O'Keefe Theodore J. - The Wiesenthal Files


Author : O'Keefe Theodore J.
Title : The Wiesenthal Files
Year : 1998

Link download : O_Keefe_Theodore_J_-_The_Wiesenthal_Files.zip

Chapter 1: Simon Wiesenthal's War Years: New Doubts. Simon Wiesenthal is the world's most famous "Nazi"-hunter. His claim to have brought Adolf Eichmann and more than a thousand other Third-Reich "war criminals" to justice has become the stuff of popular myth, familiar to tens of millions through his own writings as well as through fictionalized treatments of his career in bestselling thrillers and film and television hits. Wiesenthal's activities and example, more than those of any other man, have kept alive and institutionalized the international drive to track down and punish Germans and others alleged to have persecuted Jews during the Second World War. Few men of the postwar era have been honored as frequently as has Wiesenthal: a list of his decorations, medals, orders, and honorary degrees, including a special gold medal awarded by the U.S. Congress and presented him by a teary-eyed President Jimmy Carter, would fill two pages in this journal. Fundamental to Simon Wiesenthal's moral authority as a "Nazi"-hunter, and serving also as the basis for his expertise on the crimes and criminals of Axis Europe, has been the story of his experiences at the hands of the Germans during the war. According to Wiesenthal's public account of his war years, as told in his The Murderers Among Us, and repeated in countless speeches and interviews, he endured almost continual suffering as a German prisoner from July 1941 to May 1945, when he was liberated by American troops at Mauthausen. His time as a concentration camp inmate and "slave" laborer, his numerous narrow escapes from execution by his captors, and his witness to countless crimes and atrocities carried out against other Jews stamp him not merely as a survivor but as an accuser and avenger. While doubts and even accusations have been raised in the past as to Wiesenthal's conduct during the war years, there has so far been no hard evidence made public in support of allegations, frequently raised, that Wiesenthal "collaborated" with the Germans. Nor, to our knowledge, has an exhaustive comparison of Wiesenthal's separate statements on his wartime experiences been undertaken. New Evidence Last spring IHR was able to obtain a certified copy of a transcript of an interrogation which took place on two consecutive days, May 27 and May 28, 1948. 1 The interrogator was Curt Ponger; the man Ponger was questioning, Simon Wiesenthal. The interrogation is described as having been brought about by (auf Veranlassung von) a Mr. Niederman, and was recorded stenographically by M. Fritsche. There is no indication of the place where the interrogation took place. The transcript of that portion of the interrogation which took place on May 27, between 11 and 12 o'clock, runs to nine-and-a-half, double-spaced, typewritten, 81/2 x 11-inch pages. That of the following day, which was conducted between 11:30 and 12 o'clock (both times are presumably A.M., although this is not explicitly stated) covers nearer seven pages identical in size and format to the transcript of the first day's interrogation. The May 27 transcript consists of twenty-eight questions and answers, that of May 28, twenty questions and answers. Answer No. 4 of the first day's interrogation is this statement by Simon Wiesenthal: "I swear by the Almighty and All-knowing God that I will say the absolute truth, conceal nothing and add nothing, so help me God". ("Ich schwoere bei Gott dem Allmaechtigen und Allwissenden, dass ich die reine Wahrheit sagen, nichts verschweigen und nichts hinzufuegen werde, so wahr mir Gott helfe"). ...

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