German Holocaust survivors mourn Wiesenthal

20th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

20 September 2005, BERLIN - A group that represents Holocaust survivors said Tuesday the death of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal at the age of 96 in Vienna was "a great loss".

20 September 2005

BERLIN - A group that represents Holocaust survivors said Tuesday the death of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal at the age of 96 in Vienna was "a great loss".

"He definitely played a role in ensuring that survivors obtained a a sort of justice," said Christoph Heubner, deputy president of the International Auschwitz Committee, in Berlin.

An estimated 1,000 Holocaust survivors are still alive in Germany. The committee provides survivors with an international forum for contact and also promotes youth exchanges.

Heubner said many of the estimated 20,000 Holocaust survivors still alive around the world retained "very personal memories" of their persecution by the Nazis and felt it was important to keep up the search for the war criminals.

He added that the bulk of the survivors were aged 70 to 90. It was typical of the age that the memories re-surfaced for many of them.

"Their dreams become more vivid," he explained.

Concentration camp survivor Wiesenthal's death in Vienna was announced by the Los Angeles Wiesenthal Center on Tuesday. Wiesenthal had been involved in the arrest of more than 1,000 Nazis in the decades after World War Two.

In a tribute to his work, the Berlin Jewish community said it had been Wiesenthal who had agitated after the War for the crimes of the Nazis to be punished at a time when governments' interest in doing so had been slight.

Albert Meyer, chairman of the community, said in Berlin, "There is a danger today that the file on the topic will be closed." He said it was vital to Holocaust survivors that the efforts of justice continue.

DPA

Subject: German news

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