Simon Wiesenthal

Simon Wiesenthal

The Life and Legends

Book - 2010
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Random House, Inc.
This first fully documented biography of Simon Wiesenthal, the legendary Nazi hunter, is also a brilliant character study of a man whose life was part invention but wholly dedicated to ensuring both that the Nazis be held responsible for their crimes and that the destruction of European Jewry never be forgotten.

Like most Jews in Eastern Europe on the eve of Hitler’s invasion of Poland, twenty-four-year-old Simon Wiesenthal did not grasp the nature of the Nazi threat. But six years later, when a skeletal Wiesenthal was liberated from the concentration camp at Mauthausen, he fully fathomed the crimes of the Nazis. Within days he had assembled a list of nearly 150 Nazi war criminals, the first of dozens of such lists he would make over a lifetime as a Nazi hunter. A hero in the eyes of many, Wiesenthal was also attacked for his unrelenting pursuit of the past, when others preferred to forget.

For this new biography, rich in newsworthy revelations, historian and journalist Tom Segev has obtained access to Wiesenthal’s private papers and to sixteen archives, including records of the U.S., Israeli, Polish, and East German secret services. Segev is able to reveal the intriguing secrets of Wiesenthal’s life, including his stunning role in the capture of Adolf Eichmann, his relationship with Israel’s Mossad, his controversial investigative techniques, his unlikely friendships with Kurt Waldheim and Albert Speer, and the nature of his rivalry with Elie Wiesel.

Segev’s challenge in writing this biography was Wiesenthal’s own complicated relationship to truth. Wiesenthal told many versions of his life, his suffering in the camps, and his involvement with the arrest of individual Nazis. Segev shows that in order to gain the information he sought and twist the arms of reluctant government figures, Wiesenthal needed to seem more influential than he really was.

For two generations of Americans, Simon Wiesenthal was a Jewish superhero—depicted on film by Ben Kingsley and Laurence Olivier—and the muse for a Frederick Forsyth thriller. Now Segev demonstrates that the truth of Wiesenthal’s existence is as compelling as the fiction. Simon Wiesenthal is an unforgettable life of one of the great men of the twentieth century.

Baker & Taylor
A fully documented profile of the "Nazi hunter" famous for his unrelenting pursuit of Nazi criminals draws on extensive international records to discuss such topics as his role in capturing Adolf Eichmann, rivalry with Elie Wiesel, and infamy later in life.

Blackwell Publishing
"A brilliant and gripping account of an extraordinary life. It draws upon extensive research to offer new insights into the complex personality as well as the notable achievements of Simon Wiesenthal."ùSir Ian Kershaw, author of Hitler: A Biography

"Richly documented and written with great passion."ùElie wWiesel, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Superb...Throws new light on the central trauma of Israeli society, and the uses and abuses of this trauma for political manipulation. I, for one, learned from this book that, in order to survive, societies must learn not only to remember but also to forget."ùAmos Elon, author of The Israelis: Founders and Sons

"A marvelous achievement...Anyone curious about the extraordinary six days of Arab-Israeli war will learn much from it."ùThe Economist

"Tom Segev's 1967 offers a brilliant description of the Six-Day War in its widest context...This is probably the best book on those most fateful days in the history of Israel and the Middle East."ùSaul Friedlander, author of The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945

"The best single account of Palestine under the British mandate...This will doubtlessly become the authoritative text for the pre-state history of Israel."ùOmer Bartov, New York Times Book Review

This first fully documented biography of Simon Wiesenthal, the legendary Nazi hunter, is also a brilliant character study of a man whose life was part invention but wholly dedicated to ensuring both that the Nazis be held responsible for their crimes and that the destruction of European Jewry never be forgotten.

This first fully documented biography of Simon Wiesenthal, the legendary Nazi hunter, is also a brilliant character study of a man whose life was part invention but wholly dedicated to ensuring both that the Nazis be held responsible for their crimes and that the destruction of European Jewry never be forgotten

Like Most Jews In Eastern Europe on the eve of Hitler's invasion of Poland, twenty-four-year-old Simon Wiesenthal did not grasp the nature of the Nazi threat. But six years later, when a skeletal Wiesenthal was liberated from the concentration camp at Mauthausen, he fully fathomed the crimes of the Nazis. Within days he had assembled a list of nearly 150 Nazi war criminals, the first of dozens of such lists he would make over a lifetime as a Nazi hunter. A hero in the eyes of many, Wiesenthal was also attacked for his unrelenting pursuit of the past, when others preferred to forget.

For this new biography, rich in newsworthy revelations, historian and journalist Tom Segev has obtained access to Wiesenthal's private papers and to sixteen archives, including records of the U.S., Israeli, Polish, and East German secret services. Segev is able to reveal the intriguing secrets of Wiesenthal's life, including his stunning role in the capture of Adolf Eichmann, his relationship with Israel's Mossad, his controversial investigative techniques, his unlikely friendships with Kurt Waldheim and Albert Speer, and the nature of his rivalry with Elie Wiesel.

Segev's challenge in writing this biography was Wiesenthal's own complicated relationship to truth. Wiesentha told many versions of his life, his suffering in the camps. and his involvement with the arrests of individual Nazis. Segev shows that in order to gain the information he sought and twist the arms of reluctant government figures, Wiesenthal needed to seem more influential than he really was.

For two generations of Americans, Simon Wiesenthal was a Jewish superheroùdepicted on film by Ben Kingsley and Laurence Olivierùand the muse for a Frederick Forsyth thriller. Now Segev demonstrates that the truth of Wiesenthal's existence is as compelling as the fiction. Simon Wiesenthal is an unforgettable life of one of the great men of the twentieth century.

Baker
& Taylor

A fully documented profile of the "Nazi hunter" famously portrayed in films starring Ben Kingsley and Laurence Olivier draws on extensive international records to discuss such topics as his role in capturing Adolf Eichmann, rivalry with Elie Wiesel and infamy later in life. By the author of 1967.

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385519465
038551946X
Branch Call Number: Biography W6371s
Characteristics: viii, 482 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm

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rpavlacic
Jan 04, 2016

As remarkable a man as Simon Wiesenthal was, there were two takeaways I got from this book. One: He overstated the number of Nazis he successfully hunted down - most got light sentences or were acquitted all together. Two: He had a long time rivalry with someone who should have been his natural ally, Elie Wiesel; when Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize, Wiesenthal was miffed and felt that he should have won instead or at least shared the prize with his rival. I wasn't expecting a true hero to have sour grapes.

debwalker Jan 24, 2011

A National Book Critics Circle Awards Finalist 2010

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