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On a cool February evening in 1960, a family huddled together in a cemetery in Northern Australia dressed in somber colors.
They were there to mourn the loss of their patriarch who had died four days earlier.
The Cool Wind swirled as they watch the coffin, being cranked lower and lower into the Earth. 200 yards away.
Unbeknownst to the Family, Two photographers were hiding.
They huddled behind.
Trying not to be seen.
Speaking in Whispers.
They pointed their lenses at the mourners and secretly snapped.
Their cameras, desperately, trying to get as many photos as possible, and the late afternoon daylight.
Cut 29 days later to a small apartment in Vienna to Israeli spies pour over those very photos.
The ones secretly taken at the funeral.
They’re on the hunt for one man.
Former Nazi Lieutenant, Adolf Eichmann, and they’re hoping these photos might confirm his identity, the spies comb through the photos with a third guy, a local who’s been helping them track.
On their elusive Target this helper.
He’s not a spy, not a special agent, but he’s dedicated his life to a very specific Pursuit.
His name is Simon wiesenthal.
He’s a self-proclaimed Nazi Hunter.
From giblet media.
This is not past it a show about the stories.
We can’t quite leave behind every episode.
We take a moment from that very same week in history and tell you the story of how it shaped our world.
I’m Simone plannin 62 years ago, this week, February 18th, 1960 Simon, wiesenthal reportedly gave photos to Israeli intelligence agents, to help hunt down Adolf, Eichmann former.
Officer a notorious architect of the Holocaust, the hunt for Eichmann spanned the globe and made Simon a hero but like all historical narratives.
This story gets a lot more complicated.
Once you start parsing out the details and the pursuit of justice is rarely straightforward.
The hunt kicks off after the break.
Entering the Final Phase of victory over Hitler’s Nazis.
Yank Army swarm across Western Germany, the white flag of surrender flies all along the battle-torn Route, as are fast-moving Army sweep to a junction with the Russians in May of 1945 World War Two, was finally coming to a close in Europe, Allied troops marched into a war-torn, Germany prison camps and forced labor camps.
Took a heavy toll of millions of miserable people enslaved.
The Nazis thousands of these unhappy humans are being freed daily by the Allied armies.
The Allied Forces dismantled concentration camps like the madhouse in Camp.
One of the first large-scale networks of camps.
The Nazis had built the Americans liberated, tens of thousands of survivors, in mathausen and nearby.
Subcamps in Austria.
One of those survivors was a 36 year old man named Simon.
Wiesenthal a Jewish architectural engineer, born and modern-day Ukraine in 1941 Simon and his wife were It into a ghetto and l’viv then the Nazis separated them.
And over the next four years.
Simon was shipped around to several concentration camps, Simon survived.
And when he was freed in 1945, he took on a special Mission.
You see Simon had an incredible memory and he’d spent his time in the camps, making mental notes about all the Nazi officers.
He saw and that That memory was immediately useful to the Allied Forces.
He volunteered at mauthausen to help the Allies identify were criminals.
He thought I could be useful here documentarian, Richard trank makes films with the Simon wiesenthal Center.
He directed a film released in 2007 about Simon and he came up with the first list, all these People these criminals that he encountered and I think it kind of blew them away.
Here’s this guy.
He’s half-dead still in his Camp uniform with these names and so they put him to work and work.
Did he continue divulging the names of all the Nazis?
He had encountered.
He also began interviewing other survivors and when he confirmed the names or whereabouts of Nazis or Nazi sympathizers, he passed them off to the Americans.
He felt that this is something he needed to do to see people be arrested and tried in a court of law for the crimes.
Obviously Simon wasn’t alone in pursuing this Mission, this push for accountability.
Finally came to fruition a few months later and the fall of 1945 with the first Nuremberg trials.
The Allied Forces convened.
The Nuremberg trials to prosecute, some of the Holocaust, most prominent operatives in the first trial 24.
Nazi leaders were indicted and it all took place in Nuremberg, Germany.
A city largely considered to be a center of the Nazi party.
A very symbolic Choice, United States of America, present count one of the indictment that all the defendants participated as organizers or accomplices in a common plan or conspiracy to commit crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
Former Nazi Party members testified in court leading to the conviction of all, but three of the former Nazi leaders on trial. 12 of them were sentenced to death, others were imprisoned, but in all this testimony, the name of one man kept coming up on paper.
He seemed to be just a bureaucrat.
But as more stories emerged, it became increasingly clear that he had been instrumental to the Nazis plans for Jenna.
I’d his name was Adolf Eichmann.
