies. According to a “shocking revelation” in the Spring 1991 issue of Response, German firms were producing Zyklon B gas in Iraq, “the chemical used by the Germans to murder millions of Jews during the Nazi Holocaust.”5
Iranian prisoners of war, the Center’s slick magazine went on, were being killed with Zyklon B “in gas chambers specially designed for the Iraqis by the German company Rhema Labortechnik.” Recycling a familiar Second World War propaganda theme, Response continued: “An eyewitness reported the [Iraqi] gas chambers were tiled to look like operating rooms, with a separated observation room for each gas chamber with reinforced glass visibility.”
In fanning the flames of what Jewish American historian Alfred Lilienthal calls “Holocaustomania,” the Wiesenthal Center has no peer. “Rabbi Hier and the Wiesenthal Center are, in my opinion, the most extreme of those who utilize the Holocaust,” said the director of Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust center in 1988. “The Jewish people does many vulgar things,” he went on, “but the Wiesenthal Center [has] raised it to a complete level: The optimum use of sensitive issues in order to raise money …”6
“The enormous success of the Simon Wiesenthal Center,” says author Judith Miller, “has given new meaning to what was once a macabre in-house joke … ‘There is no business like Shoah business’.” (“Shoah” is Hebrew for Holocaust).7 “It’s a sad fact,” adds the Center’s chief financial backer, Canadian-Jewish financier Samuel Belzberg, “that Israel and Jewish education and all the other familiar buzzwords no longer serve to rally Jews behind the community. The Holocaust, though, works every time.”8
In 1989, for example, the Center pulled in some $15 million in contributions.9 Marvin Hier is generously compensated for his work. In 1994 his annual pay was $225,000 (benefits included). At least six other Center officials were paid more than $100,000 each.10
Originally from New York’s Lower East Side, Hier possesses no academic credentials beyond his yeshiva (rabbinical school) certification. But he was not ashamed to appoint himself “Dean” of the Wiesenthal Center and of the Center-affiliated Yeshiva University.11
Hier has proven to be a tremendous boost to Simon Wiesenthal and his international image. “Before meeting up with Hier,” said one Center insider, “Simon was nickel and diming it in Vienna. He couldn’t even pay his phone bills.”12
A Jewish mission
While the Center makes a feeble pretense of concern for all humanity, its real agenda is narrowly, even chauvinistically Jewish. Hier frankly calls his Center a “full-fledged Jewish defense agency,”13 and Center publications skillfully play to Jewish fears, concerns and sensitivities.
“… The phenomenal growth of the Wiesenthal Center suggests that the haunting memory of the Holocaust is, for better or worse, what makes millions of Jews feel like Jews,” says Baltimore Jewish Times editor Gary Rosenblatt.14
Rival organizations that compete with the Center for money from the Jewish community privately resent Hier’s brash, “anything goes” tactics.
Hier “has become a self-appointed spokesman for American Jewish interests,” complains Leon Wieseltier, Jewish literary editor of The New Republic. Hier’s linkage of the Holocaust and American politics has “vulgarized” both, adds Wieseltier. “He and his operation have no right to desecrate the memory of millions of dead Jews by glibly associating their memory with the Center’s politics.”15
“Critics of the Simon Wiesenthal Center,” notes Judith Miller in One, by One, by One, “have also complained about the use of the Holocaust to justify lobbying for Jewish interests… ‘You must do this for the Jews because there was a Holocaust’.”16
Hier and his organization ceaselessly promote Zionist and Israeli interests. “Another implicit message of the Wiesenthal Center is that the Holocaust helped to validate the state of Israel,” writes Miller. “Remembering the Holocaust leads to staunch support of Israel.”17 Hier has had a particularly close relationship with Israel’s ultra-Zionist Likud party and hard line Israeli Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir.18 Although Hier and his Center demands dauntless pursuit and punishment of “Nazi war criminals,” Hier hypocritically ignores the well-documented records of Begin and Shamir as Zionist terrorists.19
No trust for non-Jews
A recurring Wiesenthal Center theme is that non-Jews are never entirely trustworthy. If “it” could happen in cultured Germany, Hier’s Center never ceases to suggest, “it” can happen anywhere. Anything less than fawning solicitude for Israeli and Jewish concerns, the Center implies, all but inevitably leads to shoving Jews into gas chambers. Hier’s “message is that Jews are never safe, that anti-Semitism is pandemic, occurring everywhere and in various degrees of virulence,” the Los Angeles Times sums up.20
“We’re like the baseball hitter who is up to bat with two strikes against him,” says Hier. “That’s the proper attitude for Jews. We shouldn’t be going around saying: it cannot happen again … We Americans have never been tested.”21 Regarding a Wiesenthal Center exhibit on the Holocaust, the monthly magazine of the American Jewish Committee remarked: “The message was that Jews have enemies, murderous enemies, and should look out.”22
In Hier’s view, the non-Jewish world — and especially European Christians — bears a collective guilt for what the Holocaust lobby insists is the most terrible crime in history. In a 1995 Los Angeles Times opinion piece, for example, Hier took aim at Christian leaders during the Second World War, chastising the “prelates — from Pope Pius XII down — who at best looked the other way, protected their own, were bystanders rather than activists and sometimes even assisted the Nazis in carrying out their Final Solution.”23
For from promoting “tolerance,” says Dr. Frank Knopfelmacher, a leading Australian Jewish scholar, the Wiesenthal Center actually foments “ethnic hatred.” Australia government officials, added Knopfelmacher, should have “banned the members of the Simon Wiesenthal Center from entering Australia and should have deported those who were here.”24
For an organization founded just 16 years ago, the Wiesenthal Center wields phenomenal political and financial power. “Hier has accrued unprecedented clout in the Legislature, on Capitol Hill, in the city’s boardrooms and even in Hollywood,” noted the Los Angeles Times Magazine in a 1990 profile article.25
Among the many prominent and wealthy individuals who have given public support to the Simon Wiesenthal Center have been President Ronald Reagan, President George Bush, Senator Dianne Feinstein (and her investment banker husband Richard Blum), entertainers Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor, columnist George Will, Mortimer B. Zuckerman (publisher of US News and World Report and the Atlantic Monthly), television journalist Barbara Walters, several members of the moneyed Belzberg family, Alan Greenberg (chairman of the investment firm of Bear Stearns), and New York financiers Nelson Peltz, Ronald Perelman and Ivan Boesky. (Boesky, a member of the Center’s board of directors, was later found guilty of large-scale illegal stock dealing).
