One of the most ludicrous ideas to be floated in the years since World War II is the contention that the Nazi Holocaust in the 1930s and 1940s never occurred, that hell-holes such as Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Trblinka never really happened, that stories about the brutal and bestial behavior at such places are manufactured by special interests.
A single name makes it simple to refute such people: Simon Wiesenthal. The relentless "voice for justice" has died at the age of 96 after six decades of trying to find and prosecute those responsible for the inhumanity spawned by Adolf Hitler and his followers.
Wiesenthal survived five Nazi death camps and weighed less than 100 pounds when he was liberated by American soldiers in Austria in May of 1945. He was 36 years old.
Wiesenthal's phenomenal spirit and physical presence, considering his wartime ordeals, is credited with helping bring to justice more than 1,100 Nazis. Most notorious of that group, perhaps, was Adolf Eichmann, the SS leader who orchestrated the extermination of more than 6 million Jews and thousands of other "enemies of the Third Reich." Weisenthal also is credited with finding, in 1963, the former Gestapo officer, Karl Silberbauer, who sent 14-year-old Anne Frank and her family from their hiding place in Amsterdam to the death camps.
Comments the Indianapolis Star: "Wiesenthal was a powerful and elegant voice against racism, prejudice and intolerance in all their forms. 'The most important thing I have done is to fight against forgetting and to keep remembrance alive,' he once told The Associated Press."
It is incredible that a person subjected to the rigors of the death camps as he was could even live 60 more years. Add to that his relentless record for pursuing justice and Wiesenthal has to be ranked among the most important forces for good in our time.
While some may choose to believe otherwise, pure evil existed in the Nazi murder spree, and this incredible man did all one can do to make us aware of it and to try to guide us away from repeating such grisly history.