He was in charge of overseeing.
What was going to happen to the Jews in Hungary in 1944, in the last less than a year of the war.
They killed, most of the Hungarian Jewish Community a million.
People were were put on trains and sent to Auschwitz and the person who oversaw that was at off Eichmann.
Eichmann was in charge of transporting Jews, not just in Hungary, but across Europe, he created the logistics for the Train transport system that carried people to concentration and extermination camps, shepherding Millions to their murders.
But by the time, all of this came out during the trials Eichmann had disappeared.
A lot of former Nazis had gone into hiding at the end of the war and as attention shifted to finding them.
Eichmann was high on the list.
As these trials were going on Simon wiesenthal was picking up the pieces of his life after mathausen.
He was relocated with other survivors, near Linz Austria by some miracle.
He reunited with his wife who had also survived the concentration camps.
Soon, after they had a baby Simon decided not to return to his former career.
As an architect, instead.
He started working on behalf of survivors and collaborating with I can intelligence agencies, helping them hunt down and search for Nazis, and he turned his attention to Eichmann.
Now, one of the most Wanted Nazis alive.
There was a problem though.
Not only had Eichmann disappeared.
Apparently, he was camera-shy, almost, no photos of the man, existed, and how are you supposed to find someone when you don’t even know what they look like?
Theories were swirling about what happened to him.
He was still in Germany, others were sure he was dead something, his wife had reported to local, German officials.
She claimed that he had been shot in Prague soon after the war ended and so by the late 1940s, the search for Eichmann slowed down.
It was also around that time that the US war crimes office there Simon was working for Decided we’ve done our work.
We have other things to do.
That’s when Simon decided.
Okay, I’m going to start my own operation.
Simon couldn’t move on from the hunt, even though the rest of the world seemed to the u.s.
Turned its eyes towards Russia and the Cold War, the UN special commission was starting the proceedings to partition Palestine and create a new Jewish State.
And so Simon was left to do the work.
He had been doing just now independent from the Americans.
He interviewed survivors collected information about Nazis and their whereabouts kept tabs on their families and Associates and filed away his findings in case of future trials.
And in all this, he discovered some very important information.
Simon kept coming, across official reports of Aikman, sightings, which meant that Eichmann was still out there hiding.
So Simon became determined to help find him.
This was not easy work and it was she was working from hand to mouth, had a wife and a child to support to earn a living Simon taught at an occupational Training school for refugees, but hunting down war criminals, while holding down a day job was pretty stressful.
All and I took a toll, he couldn’t sleep.
So he went to see his doctor, and his doctor said you need a hobby.
And I Simon said, I need a hobby.
What hunting Nazis isn’t enough of a hobby.
The doctor said.
No, you need a hobby to take you away from this sometimes and he became a stamp collector stamps.
Totally unrelated to Nazis or so.
He thought Simon wasn’t standing.
I’m collecting alone.
He found a small community of stamp collecting Bros.
One of those Burrows was a rather well-connected.
Reportedly one day.
When the stamp collecting crew got together, Simon was telling the baron about his work searching for Nazis.
The Barons ears, perked up.
It said, you know what?
I just got a letter from a friend who lives in Buenos Aires, and this friend told me that that pig at Fireman is living in Buenos, Aires is working for the water company there.
This was the break that Simon needed and it reignited.
His thirst for finding eichmann’s whereabouts Simon met with an Israeli Ambassador in 1954.
Letting him know of his Discovery.
The Ambassador asked for more robust evidence.
So Simon asked for five hundred dollars in order to send someone over to Argentina to confirm, but the Ambassador wasn’t interested.
His Focus was on the new Israeli State, not Nazi Hunter.
That is until a few years later in 1959.
Israel, got a second tip that Eichmann was in Argentina.
A Jewish German Refugee and Buenos Aires reported that his daughter had started dating a young man, Nick Eichmann.
And that Nick was living with his uncle Ricardo, klement.
The father was sure that Clemente was actually Adolf.
Eichmann this information.
To the Israeli spy agency.
Mossad some Mossad agents were sent to Argentina to check out this promising lead, and they did find this Ricardo klement, but they couldn’t confirm if he was actually Eichmann.
Remember, they didn’t have any current photos of him and the man, they found in Buenos Aires looked Haggard and much older than they’d expected.
But meanwhile, Simon had been keeping tabs on eichmann’s family and Austria, he caught wind that there was going to be a funeral and he hatched a plan to figure out what Eichmann might look like now as an older man.
In February of 1960 Aikman’s, father dies.
And and this is where the genius of Simon comes in.