“Genocide,” an 88-minute Holocaust motion picture coproduced by the Wiesenthal Center, was awarded the 1982 Academy Award for “Best Documentary Feature.” Accepting the Award was “Dean” Hier, the only Orthodox rabbi ever to win an Oscar.26 A more recent expression of the Center’s close Hollywood ties is the 1995 HBO made-for-television motion picture, “The Infiltrator,” a highly flattering portrayal of the Center and its work (in which IHR Director Mark Weber is smeared, by name, as a “big time fascist”).
Political pull and public money
Such is the political clout wielded by the Center that California lawmakers recently voted to give it a second $5 million grant of state taxpayers’ funds. (The first was in 1985.) This money, allocated for the Center’s “Museum of Tolerance,” came from funds normally reserved for California public schools. Backing this extraordinary grant were prominent politicians of both parties, including California Governor Pete Wilson.27
At a time of belt-tightening across the board, the Wiesenthal Center can count on “special treatment” for state lawmakers. One cautiously indignant Californian echoed the sentiment of many others in a letter published in the leading Los Angeles daily newspaper:28
Giving the Wiesenthal Centers another $5 million in state tax dollars when clinics and hospitals are closing, local schools’ teaching budgets are being cut and public libraries fight to keep open on even a limited basis is difficult to justify.
Financially strapped education leaders and spokesmen for hard-pressed public interest groups were understandably outraged. Responding to Hier’s claims of school children visits to his “Museum of Tolerance,” a lobbyist for the California Teachers Association sarcastically commented: “70,000 kids might go McDonald’s every day, but we don’t pick up their lunch tab.”
In addition, the Center has received $5 million in federal funds, through legislation sponsored by California Congressman Henry Waxman.29
The Center’s ties with California Governor Wilson could hardly be closer. A senior political advisor to Wilson is a member of the Wiesenthal Center’s board of directors. To show its appreciation, last year the Center awarded Wilson its “National Leadership Award.” Among those attending the award dinner was Michael Fuchs, chairman of Home Box Office (HBO) and a member of the Wiesenthal Center’s board of directors.30
On at least one occasion, Marvin Hier used his influence to help a favored politician. In April 1992 he appealed for money on behalf of Mel Levine, a US Congressman and Democratic candidate for US Senator from California. In a letter sent out to the Wiesenthal Center mailing list, Hier attacked Patrick Buchanan and praised Levine for his unwavering support for Israel and his “sense of history.” “Never Again must be America’s slogan,” wrote Hier. “And Mel Levine, as US Senator from California, will be an important force for a farsighted American foreign policy.” (In spite of Hier’s appeal, Levine failed to win the Democratic party nomination for US Senate.)
In 1988 Hier and the Center honored Simon Wiesenthal at two gala dinners, one in Los Angeles and another in New York City. At the California gathering, Hier singled out President Reagan for special commendation, and at the New York dinner, which netted $700,000, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl delivered the main tribute to Wiesenthal.31
A Wiesenthal Center “National Tribute Dinner” in November 1989 provided another opportunity to manifest the organization’s wide-ranging influence.32 Speakers included Simon Wiesenthal, Israeli premier Yitzhak Shamir, and Center Chairman Samuel Belzberg, with awards to prominent media personalities, including MCA President Sidney Sheinberg and actor Ben Kingsley.
“Dinner chairman” Robert Maxwell was unable to attend the event, but the Jewish publishing baron’s daughter was on hand to deliver his passionate speech. (It was only after his mysterious death in October 1991, and a state funeral in Israel, that Maxwell’s record as perhaps the greatest swindler in history came to light. He had stolen at least $1.65 billion from the public companies he controlled.)
American newspapers and magazines treat the Wiesenthal Center with uncritical deference, accepting at face value its bogus pretense to be an impartial source of reliable information. The Los Angeles Times — the most influential newspaper in the western United States — routinely provides space for lengthy “op ed” opinion essays by Wiesenthal Center spokesmen.
