Book says Nazi hunter Wiesenthal worked for Mossad 186947

"Wiesenthal - The Life and Legends" reveals he provided Israel with intelligence on neo-Nazis and German scientists.

September 3, 2010 05:20
1 minute read.
Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal

simon wiesenthal 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Renowned Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal worked for the Mossad, providing information on war criminals and Germans working in Arab countries, a biography published on Thursday revealed.

According to Tom Segev in his book Wiesenthal – The Life and Legends, the Holocaust survivor began working with Israeli intelligence even before the establishment of the Mossad in 1949. The book says that in 1948 Wiesenthal participated in a failed attempt to capture top Nazi Adolf Eichmann, who was later nabbed in Argentina and executed in Israel.

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Segev, drawing on hitherto unpublished material from Wiesenthal’s personal archives and interviews with his alleged former handlers, also notes that in the 1960s Wiesenthal provided Israel with information on neo- Nazis and German scientists working for Egypt’s rocket program. The Mossad financed Wiesenthal’s Vienna office, and the rapport reportedly lasted for 10 years.

“For me, it was a revelation, but a very important one that forces us to offer our praise of the extent to which Israel sought to track down, expose and/or bring to justice Nazi criminals,” Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem and researcher of Nazi war crimes, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

Zuroff, who in his 2009 book Operation Last Chance: One Man's Quest to Bring Nazi Criminals to Justice expounds on how he was personally influenced by Wiesenthal to become a Nazi hunter, noted the rather few incidents in which Israel was publicly involved in apprehending Nazis.

Segev's new book, however, “proves how Israel, by utilizing Wiesenthal, was in fact active in bringing Nazi criminals to justice,” Zuroff said.

AP contributed to this report.

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