3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
A most passionate and moving account of the pursuit of Nazi war criminals.
What is most commendable is that Weisenthal was after legal justice, never after arbitrary punishment. Summary justice inevitably happened in all occupied countries after the war - but this is not the aim of Weisenthal.
It was truly a team effort as well as a prolonged attempt to locate these murderers. Many had changed identities and were dispersed in several Arab countries (which actively protected them) and in North and South America. It is interesting how a fair number chose suicide just prior to being apprehended or after capture and trial. The trials also helped to disseminate the true scope of Nazi cruelty during World War II to the public arena.
Many of the victims came to Weisenthal several years after the war when the trace of the perpetrator(s) had vanished. To Weisenthal's credit he broadens the scope of the Holocaust to point out that Gypsies, Poles and several other groups were the victims of Nazism.
Perhaps the book loses some resonance in the later stages when Weisenthal explains some of the persecutions he faced from Austrian politicians in the post war era.
One wonders if any of the Nazi criminals ever acknowledged the bestiality of what they did? The interview with Kurt Waldhiem is particularly instructive regarding this.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Simon Wiesenthal had a desk that never ceased to have an impossible stack of papers upon it. He is known for all of the Nazi murderers and other terrorists he tracked down, but we don't know the number of all of the murderers who were never apprehended. I am sure the number is staggering and probably the papers on his desk do not have a complete list of the perpetrators.
What's amazing to me is how people would help these thugs escape. After the war, it became clear, largely from Simon Wiesenthal's work, that people from inside the Vatican helped Nazi's escape and settle mostly in South America, mostly in impossible outposts like Uruguay or Paraguay-OOOOOO.
The Nazi's had a game they loved to play inside the walls of the concentration camps. It was a camp rule that inmates would be shot if they tried to climb the electrified fence. Some days they would charge the prisoners to touch the fence or otherwise they'd be shot. You were proverbially damned if you did and damned if you didn't and of course dead in the end. The strangest thing to me, but not too surprising, is how so many of the Nazi camp commandants were nice people, good church going people who would never do the things they were purported to do. It's all so incomprehensible to me, but the stories Simon Wiesenthal tells have been corroborated by many others. PLEASE READ.