Earlier this year the Center flexed its muscles with a stunning display of global power. It acted quickly and decisively after a major Japanese monthly magazine, Marco Polo, published a ten-page article in its February 1995 issue that presented credible evidence to show that there were no execution gas chambers in wartime German concentration camps, and that many other Holocaust stories are exaggerated or untrue.33
While recklessly misrepresenting the article’s content, the Wiesenthal Center promptly lashed out at the magazine and its publisher, and mounted an international boycott campaign to pressure major international corporations into withdrawing advertising. Quickly capitulating to the Center’s campaign — which the Institute for Historical Review called “an arrogant expression of bigotry and intolerance” — the publisher took the astonishing step of shutting down Marco Polo magazine altogether. At a packed news conference in Tokyo, Wiesenthal Center “Associate Dean” Abraham Cooper accepted a craven public apology from the publishing company’s president.
Attacking the IHR
In many ways, the Institute for Historical Review and the Simon Wiesenthal Center are antipodal adversaries. Not surprisingly, then, the Center has hit hard and often at the IHR.
In a frenzied fund-raising letter mailed out in 1985, for example, the Center cited The Journal of Historical Review as a source of special concern, warning that a goal of the Journal is to “undermine the legitimacy of the State of Israel.” The letter ominously added:
We must learn the names and location of all neo-Nazis and revisionist leaders in every state. We must both keep careful records of their activities and expose them to the public.
Wiesenthal Center official Aaron Breitbart castigated the IHR in an article published in the 1986 Jewish Directory and Almanac. “The jewel in the crown of revisionism,” he wrote, “is the California-based Institute for Historical Review.” Another widely-distributed Wiesenthal Center fund-raising letter signed by actor Glenn Ford included a furious and lengthy smear against the IHR and its Journal.
In a prominently featured “op ed” opinion essay published in April 1995 in a Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times, Wiesenthal Center official Abraham Cooper warned:34
With access to the Internet limitless, the scope of hate-group activities is rapidly expanding. The Institute for Historical Review, the leading voice of Holocaust denial in the United States, has set up a site on the World Wide Web portion of the Internet where its literature can be obtained free.
Nearly every issue of the Center’s “World Report” magazine, Response (with a claimed 1995 circulation of 320,000) attacks the Institute and leading revisionist scholars. Contrary to the Center’s bogus “tolerance,” Response frequently gloats about legal repression of Holocaust revisionists in foreign countries. Typical is an article in the Summer 1992 issue, headlined “Holocaust Deniers on the March” and illustrated with a color photograph of French professor Robert Faurisson. Several items in the Winter 1992 issue take aim at the Institute, including one specifically devoted to the IHR’s Eleventh Conference. Likewise, a snide and misleading article in the Fall-Winter 1994 Response reported on the Twelfth IHR Conference.
Glitzy ‘Museum of Tolerance’
When the Wiesenthal Center opened the doors of its eight-story, $50 million “Museum of Tolerance” in 1993, American television, newspapers and magazines responded with an outpouring of flattering coverage. California Governor Wilson called the Museum a “treasure,” and Los Angeles City Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky ascribed almost miraculous powers to it. “If every citizen of Los Angeles…will walk through the halls of this Museum and heed its lessons,” he said, “then this city will have nothing to worry about.”35
The Museum on Pico Boulevard in West Los Angeles — also called the Beit Hashoah in Hebrew (“House of the Holocaust”) — draws 350,000 visitors a year, says Hier. This includes more than 70,000 public and private school children who are taken through the Museum yearly. “It’s almost a second home to public schools,” boasts Hier. “We want to keep them there.”36
This is no ordinary museum. A slick, high-tech enterprise that “marries theme-park glitz with harrowing themes” (Los Angeles Daily News),37 it presents a relentlessly Judeocentric version of history, packed with grotesque historical distortions and falsehoods. (A detailed look at the “Museum of Tolerance” will appear in a forthcoming Journal issue.)
The phenomenal growth and impact of the Simon Wiesenthal Center is a reflection of the predominant financial-political forces in American society today, and consequently of its prevailing cultural values and historical outlook. It is a barometer of Zionist-Jewish power and influence in the United States, of the hypocrisy and weakness of this country’s political leadership, and of the quasi-religious role that the Holocaust story has come to play, not only in America but throughout the world.
J. Dart, “L.A. Rabbi’s Organization Commands International Attention,” Los Angeles Times, March 10, 1990.
Judith Miller, One, by One, by One: Facing the Holocaust (New York: Simon and Schuster/ Touchstone, 1990), p. 250.
S. Teitelbaum and T. Waldman, “The Unorthodox Rabbi,” Los Angeles Times Magazine, July 15, 1990, pp. 8, 10.
Miles Corwin, “Claims About Anti-Semitic Wave Hit by B’nai B’rith,” Los Angeles Times, Dec. 12, 1984.
“German Firms Produce Zyklon B in Iraq,” Response: The Wiesenthal Center World Report, Spring 1991, pp. 2, 4.