He knew that Iceman’s younger brother looked almost exactly like his brother and he figured okay.
If we can get a picture of the brother will know what Iseman look like.
Now we can compare it.
So he sends two photographers to clandestinely, shoot pictures at the funeral and they got Good series of pictures of eichmann’s younger brother.
You might remember this scene from the top of the show.
Simon arranged for some Sly funeral photography and then he passed photos of eichmann’s brother to Mossad agents.
Those photos were then sent to agents in Buenos Aires to see if there was a clear enough resemblance between eichmann’s brother and Ricardo klement.
According to Richard, these photos were just the clue Masada.
They determine that.
This is at off, I meant and not long after that.
Basically kind of kidnapped him spirited him back to Israel where they tried him, and this put Simon in headlines around the world.
I don’t remember guilt lies in the initiation organization and execution of the crime specified.
In the indictment.
We shall throw.
His guilt has plumber initiator.
Organized and executed of the crime known as the final solution of the Jewish Problem on May 11th, 1960, Adolf.
Eichmann was captured a little over a week later.
He was brought back to Israel where he would stand trial, Israeli attorney, general Gideon, hausner, the chief prosecutor replies, that no one, except the state of Israel has sought to bring Eichmann to Justice and sites.
The Nuremberg war crimes trials as precedent for this trial.
All throughout ikemen remains.
I see calm his fate at last in the scales of Justice.
The trial took place in a new facility.
A special bullet proof Booth was put up around Aikman.
There was a huge crowd within the courthouse and the trial was also broadcast to Millions internationally, one of the first trials to be widely, televised people watched and listened to testimony from Holocaust Survivors who told of the horrors of eichmann’s work.
Testimonies that reminded the world of those atrocities on the way.
There were corpses Lying by the roadside.
There was no doubt that they were Jews.
I couldn’t pleaded not guilty.
He claimed he hadn’t killed anyone directly.
He was just doing his job, managing the logistics following orders as a lieutenant.
The court however would find him guilty.
Oh, and a 300 feet.
One is found guilty of crimes against the Jewish people crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Less than a year, later.
Eichmann was executed after the trial Simon, wiesenthal published a book, the German title translates to, I hunted Eichmann.
He would go on to write other Memoirs that filled in more details of the hunt.
Not see, hunting story was also chronicled and some TV shows a few documentaries.
The world finally saw how Simon wiesenthal the Holocaust Survivor turned Nazi Hunter had hunted down.
One of the most infamous, Nazis, an incredible story, but one that wasn’t entirely true certain details about Simon’s, involvement.
Emerged years later that would complicate this version of events will untangle those details.
After the break.
Welcome back before the break.
We learned about Simon.
Wiesenthal Holocaust Survivor turned Nazi Hunter who helped track down former Nazi Lieutenant Adolf Eichmann after writing about his role in eichmann’s capture.
Simon kept hunting Nazis and he became one of the world’s foremost advocates for memorializing.
Those lost in the Holocaust, A Pursuit that included in his eyes using the justice system to These war criminals, this is Simon and a 1980 interview for British radio on leaving the murders of Tomorrow know, they can never be safe.
Maybe this will have a value during this Nazi period, we had a such devaluation of human lives.
This people must come before trials.
He became known as a public figure, traveling the world and writing about his work.
One of his books, landed on the lab of a teenage boy in Long Island, named Eli Rosenbaum.
I read, Simon wiesenthal’s 1960s.
Having booked the murderers Among Us, which dealt at at some length, with Aikman and his crimes and his apprehension.
Rosenbaum, grew up to be a federal prosecutor and the Director of Human Rights enforcement strategy at the US Department of Justice, over the years outside of his day job.
He became close with some folks involved in eichmann’s capture former Mossad agents and Rosenbaum started to realize Simon had I told a bunch of different versions of the story and not all of them lined up.
For example, right after Eichmann was captured, Simon said he didn’t have anything to do with it May 25, 1962 days after icons capture was made public by Israel’s prime minister Simon.
Wiesenthal gave an interview to the times of London in which to quote the newspaper, which he didn’t quote denied a suggestion.
That he personally had something to do with eichmann’s arrest.
But then a year later in 1961, Simon published that one book.
I hunted Eichmann telling a different story.
And in that story, Rosenbaum says, a lot of the details were well embellished.
First of all, Simon hadn’t really been aware of eichmann’s.
True whereabouts, at one point.
He thought he might be in Argentina, but around the time of eichmann’s, And when Osiris Simon believed the Nazi was hiding out in Europe, he wrote to the Israeli Ambassador in Vienna to report that he believed that Eichmann had found Refuge somewhere in and I quote, Northern Germany and those photos taken secretly at the funeral.
