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Nazi hunter Shimon Wiesenthal: "My work is done"

"I found the mass murderers I was looking for, and I also outlived them all. If there are any I didn't look for, they are now too old to stand trial," said the elderly Nazi hunter.

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Wiesenthal. Life's work is over. Photo: Shimon Wiesenthal Center website

Nazi hunter Shimon Wiesenthal said in an interview with an Austrian magazine that he believes his work is done. "I found the mass murderers I was looking for, and I also outlived them all. If there are those I did not look for, they are now too old to stand trial," the 94-year-old Wiesenthal was quoted in an interview with the Austrian magazine "Format".

"It is difficult to get the public to truly understand the crimes these people committed," Wiesenthal said in a statement released before the issue hit newsstands tomorrow morning. "I still struggle with people and groups who claim that the Holocaust never happened."

He was born in 1908 in the town of Butech, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and now in the territory of Ukraine. When World War II broke out, he stayed with his family in Prague, where he studied architecture. He spent most of the war in concentration camps and labor camps. When he was released, he was flown to Nuremberg, where he sifted through over 100 tons of documents, hunting for evidence that would lead to Nazi suspects. At the beginning of his career he worked for the War Crimes Department of the US Army and later at the Jewish History Documentation Center he founded, first in Linz, Austria, and later in Vienna.

Wiesenthal spent decades tracking down over a thousand Nazi war criminals and even played a role in the capture of Adolf Eichmann. In 1977, a center named after him was established in Los Angeles, to commemorate his life's work.

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