David Sinai, “News We Doubt You’ve Seen,” The Jewish Press (Brooklyn, NY), Dec. 23, 1988. Based in part on report in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Dec. 16, 1988.
J. Miller, One, by One, by One (1990), p. 237.
S. Teitelbaum and T. Waldman, “The Unorthodox Rabbi,” Los Angeles Times Magazine, July 15, 1990, p. 10.
“The Unorthodox Rabbi,” Los Angeles Times Magazine, July 15, 1990, p. 8; Federal tax filings for 1990-91 IRS showed that the Wiesenthal Center annual budget was $11.15 million. Source: Forward (New York City), Nov. 13, 1992, p. 1.
D. Morain, “Lean Times Don’t Imperil Wiesenthal Grant,” Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1995.
“The Unorthodox Rabbi,” Los Angeles Times Magazine, July 15, 1990, p. 37.
“The Unorthodox Rabbi,” Los Angeles Times Magazine, July 15, 1990, p. 10.
J. Miller, One, by One, by One (1990), p. 237.
J. Miller, One, by One, by One, p. 251.
J. Miller, One, by One, by One, pp. 246, 247.
J. Miller, One, by One, by One, p. 248.
J. Miller, One, by One, by One, p. 247.
Says Begin: “Rabbi Hier is one of the foremost spiritual leaders in the United States, and in the entire Jewish world.” Los Angeles Times Magazine, July 15, 1990, p. 8.
On the terrorist backgrounds of Begin and Shamir, see Alfred Lilienthal’s study, The Zionist Connection. For more about Shamir’s terrorist past, see the sources given in The Journal of Historical Review, July-August 1993, pp. 35, 37 (n. 49).
“The Unorthodox Rabbi,” Los Angeles Times Magazine, July 15, 1990, p. 39.
J. Miller, One, by One, by One, p. 251.
Edward Norden, “Yes and No to the Holocaust Museums,” Commentary (New York: Am. Jewish Comm.), August 1993, p. 23.
M. Hier, “Heroes Aren’t the Story, Villainy Is,” Los Angeles Times, January 19, 1995.
“Influential Australian Jewish Figure Condemns ‘Nazi Hunters’ and Simon Wiesenthal Center,” IHR Newsletter, April 1991, p. 5. Based on report in The Australian, July 31, 1990.
“The Unorthodox Rabbi,” Los Angeles Times Magazine, July 15, 1990, p. 9.
J. Miller, One, by One, by One, pp. 236-37.
D. Morain, “Lean Times Don’t Imperil Wiesenthal Grant,” Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1995.
Letter by Richard M. Walden in the Los Angeles Times, July 27, 1995.
“The Unorthodox Rabbi,” Los Angeles Times Magazine, July 15, 1990, p. 9.
“Lean Times Don’t Imperil Wiesenthal Grant,” Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1995.
J. Miller, One, by One, by One, p. 244.
K. Allman, “Honoring Those Who Remember,” Los Angeles Times, Nov. 21, 1989.
“‘No Gas Chambers’ Says Influential Japanese Magazine: Jewish-Zionist Boycott Campaign Shuts Down Prominent Monthly,” The Journal of Historical Review, March-April 1995, pp. 2-9.
Abraham Cooper, “Cyberspace Bigots Getting a Free Ride,” Los Angeles Times, April 16, 1995.
“Museum Opens to Critical Acclaim,” Response (SWC), Spring 1993, p. 12.
D. Morain, “Lean Times Don’t Imperil Wiesenthal Grant,” Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1995.
Article by Meg Sullivan from the Los Angeles Daily News. Printed in The Orange County Register, Feb. 7, 1993, p. H 36.
From The Journal of Historical Review, July-August 1995 (Vol. 15, No. 4), pp. 2-7.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center: A Bastion of Jewish-Zionist Power
By Mark Weber
Since its founding in 1977, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has grown to become one of the most important and influential Jewish organizations in the world. Headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in New York, Jerusalem, Paris, Miami, Toronto and Buenos Aires, it reports a membership of more than 300,000 and an annual income of some $30 million.
The Center’s imposing “Museum of Tolerance” in West Los Angeles, which presents a relentlessly Jewish-Zionist version of history, draws some 350,000 visitors each year, including tens of thousands of school children who are brought in busloads.
