Madam Speaker, on September 20, at the venerable age of 96, Simon Wiesenthal passed away. He was one of the most famous Holocaust survivors. He dedicated his life to the pursuit of justice, particularly through his tireless hunt for Nazi war criminals.
Born on December 31, 1908, Simon Wiesenthal experienced the horrors of the death camps and the disappearance of 89 members of his own family at the brutal hands of the Nazis.
After the second world war, in pursuit not of vengeance but rather justice, he devoted himself to hunting down Nazi criminals, wherever they were hiding. As a result, he helped locate some 1,100 war criminals, including Adolf Eichmann, one of the architects of the Shoah, and Franz Stangl, camp commander for Treblinka and Sobibor.
He has been called the conscience of the Holocaust by refusing to bury his terrible memories and serving as a permanent reminder of the victims of the Holocaust.
He believed, and rightly so, that freedom without justice was impossible. The victims of the Holocaust and the entire world are forever in his debt.