Levy, an American who founded and edits the Prague Post , has known famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal since 1974. This moving account of his life and work is filled with Wiesenthal's outspoken comments and impromptu recollections. Levy's reconstruction of how the relentlessly determined survivor of Hitler's concentration camps brought Adolf Eichmann and other major Nazi criminals to justice packs in as much suspense and high drama as a thriller. Born in 1908 in Galicia (a region of the former Austria-Hungary), Wiesenthal tried to commit suicide after the Gestapo arrested him. His wife, Cyla Muller, also was sent to a concentration camp; he assumed she was dead until their postwar reunion in Poland. Levy offers a controversial analysis of Wiesenthal's role in the debate surrounding ex-U.N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, who became Austria's president. Wiesenthal called Waldheim a liar who concealed his knowledge of atrocities but concluded he was never a Nazi or war criminal. Levy praises Wiesenthal's ``principled stand,'' which possibly cost him a Nobel Peace Prize. Photos. Author tour. (Aug.)
Journalist Levy describes Simon Wiesenthal's pursuit of various Nazi war criminals such as Adolf Eichmann, Raoul Wallenberg, and Josef Mengele. During the Holocaust, Wiesenthal spent over four years in a concentration camp and lost all of his immediate family except his wife. Initially, he worked with Americans to locate war criminals, but he became disillusioned with the Americans and founded the Jewish Historical Documentation Center. He felt the center would be more concerned with the rights of the victims. During his career, Wiesenthal brought almost 1200 Nazi criminals to trial. Levy illustrates Wiesenthal's commitment to "justice, not vengeance" throughout the book, also offering a critical study of Wiesenthal and his writings. Levy has included historic research, comments from Wiesenthal, and an examination of the man and his mission. Recommended for public libraries.-Mary Salony, West Virginia Northern Community Coll. Lib., Wheeling
Simon Wiesenthal, a survivor of Mauthausen Concentration Camp, has spent the last 47 years searching for Nazi war criminals. Since 1947 he has brought nearly 1,200 Nazis to trial. His discovery of Adolf Eichmann's hideout led to the killer's abduction from Argentina by Israeli agents in 1960 and Eichmann's hanging in 1962. Wiesenthal's extradition of Franz Stangl, commandant of Sobibor and Treblinka, from Brazil to Germany led to Stangl's sentence of life in prison in 1970. Levy's impressive study of Wiesenthal's life and work, originally published in England, is well documented and balanced, tracing his life through his birth in Galicia in 1908, his imprisonment and suffering during the Holocaust, and his commitment after World War II to bringing Nazi criminals to justice. This is an important book about one of the most important Jewish figures of our time.