Although it calls itself “an international Jewish human rights organization dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust fostering tolerance and understanding,” the Center in reality is a propaganda agency whose agenda is to further Jewish-Zionist interests. / 1
The Center and its head, Rabbi Marvin Hier, wield considerable political power. “Hier has accrued unprecedented clout in the Legislature, on Capitol Hill, in the city’s boardrooms and even in Hollywood,” says the Los Angeles Times. / 2
Among the Center’s prominent and wealthy supporters are President George W. Bush, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (New York), Senator Charles E. Schumer (New York), Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Mortimer Zuckerman, publisher of US News and World Report and the Atlantic Monthly. / 3
One of Hier’s most important backers has been Roland E. Arnall, a California businessman who played a key role in getting the Center off the ground. With a fortune estimated at $2 billion, he has for years been a major player in state and national politics. / 4 Other major financial contributors, likewise Jewish, have included Ivan Boesky, who is perhaps best known for his prominent role in a mid-1980s Wall Street insider trading scandal, and Gary Winnick, founder and chairman of Global Crossing, Ltd., who donated $40 million for the Center’s “Museum of Tolerance” in Jerusalem. / 5
The Center’s annual income in the 2002-2003 fiscal year (the most recent for which detailed data is available) was $30 million, of which some $17 million was from public donations, and $10 million – one-third of the total — was from taxpayer funds. / 6 Of that $10 million in taxpayer money, $6 million was from the state of California, $2.6 million was from the US federal government, $1 million dollars came from New York City, and $328,147 was from New York State. / 7
That such a large portion of its budget is from public funds is an expression of the Center’s political muscle. Even during times of fiscal belt-tightening, Hier’s already wealthy Center can count on indulgent treatment by pliant politicians. In 1985, for example, California lawmakers voted to give the Center a $5 million grant of state taxpayer funds. / 8 In 1995 the state legislature gave a second $5 million grant. That allocation — to the Center’s ” Museum of Tolerance ” (and equal to the entire California Arts Council budget for the year 2004) — came from funds that had been reserved for the state’s public schools. Backing this extraordinary gift were prominent politicians of both parties, including Governor Pete Wilson. / 9
In addition, the Center has received at least $5 million in federal funds, through legislation sponsored by US Congressman Henry Waxman. / 10
“…In what’s become a growing scandal,” the LA Weekly noted, “funds allocated for the Museum’s `Tools for Tolerance’ program [of the Wiesenthal Center] (which trains educators and police on `diversity issues’) are a budget `line item,’ meaning that it’s pre-allocated every year by the governor (with legislative approval) – bypassing the peer-review process of other grants.” / 11 The paper went on to remark on the political clout that makes such largess possible: “The Museum’s good fortune is as much a testament to the lobbying power of the Wiesenthal Center’s dean, Rabbi Marvin Hier, as to the much larger social agenda of privatizing public services. For more than a decade and a half, Hier has had powerful backers among both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, from former Governor Pete Wilson and former Democratic leader Willie Brown, to President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who invited Hier to briefings on the war in Iraq.”
Among those who receive generous salaries from the Center are four members of the Hier family. In fiscal year 2002-2003, Martin Hier – its founder and “Dean” — received $482,528 in salary and benefits, while his wife, Marlene, the Center’s “Membership Director,” received $312,574. Alan Hier, a son, received $151,761 in compensation and benefits for fundraising activities, and another son, Aron Hier, received $95,656 as “Associate Director.” Abraham Cooper, the Center’s “Associate Dean,” received $397,622 in salary and benefits. Compensation for other senior staff members was similarly generous. / 12
In cultural life as well, Hier’s Center has had considerable success in pressing its agenda. Through its “Moriah Films” division, it has produced several movies. “The Long Way Home,” a film released in 1997, for example, is a fervently pro-Zionist look at the 1945-1949 period that sympathetically portrays Jews who survived German camps and World II, and the triumphal establishment of a Zionist state in Palestine. Even Jewish terrorist groups, the Irgun and the Stern Gang, are presented with understanding, if not sympathy. / 13
The Wiesenthal Center serves as an informal film censor. Motion picture makers routinely ask it to screen films as they are being considered for production. The Center effectively has the power to kill a movie. As one journalist who tracks the Hollywood scene has noted, Hier’s Center “has been active in the entertainment industry for a number of years, often reviewing scripts and consulting with filmmakers and studios on Jewish-related productions. The Center has worked on everything from New Line’s 1998 film `American History X’ to the 1989 ABC television mini-series `War and Remembrance’.” / 14
In 2004 the Center called on French authorities to ban the French edition of The Holocaust Industry, a provocative study by American Jewish scholar Norman Finkelstein that has been a best-seller in Europe. An official of the Center said that the book “presents a great danger” and should be prohibited in France because it is allegedly “replete with Holocaust revisionism and incitement to antisemitism.” / 15
A Record of Recklessness
The indulgent treatment of the Center by politicians is matched by similarly respectful treatment from the press. With an attitude that borders on the reverential, the American media overlooks the Center’s easily verifiable record of recklessness and deceit.
In its glossy magazine, Response, and in its other propaganda materials, the Center relentlessly conjures up a frightening image of militant, hate-crazed anti-Jewish legions on the march everywhere, determined to eradicate all Jews in a genocidal new “Final Solution.” Its record of exaggerating anti-Jewish sentiment to raise money is no secret. Even the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), another major Jewish-Zionist group, has acknowledged that the Center makes “inaccurate” and “exaggerated claims” about anti-Semitism to raise money. It found, for example, that a Center fund-raising letter is “replete with factual misstatements and exaggerations” about anti-Jewish sentiment in the United States and Europe. / 16
In 1998 the Center issued a report that harshly condemned Switzerland ’s treatment of Jews during World War II. The report, which received wide media attention, claimed that Swiss authorities held Jews in “slave labor camps.” During the war years, its author charged, “the Swiss were really sadistic. They wanted to hurt the Jews, to deliberately hurt the Jews.” / 17 In fact, the report was so inaccurate that Simon Wiesenthal himself took the unusual step of disavowing it. / 18 Although the report’s distortions were eventually identified and made public, the damage had been done. The truth about the Center’s fraudulent claims received much less media attention, especially in the American press, than did the Center’s original, exaggerated accusations.
