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Simon Wiesenthal was a survivor of the Holocaust who worked as an author and Nazi hunter, wishing to ensure that what befell his community would be remembered.
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Wiesenthal continued his efforts well into his later years, though his house was firebombed in 1982, with no one being injured.
Wiesenthal's influence extended to the literary world, as well. In 1967, he published the book The Murderers Among Us: The Wiesenthal Memoirs, followed in 1969 by the exploratory work The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness.
Wiesenthal has run into his share of controversy, including allegations from prominent figures that a significant portion of his claims about his career and involvement in certain cases were untrue. He also had conflict with writer and Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel.
Wiesenthal's work is recognized for continuing to shed light on the injustices and horrors of the Holocaust, for calling on governmental intervention in the capture of war criminals and for being a driven, often times singular, investigative force. Among a legion of awards and accolades, he's received the Dutch and Luxembourg Medals of Freedom and the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor. He was also the subject of the 1989 HBO biopic Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story, which starred Ben Kingsley in the lead role. Another memoir, Justice Not Vengeance: Recollections, was published that same year.
In 2003, at the age of 94, Wiesenthal announced his retirement. One year later, he was knighted. Wiesenthal died on September 20, 2005, in Vienna, Austria.
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