Nazi-hunter Wiesenthal dies aged 96

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The Independent Online

Simon Wiesenthal, the Holocaust survivor who dedicated his life to finding those responsible for the atrocities of Nazi Germany, died in his sleep at his home in Vienna.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center which continues his work, said: "Simon Wiesenthal was the conscience of the Holocaust.

"When the Holocaust ended in 1945 and the whole world went home to forget, he alone remained behind to remember. He did not forget.

"He became the permanent representative of the victims, determined to bring the perpetrators of history's greatest crime to justice.

"There was no press conference and no president or prime minister or world leader announced his appointment. He just took the job. It was a job no one else wanted.

"The task was overwhelming. The cause had few friends. The Allies were already focused on the Cold War, the survivors were rebuilding their shattered lives and Simon Wiesenthal was all alone, combining the role of both prosecutor and detective at the same time."

Wiesenthal, who had been an architect before the war, lost 89 of his relatives in the Holocaust.

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