In 1999 the Center posted on its website a doctored wartime photograph of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. Appearing under the heading “Photo Gallery: Hungarian arrivals after the ‘Selektion’ at Auschwitz,” it was captioned: “As these prisoners were being processed for slave labor, many of their friends were being gassed and burned in the ovens in the crematoria. The smoke can be seen in the background.” In fact, the photo had been altered by adding phony “smoke,” apparently to support survivor testimony about smoke billowing from camp crematory chimneys. It was only after skeptics identified and publicized the fraud, that the Center removed the faked photo. / 19
Many Christians have been offended by some of the Center’s overblown pronouncements, such as Rabbi Hier’s charge that Mel Gibson and his film, The Passion of the Christ, “stereotype and denigrate the masses of Jews” and “could potentially imperil Jewish lives.” / 20 Hier has also chastised Christian leaders during the Second World War, “from Pope Pius XII down, who at best looked the other way, protected their own, were bystanders rather than activists and sometimes even assisted the Nazis in carrying out their Final Solution.” / 21 Hier has made the amazing claim, unsupported by any reputable historian, that Pope Pius XII prayed for Hitler’s victory in World War II, and gave Church money to the German leader to fight Soviet Communism. The campaign to elevate the wartime pontiff to sainthood, Hier charged, “desecrates the memory of the Holocaust.” / 22
Israel and Zionism
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is a staunch supporter of Israel and its Jewish supremacist regime. “What happens to Israel is every Jew’s business,” says Hier. / 23 “Let us never forget,” Hier has also said, “that after the Holocaust when hope was bleak and Jewish life was decimated, that it was Israel that made us whole again, restored our pride, our faith, and our determination to go on.” / 24 In that spirit, the Center staunchly defends Israel ’s policies of oppression, occupation, dispossession, and institutionalized discrimination against non-Jews. / 25
The Center supports Jewish religious bigotry, insisting that the Zionist seizure of the land of Palestine (“Zion”) is ordained by God, as revealed in the Hebrew scriptures. “In fact,” says Hier, “the cornerstone of our [sic] return to Zion was always based on the fact that it was a return to our historic biblical roots.” / 26
The Center supports policies of the Zionist state that have been condemned by the world community and which violate United Nations Security Council resolutions. For example, it has repeatedly voiced support for Israel ’s formidable “security fence,” a hideous barrier that is part of Israel ’s long-range policy of seizing land of non-Jews, and which the International Court of Justice says is illegal. / 27 While the Center denounces violence and terrorism against Jews, it sanctions Zionist terrorism against non-Jews. It has publicly honored two Israeli leaders – Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir – each of whom has a well-documented record as a terrorist. / 28
In 2002 the Center announced plans to build a grand “Museum of Tolerance”Jerusalem. This was too much even for some Israeli Jews. The former deputy mayor of Jerusalem, Meron Benvenisti, vented his exasperation in a piece published in an influential Israeli daily paper: “It is difficult to imagine a project so hallucinatory, so irrelevant, so foreign, so megalomaniac, as the Museum of Tolerance. The mere attempt to stick the term tolerance to a building so intolerant to its surroundings is ridiculous… There’s no need to waste words on the absurdity of a Museum of Tolerance planted on part of an ancient Muslim cemetery, some of which has long since been turned into a parking lot, and will now be topped by spaces in which people are meant to learn about tolerance, mutual respect and coexistence.” Benvenisti concluded: “The Museum of Tolerance project must be eradicated without any tolerance.” / 29
Propaganda for War
The Wiesenthal Center has a long record of reckless propaganda for war. Long before the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003, it had been pressing for an American attack against the Middle East nation, backing its effort with alarmist “Big Lie” claims about the supposed danger posed by the Baghdad regime.
In 1990 Hier wrote in Newsweek magazine: “I think the United States should go in. Maybe not tomorrow, but very soon… Three years from now, Iraq will have nuclear weapons.” / 30 In early 1991 the Center announced the “shocking revelation” that Iranian prisoners of war were being killed with Zyklon B “in gas chambers specially designed for the Iraqis by the German company Rhema Labortechnik.” The Center’s magazine, Response, went on to assert that the Iraqi “gas chambers were tiled to look like operating rooms, with a separated observation room for each gas chamber with reinforced glass visibility.” / 31
In the months before the US invasion of Iraq, the Center was offering new propaganda reasons for America to go to war. An all out attack was necessary, it claimed in October 2002, because the Saddam Hussein regime had been “continuing to stockpile weapons of mass destruction,” and because it “has defied the world and thumbed his nose at United Nations Security Council resolutions.” Moreover, the Center went on to charge: “For while there are other tyrants, Saddam alone stands as a menace to world order and stability. While there are others who possess chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, only Saddam has shown an eagerness to use them.”
The Center’s indignation over the Baghdad regime’s alleged defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions is remarkable for its gall, given Israel ’s own long record of defying such resolutions.
As the world now knows, the Center’s claims about Iraq– which matched those of the Bush administration – were empty propaganda pretexts designed to persuade a skeptical public to support unprovoked war against a country that posed no threat to the United States.