They weren’t that instrumental and tracking down, Eichmann Rosenbaum, found the unpublished Memoir of a former Mossad agent and which he wrote that all claim that the pictures.
He ostensibly supplied to Israel.
Were the only ones they had when they captured Eichmann is is quote, false idol boasting, and he added that we sent those claimed that he had.
Supplied the quote-unquote only photos that were at the Israeli teams disposal.
Quote is simply typical of his impudence as though he had been party to the capture plan.
Whereas in fact, he had this, not the slightest notion of what was about to happen.
Why these embellishments to his story?
Well, according to Rosenbaum, Israel was hesitant to officially claimed credit for the capture of Eichmann.
They didn’t want Argentina knowing they had secret police operating within their borders for, you know, geopolitical reasons.
And so into that informational void, stepped Simon.
Now, there’s some historical disagreement as to how that happened.
Some people like Ontarian, Richard tranq, believe Simon showed an early version of his Memoir to Israeli officials who then asked him to remove all mentions of Mossad from his book, but no one really knows why Simon changed his story.
What is clear?
Is that the story he did publish is not entirely truthful.
It was, it was a great disappointment to me to learn the truth.
But none of us is perfect.
I prefer to think of the many great and important things that Simon wiesenthal did accomplish in his lifetime.
How does one reckon with a story of great consequence when it comes from an imperfect vessel?
Particularly when the Storyteller in question is also a survivor of some of the worst atrocities in human history.
Insists that despite Simon’s hyperbola easing, he still deserves recognition for the work.
Do I have to give mr.
Wiesenthal a lot of credit, a ton of credit.
He was unswervingly devoted to seeing Eichmann and other perpetrators brought to Justice institutions like the Simon wiesenthal Center and the Museum of Tolerance were founded.
In Simon’s name institutions committed to fighting anti-Semitism to memorializing.
Aston justices to the work Simon dedicated, much of his life to I consider him to have been someone who’s activism whose insistence public insistence and private insistence that Nazi criminals be brought to justice has played a preeminent role in ensuring that efforts to pursue Justice.
In those cases has not stopped to this very day.
One of the people who’s following and Simon’s footsteps pursuing that Justice is Eli Rosenbaum himself.
Some call Rosenbaum and Nazi Hunter though.
He’s not too fond of the term.
He spent the last four decades at the Department of Justice searching out and bringing Nazis and other human rights violators to Justice.
He collaborates with a team of prosecutors and historians to ensure the truth of the Just and other human rights crimes aren’t forgotten.
They push for accountability for those who perpetrated those in humanities.
We want a Nazi case, just two years ago.
The hope is that by the example of the punishment of people who commit human rights, violations, or or any other crimes, that others will be deterred from engaging in that kind of egregious misconduct.
The work feels just as relevant.
As it did in Simon’s day, I mean in the US we’re still fighting over how to even talk about what happened in.
Just one of many examples in January of twenty twenty-two, a Tennessee County School Board.
Voted to remove the book Mouse from its curriculum.
The nonfiction graphic novel tells the story of the author’s, father, a holocaust.
The County’s director of schools, cited objectionable, language and nudity.
For removing the book, an Erasure of one historical narrative in favor of shielding kids from Naked cartoon mice, and forgetting about the Holocaust softening.
It has serious real life consequences.
We’re in a moment where Holocaust denial and anti-semitic attacks and rhetoric are on the rise.
The American Jewish Committee reported that one in four American Jews.
Had been targeted by anti-Semitism and 2021 and the Anti-Defamation League reported that anti-semitic incidents more than doubled between 2015 and He 20 in the US.
We saw rhetoric like this happen.
When white supremacists marched through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia and 2017 in 2018, a lone gunman killed 11 and wounded six at a synagogue and Pittsburgh after posting anti-semitic messages on social media.
A Texas college student was charged with setting fire to a synagogue, and Austin, and more recently in January.
Four people including a rabbi were taken hostage by a gunman and their synagogue and Colleyville Texas just outside of Dallas.
The legend of Simon wiesenthal, the Nazi Hunter may have been embellished but the message he spread allowed others to continue his work to keep fighting for justice to remind folks that this history is very much alive and that forgetting this history.
Has great consequence.
This is a verb meaning for the murderers of tomorrow.
I know what I’m doing against us.
It’s not the answer for the tragedy.
But then we pardon one genocide.
The open the door for the next and the history of man is a history of crimes.
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