Simon Wiesenthal Biography
(Austrian Holocaust Survivor, Nazi Hunter and Writer)
Birthday: December 31, 1908 (Capricorn)
Born In: Buchach, Ukraine
Simon Wiesenthal was an Austrian writer and Holocaust survivor who became a famous Nazi hunter following World War II. Although trained as an architect, he never returned to his trained profession. Instead, he devoted his life to memorializing Holocaust victims and educating future generations about Nazism and anti-Semitism. Most of his family perished during the war, in death and labor camps. He vowed to capture and punish those responsible. His detractors criticized him as obstinate and naïve. Yet, his unflagging devotion to tracking down those responsible for the Holocaust has been credited with bringing dozens of war criminals to justice. Over the years following his liberation, he investigated allegations of war crimes, tracked down fugitive Nazi war criminals, and collected information to help Jewish refugees locate lost relatives. Although some critics have questioned his memoirs’ veracity, his creative writings are an important voice for recollecting the atrocities committed in wartime Europe and the human stories of survival. Seeing himself as part of the conscience of Europe, he doggedly pursued politicians with connections to Nazism and refused to bow to threats from neo-Nazis in the later twentieth century.