Fanning the Flames
In its slick membership magazine, its films, and its public pronouncements, Rabbi Hier and his Center skillfully play to Jewish fears, concerns and sensitivities, above all through relentlessly emotion-laden exploitation of the Holocaust story. In fanning the flames of what Jewish American historian Alfred Lilienthal calls “Holocaustomania,” it has no equal.
“Rabbi Hier and the Wiesenthal Center are, in my opinion, the most extreme of those who utilize the Holocaust,” the director of Israel ‘s Yad Vashem Holocaust center has said. “The Jewish people does many vulgar things,” he went on, “but the Wiesenthal Center [has] raised it to a complete level: The optimum use of sensitive issues in order to raise money …” / 34 “The enormous success of the Simon Wiesenthal Center,” says New York Times journalist and author Judith Miller, “has given new meaning to what was once a macabre in-house joke … ‘There is no business like Shoah business’,” (“Shoah” is the Hebrew term for Holocaust). / 35
The Center has been a major player in what Norman Finkelstein calls the “extortion racket” by Israel and organized Jewry to blackmail billions of dollars from European countries and corporations. / 36 Finkelstein, himself a son of Holocaust survivors, calls the Center “a gang of heartless and immoral crooks, whose hallmark is that they will do anything for a dollar.” / 37
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is not only an expression of immense Jewish-Zionist power in America, it plays an important role in maintaining that power. In promoting its agenda, it carries out a well-funded and effective propaganda campaign of deceit, disinformation and lies in support of Israeli oppression and war. In partnership with politicians who put their own interests ahead of the public good, it both reflects and contributes to the corruption of American political and cultural life.
1. See also M. Weber, “The Simon Wiesenthal Center : An Overview,” The Journal of Historical Review, July-August 1995, pp. 2-7. Additional useful information about the Center is posted on David Irving’s website: http://www.fpp.co.uk/docs/Wiesenthal/
2. S. Teitelbaum and T. Waldman, “The Unorthodox Rabbi,” Los Angeles Times Magazine, July 15, 1990, p. 9.
3. Other prominent supporters of the Center have included:
President Ronald Reagan, President George H.W. Bush, Governors Jeb Bush (Florida), Gray Davis (California), and George E. Pataki (New York), New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, Senator Charles E. Schumer (New York), Senator Dianne Feinstein (California), and her investment banker husband Richard Blum), entertainers Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor, columnist George Will, television journalist Barbara Walters, several members of the moneyed Belzberg family, Alan Greenberg (chairman of the investment firm of Bear Stearns), and New York financiers Nelson Peltz, Ronald Perelman and Ivan Boesky.
4. During the 2001-2005 period, for example, Arnall, his companies and his wife, have made more than $8 million in political donations. He has been a major financial backer of President George W. Bush and California Governor Schwarzenegger. Arnall and his wife gave $5 million to a group that supported Bush’s presidential reelection campaign, and he and his companies provided $1 million to finance Bush’s 2003 inaugural. Source: E. Scott Reckard, “Ambassador Nominee’s Company is Scrutinized,” Los Angeles Times, Sunday, August 7, 2005, pages A1, A28.
5. S. Freudenheim, “$40-Million Gift to Fund Israeli Tolerance Center,” Los Angeles Times, May 10, 2000; D. Colker, “Global Chairman Defends…,” Los Angeles Times, Oct. 2, 2002, pp. C1, C4.
6. According to the Center’s public IRS Form 990 for the year 2002, filed on May 19, 2004, the Center’s income during the year ending June 30, 2003, was $30,540,845, of which $16,867,991 was from “direct public support” (donations from the public), and $10,117,676 was from “government contributions (grants).”
7. Information provided by the Wiesenthal Center.
8. M. Chazanov, M. Gladstone, “Museum of Tolerance’: Proposed State Grant for Wiesenthal Facility Raises Eyebrows,” Los Angeles Times, May 19, 1985.
9. D. Morain, “Lean Times Don’t Imperil Wiesenthal Grant,”Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1995.
10. S. Teitelbaum and T. Waldman, “The Unorthodox Rabbi,” Los Angeles Times Magazine, July 15, 1990, p. 9.
11. S. L Morris, “Swimming with sharks in a sea of arts funding,” LA Weekly, June 27-July 3, 2003.
12. Information from the Center’s public IRS Form 990 for the year 2002, filed on May 19, 2004.
13. H. Sheehan, “The Long Way Home’: A Personal History,” The Orange County Register, Sept. 19, 1997.
14. Josh Spector, ”Forget Ebert: Studios Now Look for Thumbs Up from Special Interest Groups,” Inside Magazine, March 26, 2001. See also: Tom Tugend, “Hollywood Director Says Wiesenthal Center Nixed Film,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), April 20, 2001; Tom Tugend, “Pressure Power?,” The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, April 6, 2001.
15. “Simon Wiesenthal Centre Testifies in Paris Libel Suit Against Norman Finkelstein,” Die Jüdische, March 26, 2004.
16. Miles Corwin, “Claims About Anti-Semitic Wave Hit by B’nai B’rith,” Los Angeles Times, Dec. 12, 1984.
17. “Jews Mistreated in Swiss WWII Camps, Study Says,” Los Angeles Times, Jan. 13, 1998; “Swiss Slowed Jews’ Escape, Report Says,” Los Angeles Times, June 10, 1998; Essays by Rabbis Hier and Cooper of the Wiesenthal Center, and by Swiss Ambassador Thomas Borer, “Perspectives on the Swiss in World War II,” Los Angeles Times, June 17, 1998.
18. “Wiesenthal Dismisses Report on Switzerland,” The Orange County Register, June 18, 1998.
19. “How the Simon Wiesenthal Center Falsifies History,” The Journal of Historical Review, Sept.-Dec. 1999 (Vol. 18, No. 4-5), pages 4-5.
See also: David Irving, “Bowing to the ‘deniers’ Wiesenthal Center has finally removed faked photo from its website.”
20. SWC news release, “SWC and Mel Gibson’s Film The Passion of the Christ,” February 2004.
21. M. Hier, “Heroes Aren’t the Story, Villainy Is,” Los Angeles Times, Jan. 19, 1995.
For a succinct response to criticisms of Pope Pius XII for his actions during World War II, see “The Myth of Hitler’s Pope,” a review by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., July 25, 2005. Posted at:
22. C. Reed, “Wartime Pope `Prayed for Nazi Victory’,” The Guardian (Britain), May 15, 1999, p. 18.
23. SWC news release, Feb. 12, 2001.
24. SWC news release, July 22, 2001. On Hier’s ardent support for Israel and its policies, see also SWC news release, April 11, 2002 “We Stand With Israel.”
25. On the systemtic and institutionalized nature of Israeli discrimination against non-Jews, see: “Saving Israel From Itself: A Secular Future for the Jewish State,” by Bernard Avishai, Harper’s Magazine, January 2005; Norman Dacey, “Democracy’ in Israel: Government, Social Order and Institutions (IHR: 1992?); Alfred Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1978), esp. chap.VI; Issa Nakhleh, Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem (New York: 1991).
26. SWC news release of Jan. 10, 2001, “Israel’s Honor and Soul Should Not Be Up for Grabs,” Jan. 10, 2001.
27. SWC “Press Information” statements of August 20, 2003, and July 9, 2004. For more about the “security fence,” see: “Israeli Official: Wall to Ensure Jewish Majority,” AP, July 11, 2005; “Stop the Wall” website http://stopthewall.org/ ; “Israel’s Confiscation Barrier Through Palestine,” If Americans Knew .
28. M. Weber, “The Simon Wiesenthal Center : An Overview,” The Journal of Historical Review, July-August 1995, pp. 2-7.
“Both the Stern Gang and the Irgun, which included [later Israeli] prime ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, were involved in the bombings of Arab markets, the bombing of the British military headquarters in Jerusalem’s King David Hotel — an attack that left over 80 Englishmen, Arabs and Jews dead – and the assassination of UN mediator Count Bernadotte, author of a June 1948 peace plan calling for, among other things, an Arab-controlled Jerusalem.” See: James Ciment, Palestine/ Israel: The Long Conflict (New York: Facts on File, 1997), pages 186-187; George W. Ball, Douglas B. Ball, The Passionate Attachment: America’s Involvement with Israel, 1947 to the Present (New York: 1992), p. 141; Baylis Thomas, How Israel Was Won: A Concise History of the Arab-Israel Conflict ( 1999).
29. Meron Benvenisti, “A Museum of Tolerance in a City of Fanatics,” Haaretz (Israel), Dec. 5, 2002.
30. Marvin Hier, “Crisis in the Gulf,” Newsweek, Nov. 26. 1990. Facsimile in Christian News, Nov. 26, 1990, p. 4.
31. “German Firms Produce Zyklon B in Iraq,” Response: The Wiesenthal Center World Report, Spring 1991, pp. 2, 4; D. Willis “German Exports: `Was the Lesson of Auschwitz in Vain?,” Orange County Register, Feb. 8, 1991.
32. SWC news release of October 7, 2002. “Wiesenthal Center Supports Congressional Resolution on Iraq.”
33. A major and probably crucial factor in the US decision to bomb, invade and occupy Iraq was to eliminate a regime that was hostile to Israel and dangerous to Zionist interests. See: M. Weber, “Iraq : A War for Israel,” May 2005; James Bamford, A Pretext for War (Anchor, 2005); Stephen J. Sniegoski, “War on Iraq – Conceived In Israel,” Current Concerns (Switzerland), Issue No. 1, 2003.
34. Ha’aretz, (Israel), Dec. 16, 1988. Reported in: David Sinai, “News We Doubt You’ve Seen,” [“Sad”], The Jewish Press (Brooklyn, New York), Dec. 23, 1988.
35. Judith Miller, One by One, by One: Facing the Holocaust (New York: Simon and Schuster/ Touchstone, 1990), p. 237.
36. Norman G. Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry (London, New York : Verso, 2003 [second ed.]), pp. 89, 94, 130, 138, 139
37. “A Conversation with Professor Norman Finkelstein.” Conducted by Don Atapattu, Dec. 13, 2001.